Thursday, July 19

LD Update: Special - Amateur League Playoffs


Initial rounds of the postseason for the WPSL, NPSL and USL's PDL and W-League kicked off this past weekend and have continued with midweek contests. They get into high gear this coming weekend as they set the stage for their respective championship events.

Of note, there are seven teams combined in the postseason across the four leagues that are directly affiliated with Major League Soccer clubs. The PDL playoffs boast four with the Reading United AC (Philadelphia Union), Seattle Sounders U23s and Portland Timbers U23s. The W-League features the DC United Women and Seattle Sounders Women while FC Dallas plays in the WPSL. The New York Red Bulls Academy is the lone team in the NPSL playoffs.

Here are some general notes on each tournament and links to their respective brackets.

PDL: The defending champion Kitsap Pumas are already out, eliminated in the divisional round as both of the MLS affiliates of the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers moved onto the Western Conference tournament. The Michigan Bucks won the regular season title for a third time in its history, but the second-best record belongs to the Thunder Bay Chill, setting up a potential showdown of the best two records in the conference finals round.  -  BRACKET

W-League: The defending champion Atlanta Silverbacks failed to return to the postseason to defend their title. After playing to a road draw against them earlier in the season, the champions fell 1-0 in the final game of the campaign to the Charlotte Lady Eagles, who won the division by two points and ended up being the fourth-best team in the playoffs by points-percentage. The Ottawa Fury have an automatic berth in the league Final Four as hosts of the event, but did finish the season 10-2-0, good for third overall in points-percentage, ranking behind the two unbeaten teams. DC United was second overall while two-time league champion Pali Blues finished as regular season champions a second time.  -  BRACKET

WPSL: The Gulf Coast Texans (7-0-0) were among three teams to finish unbeaten. They only have one playoff match prior to reaching the league Final Four, but will likely have to go through the second-best team overall based on points-percentage, the 2011 WPSL semifinalist Tampa Bay Hellenic, who are 8-0-1. Salt Lake United (6-0-2) are the fifth overall ranked club on points-percentage, making them the top team in the West. Fourth overall is another 2011 semifinalist, Aztec MA (8-1-1), and fourth is FC Dallas (12-1-0).  -  BRACKET

NPSL: Based on points-percentage, four of the top six records in the postseason are all in the Northeast Conference, creating quite a showdown. The top two, FC Sonic and NY Red Bulls Academy, survived the conference semifinals and will square off for a chance to reach the Final Four. The third-best team in the postseason are the San Diego Flash, but they are among the early eliminations, falling in penalties after a 2-2 draw with ninth-seeded Sonoma Sol. Seeded fourth, the Madison 56ers will need to win only one match to reach the Final Four, squaring off against 14th-seeded AFC Cleveland, which has survived the four-team Great Lakes divisional playoff despite finishing third in the regular season.  -  BRACKET

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