What Is It Going To Take?

ST. LOUIS, MO (September 2, 2010) – With one month of soccer remaining AC St. Louis is still in the hunt for a spot in the USSF D-2 Pro League playoffs. The question at hand is what will the team need to do to grab at least the eighth and final playoff spot? A look at the numbers and schedule show that AC St. Louis, while not entirely in control of their own destiny, still have a lion’s share of the say as to whether we will have soccer in October here in St. Louis.

AC St. Louis will have to climb past three teams to reach the final playoff spot: Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota. Tampa Bay and Minnesota currently have 28 points heading into this weekend, while Baltimore sits on 24. AC St. Louis, with 23 points, will have to make up that five point gap and move at least one point past those two clubs to insure an eighth place finish.

The good news for AC St. Louis is that they have a game in hand on all three teams they are pursuing. St. Louis also has four of their final six games at home, and has become tough to beat at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, dropping just two home games in their last eight.

The schedule also matches them up against last place Miami twice, once at home this weekend on Sunday, September 5, and once again in Miami on September 22. AC St. Louis also gets one final crack at the team that has proven to be their season long nemesis, the NSC Minnesota Stars. St. Louis will host Minnesota on September 11 as the schedule gives them one last chance to beat the team which has taken seven points away from them in the final minutes of three games.

AC St. Louis will also have two tricky encounters, home and away, with the Austin Aztex. Austin already has secured a playoff berth, but will likely still need to bank points for playoff seeding when they face St. Louis. Austin will visit on September 18 with St. Louis heading to Texas on September 25. AC St. Louis will close out their season schedule when they host the playoff bound Rochester Rhinos on October 2. The three games against the leagues top two teams to date, Austin and Rochester, could prove vital depending on those clubs need to win versus resting their players.

With 18 possible points out there for the taking in the final six games AC St. Louis will probably need at least 9 of them to have a chance at making the playoffs. That math bodes well for a team that has played .500 soccer since suffering through a 1-7-1 start. AC St. Louis is 4-4-7 since then, and have shown themselves capable of earning better than half the points available in any single stretch of games.

One critical element will be finishing out matches. AC St. Louis has given up wins on three different occasions in second half stoppage time this year. Those points dropped in the final seconds represent exactly the number of points they need to be in a playoff spot right now.

AC St. Louis’ next home match is on Sunday afternoon, September 5 at 6:00 p.m. against Miami FC. Tickets are still available and can be obtained by calling 1-888-STL-GOAL, or by visiting www.ac-stlouis.com.

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