The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Midwest Playoff Final is set: Central champion Quad City Eagles FC (9-1-2) will host Great Lakes playoff champion Erie Admirals SC (8-3-3) on Saturday, July 20. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 PM (CT) at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf (Iowa).
Quad City clinched the Central Flight title last weekend with a pair of victories (8-1 vs Eau Claire and 4-2 over Madison). With nothing more to accomplish, the Eagles dropped their last two games of the regular season. Second-place Milwaukee Bavarian SC (8-1-3) did close the season with two victories, including the season finale 2-0 over the Eagles, but finished 3 points behind Quad City.
Erie took a different path to reach the Midwest Final, winning the Great Lakes Flight 4-team playoff. Great Lakes rival Detroit City FC finished the regular season undefeated at 11-1-0 and hosted the playoff July 13-14. Erie Admirals were the third seed and faced second-seed FC Buffalo (8-0-4) in the semifinal. A convincing 5-2 victory over Buffalo earned Erie a spot against Detroit City in the championship.
The two championship game clubs played twice during the regular season with Detroit City winning both (3-0 and 2-1). In front of a home crowd of 2,181 City fans, Detroit looked the favorite. A 1-1 game at halftime, Detroit City missed on several chances in the half. Shots at the break were 12-2 in favor of the host club. The second half was a different story. Erie dominated the final 45 minutes scoring three goals to win 4-1. For a game recap go here.
With a 586-mile road trip to Bettendorf, Erie could be considered the underdog. Coming off a huge victory over the top NPSL club, Quad City will be facing a confident group.