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USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 22

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Only one month of the USSF D-2 regular season remains, and it's last call for the bottom feeders to pull off a last-minute miracle.

Crystal Palace Baltimore is one of those teams. Four points outside the last playoff spot, a trip to Carolina awaits this weekend, and a win for Baltimore is paramount (7:30p.m., Friday). Given the frustrating tendency of the Railhawks to lose games at home, now would be a good time for Baltimore to conjure up a strong performance.

Etienne Barbara has had a solid season since joining Carolina prior to the start of the year, scoring seven goals. He'll need to play a big role if the Railhawks hope to manage a rare home win.

Here's a look at the rest of this weekend's action:

SATURDAY

NSC Minnesota Stars vs. Austin Aztex, 8:30 p.m.

This is a massive tilt for the Stars. Minnesota is tied for the last playoff spot with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and will be hard pressed to defeat the high-flying Aztex in Texas. Austin's prolific offense — they've scored 43 goals in 23 games — will put the Stars to the test. Eddie Johnson looks for a late push to match Ryan Pore for the league lead, and Jamie Watson has returned after a brief injury.

SUNDAY

Puerto Rico Islanders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 1:00 p.m.

Things are good for the Whitecaps — thanks to a strong defense, the soon-to-be MLS side has a solid lead at the top of the NASL Conference. Teitur Thordarson was named the coach for next season, and as the preparations for next year continue, the push for a title is ongoing. The Islanders make the long trip to the Northwest, playing their second game in four days. Barring a late collapse, Puerto Rico should manage a postseason spot, thanks in part to David Foley and Nicholas Addlery's knack for goal scoring.

Miami FC vs. A.C. St. Louis, 7:00 p.m.

The Blues take a trip to the Midwest, where they take on St. Louis in a battle of two teams on the outside looking in to the playoff picture. In theory, there is a chance for both teams to qualify for postseason action, but in reality, unless something drastic happens, neither of these teams will make it. St. Louis must get a performance from Mike Ambersley and Luke Kreamalmeyer to have a shot at three points from this one — and with a win, keep those faint hopes alive for another week.

Comments

  1. Finally, a solid home win for the Railhawks as they beat CP Baltimore 3-0. Goals from Daniel Paladini, Allan Russell and newcomer Tom Heinemann did the trick. Thankfully Etienne Barbara wasn’t needed.

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  2. …and the fifth sold-out stadium for the season. 83rd min goal by Ryan Pore who continues his league leading goals scored and points total.

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  3. This is a little bit of the subject, but about D2. MLS probably will cap expansion at twenty teams. I constantally read complaints at various sites from American fans concerning rel-pro. The MLS failed bid of the USL resulted in Nu-Rock purshasing the USL. Of course we all know about the team owners backing out when their bid was also turned down and forming the NASL. MLS is profiting from expansion fee’s but that will change with the addition of one more team. The sport continues to grow here and demand should increase past 20 teams. I think it would be wise in the future for MLS to offer rel-pro options to NASL owners for downsized expansion fee’s and minimum stadium requirements.

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