Chicago Faces Last, Best Chance to Catch Omaha

All of the division race focus has been on the Eastern and Southern Divisions since the Omaha Kings beat the Chicago Mustangs twice in a row in January. A month and a half later, the Mustangs have won three straight and Omaha is still undefeated at 7-0. Trailing by two games, Chicago has a chance to make one final push for a Central Division title when they host the Kings on Sunday.  Both teams also have games Saturday. If Chicago beats Milwaukee and Omaha loses to Rockford, the Mustangs could even move into a tie for first with a win on Sunday.

While the top of the Eastern Division is idle this week, the top three Southern Division teams will be in action. The Springfield Demize visit the Wichita Selection. Saturday's game is the season finale for Springfield. Wichita can still win the division by winning their last five games, three of which are against the winless Austin Emerald.

Houston Bolt (7-3) at Austin Emerald (0-8)
Season Series: Houston leads, 3-0

The Bolt have won three in a row and are looking to put distance on Springfield and Wichita. Austin is 0-8, but is coming off their best performance of the year, a 6-4 loss to Springfield. Houston's Jeminson Mejia (27 points), Lucio Martinez (16 goals, 25 points), Irvin Ramirez (17 assists), and Jordi Cobo (19 points) are all over the MLIS leaderboards. Midseason call-up Gabe Enciso is 5-0 in the nets with the Bolt.

Omaha Kings (7-0) at Illinois State Line Falcons (1-5)
Season Series: Omaha leads, 3-0

The Kings are 3-0 against Rockford and 7-0 overall. The Falcons have fared progressively worse in each meeting with Omaha. When the teams played last week Rockford rallied from a 4-0 deficit only to give up a 5-4 lead and lose by a strong margin, 14-8. Manuel Lira leads MLIS with 21 goals and is second with 33 points. Kings goalkeeper Efren Flores has backstopped all seven wins.

Springfield Demize (7-4) at Wichita Selection (4-3)
Season Series: Wichita leads, 2-1

The Demize need a lot of help to take the Southern Division, but first they need to beat Wichita, which would give them an 8-4 record. Springfield struggled last weekend with a 17-5 loss in Houston and a scare from winless Austin. Leonardo Borges had a hat trick in Springfield's win over the Austin. Desmond Williams (22 points) and Dominique Salcedo (16 goals) lead Springfield. Radley Arnold leads Wichita with 19 points in seven games. The Selection won the first meeting between the teams in Wichita 11-1.

Chicago Mustangs (5-2) at Brew City United (0-6)
Season Series: Chicago leads, 3-0

Chicago has outscored Milwaukee 29-10 in three meetings this season. This is United's first home game at their new venue Uihlein Soccer Park. Bruce Ruiz, Ramon Orozco, and Gabriel Uno are riding hot streaks, while Michael Marchionna (two goals in his last three games) has cooled off. David Valdivia leads Milwaukee in scoring with four points, which all came in United's 10-5 loss in Chicago last week.

Omaha Kings at Chicago Mustangs
Season Series: Omaha leads, 2-0

Chicago and Omaha's seasons could look very different now if either or both previous meetings between these teams went a little differently. Chicago lost both, but by 9-8 and 6-4 scores. Both games were tied in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs lost their first game of the season on January 15 thanks to a Daniel Zuckweiler goal with 14 seconds left in regulation.

Cincinnati Swerve (3-4) at Detroit Waza Flo (1-8)
Season Series: Cincinnati leads, 2-1

Cincinnati capitalized on Detroit's lack of offense last week with a 9-2 home win. Now the teams return to Detroit City Fieldhouse, the scene of the Waza Flo's only win of the year so far. Detroit won that game 6-4 on January 29. Fin Sallows has given Cincinnati a big boost with 16 points in four games. Constantino Wells, with a modest eight points in eight games, has been Detroit's most consistent performer.