NPSL Midwest Playoffs: Conference Semi-Finals Preview

How it works:

#1 Duluth FC v #51 Minnesota TwinStars

The biggest mismatch in seeding, and therefore overall record. Even being here is an achievement for the reanimated TwinStars. Keep an eye out for Kostya Domaratskyy and Sadra Golzarian.

In the head-to-head, the BlueGreens won 3-0 and 6-1.  Duluth are looking to go undefeated into the regionals. 

#12 Dakota Fusion v #28 Med City FC

Ah yes, a nuanced matchup. These two sides have been nip and tuck all season. Med City have the history (as defending Champions of the North) and the head-to-head (as 1-0 victors in Rochester, the match in Moorhead finished tied) but Fusion have warmed up and have two of the hottest players in the Midwest right now in Shoki Yoshida and Yu Tsukanome (who won the Golden Boot as top goalscorer nationwide). Keep an eye out for Lucas Hart for the Mayhem. 

Great Lakes

#20 Michigan Rangers v #36 Cleveland SC

Rangers have handed out some punishment this season on their day, but they are an expansion club against the defending Rust Belt champions… albeit a CSC without Vinny Bell. Rangers only won their matches this season by a single goal both times. Keep an eye out for Rangers’ Daire O’Riordan, who has 7 goals. 

Winner plays #6 Steel City


#16 Tulsa Athletic v #61 Demize NPSL

Athletic won their first match 3-1 and drew the second. Still, they have only lost once this season, so should advance. Keep an eye out for Brandon Smalley and Aboubakr Sidiki Moubarak Diallo. 

#22 OKC 1889 v #48 Kansas City Sol

OKC 1889 won both their meetings this year, albeit by a one-goal margin both times. Anthony Rangel of the Sol is in the top 10 most goals scored in the regular season.  Also of note is the presence of former Kansas City Current head Huw Williams as Sol’s head coach. His time at KCC came to a halt after only a year.

Gateway (Saturday)

#9 Des Moines United v #35 Milwaukee Torrent

Yes, I know this isn’t a Conference semi-final, but I figured it should be previewed.  Torrent claimed one point from the six available in the head-to-head, and could have (possibly should have) had more, having led for most of the match on the road. It finished 1-1. On the other hand, Torrent looked lacking in the loss. Keep an eye out for Jayce Berger on United and Paco Piscaglia for Torrent.  

Still with me? Stay tuned for all of Saturday’s Conference Finals.