Four Teams Compete for Last Three Playoff Spots as USSF D-2 Pro League Enters Penultimate Week
Week 24 Recap and Week 25 Preview of the USSF D-2 Pro League
Week 24 Recap
Week 24's results left four teams fighting for the final three playoff spots in the USSF D-2 Pro League. With the Carolina RailHawks clinching a spot in the postseason, the Montreal Impact, NSC Minnesots Stars, Puerto Rico Islanders and AC St. Louis are left to compete for the final three places. The week began on Sept. 15 with Minnesota grabbing their first 1-0 win of the week at home against Carolina. The following day, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Austin Aztex played to a 1-1 draw in Tampa, while on Sept. 17, Miami FC surprised the league-leading Rochester Rhinos 2-1 in Rochester. Sept. 18 featured four matches - the first of which saw Carolina cement their place in the postseason with a 4-2 win against Crystal Palace Baltimore. Minnesota earned their second 1-0 win of the week against visiting Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and St. Louis grabbed a late winner at home to defeat Austin 2-1 and keep their playoff hopes alive. Saturday finished with the Portland Timbers defeating Puerto Rico 1-0 in Bayamon. The Tampa Bay Rowdies visited Montreal on Sept. 19 to wrap up the week and were defeated 3-0 to eliminate them from playoff contention.
Week 24 Results
|Sept. 15||NSC Minnesota Stars 1, Carolina RailHawks 0||National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.|
|Sept. 16||Tampa Bay Rowdies 1, Austin Aztex 1||George M. Steinbrenner Field; Tampa, Fla.|
|Sept. 17||Rochester Rhinos 1, Miami FC 2||Marina Auto Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.|
|Sept. 18||Crystal Palace Baltimore 2, Carolina RailHawks 4||Paul Angelo Russo Field; Towson, Md.|
|Sept. 18||NSC Minnesota Stars 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0||National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.|
|Sept. 18||AC St. Louis 2, Austin Aztex 1||Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park; St. Louis, Mo.|
|Sept. 18||Puerto Rico Islanders 0, Portland Timbers 1||Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel; Bayamon, Puerto Rico|
|Sept. 19||Montreal Impact 3, Tampa Bay Rowdies 0||Stade Saputo; Montreal, Quebec|
Week 24 Quick Hits
- Miami dealt Rochester just their third home loss of the year and will meet again next week on Sept. 25 in Ft. Lauderdale.
- Minnesota has won three matches in a row with two 1-0 wins at home in Week 24.
- Just one point separates Rochester and Austin at the top of the table with the Aztex holding a game in hand.
Week 25 Preview
The penultimate week of D-2 Pro league action kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 22, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., as playoff hopeful AC St. Louis takes on Miami FC at 7:30 p.m. ET. League action will stay in Florida for the first match on Friday, Sept. 24, as the NSC Minnesota Stars visit the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m. ET, while the Montreal Impact take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC on the West Coast at 10:30 p.m. ET in Burnaby, British Columbia. The week will wrap up on Saturday, Sept. 25, with four matches. Miami FC and the Rochester Rhinos will play the return leg of last week's match at 4 p.m. ET in Ft. Lauderdale, and Crystal Palace Baltimore will play host to the Portland Timbers at 4:30 p.m. ET in the second of two afternoon kickoffs on the east coast. Later in the evening, the Carolina RailHawks and Puerto Rico Islanders face off at 7 p.m. ET in Cary, N.C., and AC St. Louis will visit the Austin Aztex in a rematch of last week's contest in St. Louis.
Week 25 Schedule
|Sept. 22||Miami FC vs. AC St. Louis||7:30 p.m.||Lockhart Stadium; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.|
|Sept. 24||Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. NSC Minnesota Stars||7:30 p.m.||George M. Steinbrenner Field; Tampa, Fla.|
|Sept. 24||Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Montreal Impact||10:30 p.m.||Swangard Stadium; Burnaby, British Columbia|
|Sept. 25||Miami FC vs. Rochester Rhinos||4 p.m.||Fort Lauderdale Stadium; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.|
|Sept. 25||Crystal Palace Baltimore vs. Portland Timbers||4:30 p.m.||Paul Angelo Russo Field; Towson, Md.|
|Sept. 25||Carolina RailHawks vs. Puerto Rico Islanders||7 p.m.||WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.|
|Sept. 25||Austin Aztex vs. AC St. Louis||8:30 p.m.||House Park; Austin, Texas|
Week 25 Notes
- Minnesota will close out their regular season with a match at Tampa Bay on Sept. 24.
- Carolina can still pass Vancouver at the top of the NASL Conference as just three points separate the sides with two games left each.
- As the Canadian derby enters its fourth edition of the season, Vancouver holds the edge with a 2-0-1 record against Montreal.
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