Friday, April 1, 2011

USL Pro Preview: Wrap-up

In the last three days, I have given you all, my thoughts on how the teams in the USL Pro will finish in their divisions. Here's a recap of how I had them finishing.
1. River Plate Puerto Rico
2. Antigua Barracuda FC
3. Sevilla FC Puerto Rico
4. Los Angeles Blues
5. Puerto Rico United
1. Rochester Rhinos
2. Pittsburgh Riverhounds
3. Harrisburg City Islanders
4. Dayton Dutch Lions
5. FC New York
1. Charleston Battery
2. Richmond Kickers
3. Orlando City SC
4. Charlotte Eagles
5. Wilmington Hammerheads

The American Division is easily the toughest, with the National and International being about equal for second place, but if forced, I would have to give the edge to the National Division.

The full league table, will determine who gets home field advantage in the Semi-finals and Finals of the playoffs. This is because in the First Round, home field is determined by how the teams finish in their division (Excluding the 2 vs. 2 match up, see below). Here's how I think the full league table will end up:
1. Charleston Battery
2. Rochester Rhinos
3. Richmond Kickers
4. River Plate Puerto Rico
5. Orlando City SC
6. Pittsburgh Riverhounds
7. Antigua Barracuda FC
8. Harrisburg City Islanders
9. Sevilla FC Puerto Rico
10. Charlotte Eagles
11. Dayton Dutch Lions
12. Wilmington Hammerheads
13. Los Angeles Blues
14. Puerto Rico United
15. FC New York

If you have been keeping up with the USL Pro, then you know the playoff format, but if not here is a recap.

As you can see it is pretty obvious where the teams will fall in the playoff system if they finish how I predicted, but here is the playoffs set up, along with my predictions, round by round.

First Round (Winners in bold, Home team on left):
River Plate Puerto Rico vs. Antigua Barracuda FC
Rochester Rhinos vs. Harrisburg City Islanders
Charleston Battery vs. Orlando City SC
Richmond Kickers vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds

The first round should be all chalk, with the exception of my one upset to watch for; Pittsburgh over Richmond. Seed wise this wouldn't be, but Richmond would be playing at home and probably finish higher in the League Table, so I consider it an upset. The one that I won't predict, but I'll mention is Orlando over Charleston. Orlando has a team that could to go deep in the playoffs.

Semi-Finals (Winners in bold, Home team on left):
Charleston Battery vs. River Plate Puerto Rico
Rochester Rhinos vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds

And the chalk keeps coming. Charleston handles the International champs, while Rochester takes care of business up in New York. The rematch of the USL Second Division Championship game is not meant to be, and the Championship will be played between the Rhinos and the Battery at Blackbaud Stadium

Finals (Winners in bold, Home team on left):
Charleston Battery vs. Rochester Rhinos

This one was a tough decision. Obviously I'm a little bias towards the Battery, but I really do think that they are the best team. Charleston has the depth, experience, and even the youth to build a championship team this season. Charleston celebrates a second consecutive championship, while Rochester will have to wait another year for their first trophy since 2001.

I will be making as many posts as possible this USL Pro season, with my thoughts and predictions, as well as previews for most Charleston Battery games and recaps of as many of those games as I can.

If you need to contact me, e-mail me at

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