NPSL Weekly: Final Four Begins

Conference champions to be decided
by Daniel Casey   |   Thursday, July 25, 2013

NPSL Weekly – column on the NPSL and the league's clubs, players and owners

This weekend the NPSL’s Final Four will get underway. Saturday will see the Sonoma County Sol host FC LVU Sonic and RVA FC host the Erie Admirals.

FC LVU Sonic has been in this situation before having won the league title in 2012 and is looking to defend it.

Similarly, the Erie Admirals are no strangers to making deep playoff runs. Since 2009, Erie has only missed the playoffs once and were the league’s 3rd place winner in 2011.

This year’s West Conference winner, Sonoma County, has a strong history in the playoffs (league champions in 2009), but over the past few years have faltered a bit.

Then there is RVA FC, an expansion side that will now have at least made it to the national semifinals in its first year.

Thus, it is anyone’s guess which teams will make it through to the championship match. A scenario that sees FC LVU Sonic face off against Erie Admirals in the final makes a lot of sense since these 2 teams regularly find that little bit of drive, luck or energy to put them just ahead of their opposition. Of course, a sensible gambler would put odds on the defending champions.

Yet just as likely is the gambler throwing all they have behind the underdog RVA FC. Sonoma County and RVA FC are the only remaining undefeated teams in the league, their regular season records being 9-3-0 and 6-2-0, respectively. I have to think that Sonoma County will have the advantage over FC LVU Sonic and that RVA FC is the favorite over Erie.

In a move that will certainly expand the league’s national presence, Tourbeau Sports will provide national online broadcasting of the semifinals and final. Live stream and on-demand video will finally allow non-local supporters to watch the league’s biggest matches.

This move also gives a platform for the young players of Erie, Lehigh Valley, Sonoma and Richmond to display their ability and increase their exposure. With the semifinal matches separated by more than 2,000 miles, having this opportunity can only enhance the league and the teams’ profile.

One hopes that this move will grow into having several matches a week made available to stream online for next season. 

Daniel CASEY

Carthage College Univ. of Notre Dame
Club Domestic:
Chicago Fire & Minnesota Stars
Club Foreign:
Manchester United
Founder/editor of the literary magazine Gently Read Literature, active but barely read poet and literary critic, and an occasional English professor. Never got to play soccer until his mid-30s, so he is routinely schooled by U10 crowd at pick-up games.