First Place on the Line Saturday in Eastern, Southern

The Eastern and Southern Division titles could be up for grabs this weekend as Rapid City FC and the Cleveland Crunch, as well as the Houston Bolt and Springfield Demize, square off for the final time. The season series and first place are on the line in both games. Cleveland and Springfield currently lead their respective season series, 2-1.

Cleveland, after suffering an 11-5 defeat, the worst in franchise history, has made revenge the theme this Saturday where they will return to a likely-sold-out Soccer Sportsplex in a rematch with Rapid City.

Rapid City FC (5-2) at Cleveland Crunch (6-2)
Season Series: Cleveland leads, 2-1

The Cleveland Crunch have competed for and won championship games in M2 so they've been in the spotlight before. For Rapid City FC, last week's game was the biggest game in team history. And one 11-5 win later, this week's game might be more important still. Cleveland leads Grand Rapids by a half game and Saturday is the fourth and final meeting between these two teams. To win the season series, Grand Rapids needs to not only win, but win by six goals, meaning win or lose Cleveland might at least have the tie-breaker as an ace in the hole. The Crunch are 15-0 at home since 2020.

Chicago Mustangs (4-2) at Brew City United (0-5)
Season Series: Chicago leads, 2-0

The Chicago Mustangs have not had too many problems with the Brew City Legends/United this year. And thanks to the aforementioned midseason shake up, Brew City is playing this "home" game at Chicago's Grand Sports Arena. The Mustangs need to take care of business and rack up wins to try to pick up ground on first place Omaha. Michael Marchionna (12 points and Luis Batalla (11 points) lead the Mustangs in scoring. Xavian Cruz and Hector Portillo lead Milwaukee with three points each. 

Springfield Demize (6-3) at Houston Bolt (6-3)
Season Series: Springfield leads, 2-1

Here's another season series and possibly a divisional title at stake. Springfield leads the season series 2-1 and the head-to-head goal differential 23-20. Both teams are tied with the Wichita Selection (4-3) in the loss column. Houston's Lucio Martinez (23 points) and Jeminson Mejia (21 points) are third and fourth in MLIS in scoring, respectively. Springfield's Desmond Williams (19 points) has declared himself, "Back from Injury and cleared for take off!" 

Detroit Waza Flo (1-6) at Cincinnati Swerve (2-4)
Season Series: Tied, 1-1

The Detroit Waza Flo have had a tough season, but their one victory came against Saturday's opponent, the Cincinnati Swerve. The Waza Flo will look to right the ship against a Swerve team that has lost three in a row. Cincinnati is 2-1 at home, while Detroit is 0-3 on the road. This is the Swerve's first home game since December 17. One bright spot for Cincinnati is Fin Sallows, who has 10 goals and 11 points in just three games.

Omaha Kings (6-0) at Illinois State Line Falcons (1-4)
Season Series: Omaha leads, 2-0

The Falcons have hung around in their two games with Omaha, while not really threatening the Kings. Omaha puts their undefeated record on the line again as they begin the second half of their schedule. Omaha is averaging just under 10 goals per game, led my Manuel Lira's 17 goals and 11 assists. Rockford has eight goals apiece from "El Tanque" Damian Bolanos and Jose Rodrigo Cruz. The Falcons have been buoyed by the additions of Omar Santillan and Alex Gomez.

Springfield Demize at Austin Emerald (0-7)
Season Series: Springfield leads, 3-0

This is a must win game for the Demize. Austin had a 5-1 first half lead against Springfield earlier this year before losing 10-6. Not only did they have their only solid lead of the year in that game, but the Emerald allowed a season-low 10 goals. Any wins by Austin this year could have a spoiler effect that could determine who wins the Southern Division.

Rapid City FC at Detroit Waza Flo
Season Series: Grand Rapids leads, 2-0

Like Cleveland, Detroit is looking for revenge against Grand Rapids, but may be in lesser position to do so. The Waza Flo lost their last meeting against Rapid City 27-4. Their previous meeting in Detroit, however, was only a 5-3 loss, so no matter what, you can probably expect an improved showing from Detroit.