London waiting for home field
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News / Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
Consistency is important for any team in the United Soccer’s Premier Development League (PDL), but winning the playoffs is what matters most and FC London are hoping to get some home help to start their playoff quest Tuesday (July 17).
FC London closed out their season taking only their second loss at Cove Road Field on the 2012 campaign, falling 2-1 to the Toronto Lynx Friday (July 13).
A win could have solidified London’s home-field advantage and given them great momentum carrying two wins into the playoffs, but now FC has to pay close attention to Sunday’s matchup between the River City Rovers and Michigan Bucks.
River City sits two points behind London and a win Sunday would mean FC has to travel to Louisville, KY on Tuesday for a one-game knockout with the winner moving onto the division final against the Bucks Friday (July 20). A tie or a loss for the Rovers Sunday and they will be making the nine-hour trip to London for the playoff game.
“Playing at home on a Tuesday would be really big,” said FC head coach Mark Painter. “Even not having to travel to the game and then if we win not having to travel back. Basically it gives us two extra days of either training or rest. At this stage after a long season it’s crucial.”
London looked to be in safe hands with River City having to play back-to-back games against the once unbeatable Bucks, but River City took down that crown in a 2-1 win over Michigan to hand them their first loss of the season.
London has made the playoffs every year since joining the PDL in 2004—the only team in the division to make the playoffs the last four seasons— but has failed to get to the Central Conference final.
Playoff stability is something to be proud of, said Painter, but if the team wants to be considered a powerhouse they need to start collecting the wins in the postseason.
“Getting there is part of it,” he said. “Now we want to win a couple games when we’re there.”
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