AC ST. LOUIS SET FOR MIAMI SHOWDOWN
ST. LOUIS, MO (September 22, 2010) – AC St. Louis, playing in the USSF Division 2 Pro League, visit the Miami FC Blues tonight at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, September 18, for a 6:30 p.m. CDT kick-off. The game can be viewed live via web streaming at www.ac-stlouis.com. This is the second of just two meetings between these clubs this year, and a must win or tie game for AC St. Louis if they are to keep their playoff hopes alive.
AC St. Louis enters tonight’s match seven points behind the Puerto Rico Islanders for the eighth and final playoff position. St. Louis has three matches remaining, and Puerto Rico has just two. It is that scenario that sets up the must win or draw situation that AC St. Louis face tonight. The only way AC St. Louis can be eliminated from the playoffs this evening is with a loss to Miami. No other matches are being played tonight in the USSF Division 2 Pro League.
St. Louis enters this game on the heels of their most dramatic win of the season. Saturday night’s 2-1 stoppage time victory over Austin breathed new life into a club that was still feeling the effects of a 3-0 loss to Minnesota from the week before. The Minnesota loss severely damaged AC St. Louis’ playoff hopes, but the win over Austin suddenly gives the squad a second life in the playoff chase.
“After the loss to Minnesota it would have been easy for the team to pack it in,” reflected Head Coach Dale Schilly. “Saturday night against Austin was our best 90-minute performance. As low as we were last week, we are as high this week.”
Tonight is the beginning of a two-game road trip for AC St. Louis this week. The club will travel to Austin, Texas on Thursday in preparation for a Saturday night rematch with the Aztex. Austin is currently battling Rochester in the standings for the number one seed in the playoffs. Tonight’s match in Miami has no playoff implications for the Blues. Miami has been eliminated from the playoff chase, but remain just three points behind St. Louis. Miami will be looking to avenge a 3-1 loss suffered at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park on September 5.
Few changes are expected for Dale Schilly’s starting eleven, although 16-year sensation Luis Gil could possibly return to the starting lineup following his Saturday night heroics. Gil scored the game-winner in stoppage time against Austin just moments after the Aztex had tied the game with a stoppage time goal of their own.
Keys to the game tonight will most likely be the production of Mike Ambersley and Luke Kreamalmeyer. Between them the duo has accounted for 13 goals and six assists, which accounts for over 70% of the St. Louis goal scoring offense this year. Just an important as the scoring will be the play of the backline and particularly goalkeeper Alec Dufty, who will be looking to record his first shutout since August 6.
AC St. Louis has only lost once in their last five games, twice in their last ten, and are now 5-5-7 under Head Coach Dale Schilly and his staff of Blake Decker, John Vanbuskirk, and Tim Leonard.