It is the lull before the storm this week in the ECNL.
Next weekend, many teams will head to New Jersey for the PDA Showcase, which is the final Showcase of the season before the National Championship in late June (and TopDrawerSoccer.com will be present at both to bring you the action).
This weekend offers a brief respite, but there are still some crucial games on the docket.
Concorde Fire and Atlanta Fire meet in the most meaningful game of the weekend. The two Georgia teams are vying for the second spot in the Southeast Conference in the final game of the regular season.
For the U14 age group, only the top two teams from each conference make it to the postseason playoffs.
Sunday’s showdown is the final game for both teams, and the second meeting of the season between these two sides. Concorde Fire won the first meeting 1-0 behind a goal from two unlikely candidates. Grayson Davis provided the assist, her first of the season, and Mollie Williams netted the winner, also her first of the season.
Eclipse Select Soccer Club (11-1-0) has a chance to cap an undefeated year with its final two games over the weekend. Eclipse takes on Carmel United on the road on Saturday, before returning home for a clash again Minnesota Thunder on Sunday.
Forwards Zoe Redei and Alissa Gorzak, who have combined to score 12 goals and contribute nine assists, have paced the Eclipse attack.
Real So Cal is on the ropes.
Currently, Adolfo Perez’s Real So Cal U15 side holds the 16th spot in the National Flight A Standings, which is the last spot to qualify for the postseason. This weekend, Real So Cal wraps up regular season fixtures with games against San Diego Surf and Eagles Soccer Club.
A win for Real So Cal against Surf, ninth in Fight A standings, could push the Woodland Hills club as high as 13th in the standings. Easier said than done though, Surf won the first meeting between these clubs 2-0. Sasha Stephens and Haley Bruce scored the goals in the win for Surf in September.
In the Northeast Conference, the top two teams meet this weekend when PDA hosts FC Stars of Massachusetts on Saturday. PDA is perfect on the season in conference play with an 11-0-0 record and only two goals conceded. Goalkeeper Elizabeth Hill has been in charge of that commanding defense that has accumulated nine shutouts this season.
If you come at the king, you best not miss.
D’Feeters Soccer Club, currently 18th in the National Standings, only has one game left in Flight A play this season. Basically, the Dallas-area team needs a win and some favorable results from other teams on the bubble from the last game to qualify for the postseason.
The bad news: the game is against defending ECNL National Champions Lonestar SC. The two teams played to a scoreless draw in the first meeting this season – it remains the only time the Austin club has been shutout this season. D’Feeters is hoping that missed chance in the first meeting won’t come back to bite them in the return leg.
In Northern California, Washington Premier, Irvine Strikers, San Juan Soccer Club, and Crossfire Premier converge for a pair of games between the Washington and the California teams.
Washington Premier and San Juan Soccer Club have the most on the line when the weekend tilts. Both are fighting for a spot among the top six in the National Flight B standings to qualify for promotion.
The unstoppable McKenzie Meehan, who has scored 39 goals in 18 games, faces two more challengers this weekend.
Meehan’s Scorpions SC hosts World Class FC and PDA over the weekend in Northeast Conference action. PDA currently boasts the top defense in the conference with only four goals conceded in 10 games, and is one of the few teams to stop the Boston College-bound Meehan this season.
PDA won the first meeting between these clubs in March 1-0, the only time the Scorpions have been shut out this season.
Solar-Chelsea Soccer Club hosts Dallas Texans on Sunday, which is the second meeting this week between the top two teams in the Texas Conference.
Solar won the meeting on Tuesday 2-1 to hand the Texans their first loss of the season. So, revenge will be on the minds of the Dallas club in the rematch, as the top team in the National Flight A Standings looks to keep that position in its penultimate fixture.