July 12, 2013
Playoffs taking shape
Detroit City FC finishes NPSL season undefeated
The 12 game Great Lakes Division regular season came to an end for Detroit City FC, and with a 1-1 draw against AFC Cleveland followed by a 2-1 defeat of second place FC Buffalo, Detroit City FC sits atop of their division standings.
The final weekend of the regular season secured passage of a number of milestones for Le Rouge. They will carry the top seed going into their division tournament, they brought home the supporter-sponsored Rust Belt Derby trophy, and they assured that they would finish the season at least tied for the top record in the entire 57 team NPSL.
On Friday, Cleveland midfielder Tom Granot that struck first, giving the home team a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute. Knox Cameron pounded home a rebound off of a Shawn Claud Lawson shot for the 70th minute equalizer.
City took an early lead on Sunday against Buffalo, when Wade Allen laid off a free kick to Jeff Adkins, who placed the shot beautifully into the upper corner.
The Wolves came out of the halftime break and almost immediately knotted the score at 1 when Andy Tiedt pulled a crafty move to feed Ian Mort for a side-footed goal in the 47th minute.
Detroitís winner came in the 80th minute when second half sub Ugo Uche won a header, flicked a second to himself, and on the same unassisted play, curled a lowshot past the Buffalo keeper for the go-ahead goal.
Red Bulls Academy stays unbeaten
David Najem and Danny Bedoya each notched a pair of goals Saturday, leading the still-unbeaten New York Red Bulls Academy U23 team to a 6-2 win over visiting Seacoast United Mariners on Saturday, then on Sunday topped the Rhode Island Reds, 3-1.
The Red Bulls (6-0-1) scored three goals in each half Saturday for their highest scoring total of 2013. However, the two goals for Seacoast United (2-3-2) were the first allowed this season by the Atlantic Division-leading Red Bulls.
Red Bulls keeper Max Brown kept his teamís unblemished defensive streak intact by stopping a penalty kick in the 50th minute. But the visitors, down 6-0, broke the spell in the 68th minute on a breakaway and again in the 86th minute on their second penalty kick.
Sundayís win left the division-leading Red Bulls with a 7-0-1 record, good for 22 points, heading into their final two regular season tilts, both on the road next weekend (at Brooklyn Italians on Saturday and at New York Athletic Club on Sunday).
Jacksonville eyes a return to Final Four
Jacksonville United FC scored in the last for a 2-1 win over the visiting Tampa Marauders last Friday night. The win was not enough to provide them with the goal differential needed in order to host the semifinals for the NPSL South region
Jacksonville's opportunity to host may have faltered but the 2013 squad have their sights on a Divisional crown and a return to the National Final Four. Jacksonville will travel to Richmond Virginia and play RVA the Mid-Atlantic conference champs at 7:30pm, Saturday the 13th at Sport Backer Stadium.
In the other south semi-final, Tulsa, Oklahoma plays host Chattanooga, Tennessee. If Jacksonville advances they would either host Chattanooga or travel to Tulsa for the South Championship and an opportunity to return to the NPSL Final Four.
Sonic extend streak
Back to back wins over the Fourth of July weekend extended Lehigh United Sonic FCís winning streak to eight games. They beat Hershey FC 2-0 on Thursday and in a game that included an hour weather delay, then on Saturday they downed Buxmont Torch 5-1.
Sonic advance to their second consecutive Northeast Conference Playoffs and third in the past four seasons. Sonic will play either NY Red Bull U-23 or Brooklyn Italians in the NE Conference Semi-Final on July 17th. The Conference Final is scheduled for July 20th.