NPSL Midwest Regionals: First Round Preview

The 2021 National Premier Soccer League season has come to a close. All the playoff teams are set and the Region playoffs start tonight. For a full recap of the Great Lakes/North’s final week you can check out Tim’s recap of Week 11. But Week 11 did a few things, City winning gave them a bye and got Duluth FC in. Cleveland not picking up a win propelled City into first and gave Milwaukee a bye as well.


Cleveland SC (Rust Belt 1) vs Pittsburgh Hotspurs (Rust Belt 2): 6 PM – George Finnie Stadium, Berea, OH – Eleven Sports

The first of the two matches in the opening round is a match entirely within the Rust Belt Conference. Rust Belt champions Cleveland SC will host second place Pittsburgh Hotspurs in their third meeting of 2021. In their two previous meetings Hotspurs have been outscored a combined 8-2 by Cleveland. This includes a 6-1 loss handed to them in Berea in early June.

A big thing going for Cleveland is they are unbeaten in 2021 with an 8-2-0 record, good for 26 points. Hotspurs also played themselves into a good season going 8-2-0 (24 points) in the conference. Pittsburgh has a massive task on their hands as they have to simultaneously shut down an attack averaging 2.5 GPG and a defence averaging less then one goal against per match.

Duluth FC (North 2) vs Carpathia FC (Great Lakes 2): 7 PM – Public Schools Stadium, Duluth, MN – Eleven Sports

The second of the two is an inter-conference clash with the Great Lakes meeting the North for the first time this season. Duluth FC and their prolific scoring led by NPSL Golden Boot winner Sidney Warden will meet the stellar defence of Carpathia FC. After an up and down season Duluth managed to squeak into the playoffs off the back of a Minneapolis City SC win over Med City FC. The BlueGreens also set themselves up to play at home in the first round with their own win over Sioux Falls Thunder.

Duluth rides in with a three game hot streak on their hands with wins over Aris, Fusion, and the aforementioned Thunder. Carpathia meanwhile is 2-1-0 in their last three and on a three match streak of their own. Carpathia’s 2.7 goals per game attack will have a bit of trouble with Duluth averaging giving up 1.67 goals. On the other hand Duluth’s lights out attack averages 3.25 goals per game, second in the Region will meet a defence only giving up around 1.3 goals per match.

Midwest Region Playoffs, Stage 2:

Each region in the NPSL has their own design for playoffs. In the Midwest Region the first round is held by high seed, the last two rounds are held at one location. The location for the regional semi-finals and finals are determined on a bid basis.

Based on what Minneapolis City stated the last two rounds will either be hosted by themselves or Cleveland SC. If the Crows host it would be played at Edor Nelson Field on the campus of Augsburg University in Minneapolis. While if Cleveland hosts it will be held at George Finnie Stadium on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH.

Regardless of host location the matches will be played Friday and Sunday, June 23rd and 25th.

*All Times CT