It is crunch time for many Development Academy teams heading into this final weekend of the regular season.
Last weekend, 10 teams among the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups clinched a divisional spot to qualify for the 2011-12 Development Academy Playoffs, which kick off June 25 in Frisco, Texas.
There are 26 teams that have qualified for the postseason (13 teams in each age group) and 14 division spots remain up for grabs. The top two teams in the division qualify, and another 24 teams (12 at each age level) will qualify by virtue of the wild card.
Here is the breakdown of the remaining division spots and the key fixtures this weekend:
- Frontier Division: The second-place Colorado Rapids and fourth-place Colorado Rush will determine the last division spot, with the Rapids hanging onto a one-point lead. Their regular season is over, and the Rush has a chance to move ahead when it faces Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
- Texas Division: Second-place Solar Chelsea SC is in the driver’s seat for the remaining division spot with a two-point lead over Texans SC Houston, which faces the Dallas Texans on Saturday. Solar Chelsea hosts the Texas Rush.
- Mid-Atlantic Division: With Baltimore Bays Chelsea clinching last weekend, that leaves one division opening that is currently in FC DELCO’s hands. A win or draw this weekend against Baltimore Bays Chelsea would give that slot to DELCO as third-place PA Classics is already trailing by three points and D.C. United is behind by six points with two games to play.
- Northeast Division: Three teams are fighting for both division spots with two games remaining. Empire United holds a two-point lead over the New England Revolution, while fourth-place FC Greater Boston is six points behind Empire United and needs to win out to keep its playoff hopes alive.
- Atlantic Division: Nothing has been determined for the two division spots, and things could get interesting considering first-place Charlotte Soccer Academy (31 points) has wrapped up its regular season. McLean Youth Soccer is two points behind with one game left and fourth-place CASL Chelsea FC Academy is five points back with two matches left. Third-place North Carolina Fusion has 28 points, leaving the team in the wild card picture.
- Frontier Division: With St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri clinching a division spot last weekend, the remaining spot will be decided between second-place Real Colorado and third-place Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy. Real Colorado plays the waiting game with 26 points and its regular season set in stone. Shattuck has 24 points and has one remaining game this weekend.
- Texas Division: Solar Chelsea SC and Texans SC Houston are fighting for the final division spot with only one point separating the two.
- Liberty Division: Second-place Albertson SC and the fourth-place New York Red Bulls are the final two teams in search of the remaining division spot. Albertson has a two-point lead over the Red Bulls with one game remaining.
- Mid-Atlantic Division: Four teams still have a mathematical chance for the two division positions. FC DELCO is atop the division with 21 points and one game to play. PA Classics and Baltimore Bays Chelsea are in second and third place with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Baltimore Bays has two games left. Fifth-place D.C. United is in the mix with 16 points and two games to play. Fourth-place NJSA 04 is eying the wild card picture as the various results among the three teams in front in the standings would relegate NJSA out of the division picture.
- Northeast Division: Three teams remain for two division spots. FC Greater Boston is in good shape with 19 points and two games to play. Second-place Oakwood Soccer Club has wrapped up its regular season with 19 points and the New England Revolution is third with 17 points and two games to play. The reason FC Greater Boston has not officially wrapped up a spot is because there is the scenario where Oakwood could wind up with a better points per game clip if FC Greater Boston drops its remaining games.