After pulling off a hard fought draw last week with Jacksonville, NCFC hosts San Francisco for a huge match that will probably decide who is in the NASL Championship playoffs. NCFC is currently on fire with one loss in their past 10 matches. However, NCFC is winless against the Deltas this season, with the last result ending 1-1 at their stadium.
There are a lot situations that can impact NCFC’s playoff chances. Luckily, the good folks at NCFC have broken it down on their website:
- If North Carolina FC defeats San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 21, NCFC will advance to the postseason regardless of the result between New York and Jacksonville over the weekend.
- If North Carolina FC draws with San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 21, New York and Jacksonville must both win at least one of their next two matches to extend the postseason race to the final weekend. If either side doesn’t secure at least three points from their next two matches this week, North Carolina FC will qualify for the playoffs.
- If North Carolina FC loses against San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 21, both New York and Jacksonville must both secure at least two points from their next two matches to extend the postseason race to the final weekend. If either side doesn’t secure at least two points from their next two matches this week, North Carolina FC will qualify for the playoffs.
- Important Note: New York and Jacksonville will face each other on Sunday, Oct. 22 in Jacksonville, Fla., at Hodges Stadium.
Like pretty much every other game in the past month or two, NCFC has to have their mindset on getting a win, or a point at least. You never want to leave your fate in the hands of other results as we have seen in the past couple of weeks *cough* FUCK YOU, USMNT *cough*.
I’d like to think that since the Deltas have already locked up a playoff spot, they will bring a B squad across to the other side of the coast to keep their guys fresh. Also, the whole part about the team being non-existent next year (they are having a EVERYTHING MUST GO giveaway with all of their merchandise) might play a factor, but probably not in a way that favors NCFC. Some of these guys are going to try to impress new suitors. But like we have been saying: NCFC needs to finish strong and get into the playoffs. This team absolutely deserves it.
(Every time I type “playoffs” all I can think of is this)
Predicted Outcome: 2-1 NCFC
Lastly, I just want to point out a developing story that potentially has an effect on the future of NCFC’s MLS hopes. The big story this week was that the Columbus Crew owner is “exploring” the possibilities of moving the team to Austin, Texas in 2019. Ignoring the brouhaha about whether this move ruins the sanctity of MLS by moving an original franchise or the debate about franchise relocation in American sports, this is not that good news for NCFC in my opinion.
If the Crew does end up moving to Austin (which seems very likely), that paves the way for FC Cincinnati to fill the void in that market. MLS has always seemed very fond of the franchise there in Cincinnati, and by granting them one of the four expansion spots, it may seem as an olive branch to the Ohioans upset. That would leave NCFC up against Nashville and Detroit, with Nashville already attracting a lot of attention.
Regardless, NCFC forever.
Song of the Week:
Cover Photo: Rob Kinnan-NCFC