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LLeC – week 3 power rankings

The playoff picture has been decided!

After three crazy weeks of eCup action, we now know for certain those who are in… and those who are on the outside looking in.

This week, we’ll just be recapping how those teams got to their respective positions and what the final tables look like. Predictions in the playoffs are for later on in the midweek, when Danny takes over the Lower League eCup Twitch account and comes out with his Bracketology Show!

You can also check out the original predictions before the start of the season here, to my chagrin.

Also, at the bottom, you’ll find some interesting facts I’ve compiled about some outliers, both good and bad, from the eCup group stage as a whole.

In the meantime, here’s a look at where each team finished.

Premier Division

PC

Group A – Danubia has done it! The underdogs from Week 0 made me look like a fool all season long, and now Aaron Sexton will be gunning for the title. First, he’ll have to face Lansing in the semifinal, and second-placed Space United will get South Bend Lions on the other side of the PC bracket. Despite losing their final match, SUFC will have every reason to be confident they can reach the final as well. Oakland County salvaged a consolation win over Union Dubuque that also bumped them up to a respectable 0 GD. Due to a change in this year’s bracket, both the bottom dwellers will face each other again in a play-in round of sorts. Danubia gets a bye to the semifinals, while Space United will advance to the second round automatically.

Group A Final Table:

  1. Danubia Men’s Elite, 9 pts, +10 GD
  2. Space United FC, 6 pts, +1 GD
  3. Oakland County FC, 3 pts, 0 GD
  4. Union Dubuque FC, 0 pts, -11 GD

Group B – Delaware Rising grabbed a nice win over Dutch Guard to establish their place in 3rd, but all eyes were on the decider at the top of the table between South Bend Lions and Lansing Common. While the result wasn’t decisive, the draw was enough for the Lions to take the top spot on goal difference, earning a free pass to the semifinals as a result. Lansing will have to settle for a second round appearance, while Delaware and Dutch Guard will play in the first round.

Group B Final Table:

  1. South Bend Lions, 7 pts, +9 GD
  2. Lansing Common FC, 7 pts, +5 GD
  3. Delaware Rising FC, 3 pts, -6 GD
  4. Dutch Guard, 0 pts, -8 GD

QUALIFIED: all 8 teams due to tournament structure

Xbox

Group A – After a great battle with AFC Columbia, Delaware Rising are hard done by their second-place finish. The two sides played out a draw and are even on goal differential, but AFCC has the edge on goals scored. Jacksonville Armada have three points, but a positive goal differential could be just enough to get them into the playoffs with a wild card berth.

Group A Final Table:

  1. AFC Columbia, 7 pts, +7 GD
  2. Delaware Rising FC, 7 pts, +7 GD
  3. Jacksonville Armada, 3 pts, +1 GD
  4. Swan City Syndicate, 0 pts, -15 GD

Group B – DeKalb’s only blemish was a draw with last-placed finishers Hoboken FC, who are a great team on the Xbox and prove that this group might have been the toughest one to get out of across all consoles and divisions. The aforementioned Midwest Premier League darlings passed with flying colors, though, accruing 7 points and a whopping +13 goal differential. British-based 1874 Northwich will join them after a winner-advances clash with Hoboken, and that left Union Dubuque in third, struggling to be hopeful for a playoff spot because of their -4 GD.

Group B Final Table:

  1. DeKalb County United, 7 pts, +13 GD
  2. 1874 Northwich, 6 pts, -5 GD
  3. Union Dubuque FC, 3 pts, -4 GD
  4. Hoboken FC 1912, 1 pt, -4 GD

Group C – Metro have clinched first place after a late rescheduled match with bottom dwellers Danubia. Rebels qualify alongside them as an auto-bid, and United Serbians will get in, too, given their point total and goal differential is enough to get them a wild card spot.

Group C Final Table:

  1. Metro Louisville FC, 9 pts, +9 GD
  2. Rebels FC, 6 pts, +1 GD
  3. United Serbians SC, 3 pts, -3 GD
  4. Danubia Men’s Elite, 0 pts, -7 GD

Group D – A big win for Lansing puts them smack dab in the title conversation, and, more immediately, atop Group D. The Crows are still going through to the next round, but they’ll have to face a tougher opponent in the first round now. Dynamo St. Cloud got a needed victory, but it almost surely wasn’t by a large enough margin, as they’re left with a -5 goal difference.

Group D Final Table:

  1. Lansing Common, 9 pts, +7 GD
  2. Minneapolis City SC, 6 pts, +11 GD
  3. Dynamo FC St. Cloud, 3 pts, -5 GD
  4. Oakland County FC, 0 pts, -13 GD

Group E – The ‘Mingos got the name of their new calf wrong (Concacalf was superior; you know it and I know it), but they did everything right in the eCup group stage! Evan Warwick made sure of that, getting three wins in as many games. They took down the globally-hated Lane United in Week 3 to do so, sending Lane into third place and likely out of a playoff spot. They only managed two points, and that’s not going to cut it in a third-place pool chock full of 3-point teams. Tallahassee SC joins the pity party, finishing in fourth despite a valiant effort in a strong group. Hartford Athletic experienced a little of everything over the course of the group stage, getting a win, a draw, and a loss, which is enough to see them finish second and get an automatic playoff spot.

Group E Final Table:

  1. Forward Madison FC, 9 pts, +7 GD
  2. Hartford Athletic, 4 pts, +1 GD
  3. Lane United, 2 pts, -2 GD
  4. Tallahassee SC, 1 pt, -6 GD

Group F – The Krewe delivered big time at the most important moment, beating previously undefeated Elitists to clinch first place. Elitists will also go through on six points, while third-placed Bateaux will surely find their way in the playoffs as well as a wile card after getting the Connect Four Derby win over bitter rivals Hayward United.

Group F Final Table:

  1. Louisiana Krewe, 7 pts, +11 GD
  2. Elitists FC, 6 pts, +5 GD
  3. Bateaux FC, 4 pts, +1 GD
  4. Hayward United, 0 pts, -17 GD

Group G – After having the distinction of being on the latest episode of smallworld soccer report, one of smallworld’s two weekly podcasts, The Soccer Plug gets the distinction of qualifying for the next round as well. Gustavo Portillo only got one win in three games, and even that one was technically a forfeit from a club that dropped out. However, his two draws were enough alongside his forfeit to see him through. Northshore United took home the crown after scoring four on a previously-perfect defensive record in Kirkland FC. The Goats still go through despite their loss via the wild card.

Group G Unofficial Table:

  1. Northshore United, 7 pts, +7 GD
  2. The Soccer Plug, 5 pts, +5 GD
  3. Kirkland FC, 4 pts, +3 GD
  4. Cultures United, 0 pts, -15 GD

Group H – Inland Empire couldn’t manage a result against LSR, but they still finish second after Vacaville shook up the group and got their one and only win against Lacey. For Vacaville, their -12 goal differential means it’s all for naught, as they still finish fourth. It’s a painful pill for the Pocket Gophers to swallow, though, because it all but certainly leaves them out of the playoff picture given their -6 GD. Inland would have been sweating out some results elsewhere if they were a third-placed team, but as a second place finisher, they don’t need to worry about a wild card berth.

Group H Final Table:

  1. Lone Star Republic, 9 pts, +14 GD
  2. Inland Empire FC, 3 pts, +4 GD
  3. Lacey Pocket Gophers, 3 pts, -6 GD
  4. Vacaville Elite, 3 pts, -12 GD

Group I – San Antonio Runners have blatantly stolen a playoff spot from LA Wolves. Not only did they keep the Wolves from what would have been a second-place auto spot with their surprise singular win, but they’ve also kept them out of contention for a third-place wild card due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. Their -8 goal differential will destine them for the same fate as LA, but for the Wolves, it’s devastating, as they would have been in decent shape to qualify with a -1 goal difference. Meanwhile, Sporting Arizona goes through despite losing out to group winners Oxnard Guerreros, who will be a tough out for anyone in the console. They bounced back from a surprise loss to Wolves and found their way into first, despite coming into the final week with nothing guaranteed.

Group I Final Table:

  1. Oxnard Guerreros, 6 pts +8 GD
  2. Sporting Arizona FC, 6 pts, +1 GD
  3. San Antonio Runners, 3 pts, -8 GD
  4. LA Wolves, 3 pts, -1 GD

QUALIFIED: Auto-qualifiers; Oxnard Guerreros, Sporting Arizona, Lone Star Republic, Inland Empire, The Soccer Plug, Northshore United, Louisiana Krewe, Elitists, Forward Madison, Hartford Athletic, Lansing Common, Minneapolis City, Metro Louisville, Rebels FC, DeKalb County, 1874 Northwich, AFC Columbia, Delaware Rising. Wild Card spots; Kirkland FC, Bateaux FC, Jacksonville Armada, United Serbians, Union Dubuque, Dynamo FC St. Cloud.

PlayStation

Group A – Because of a rescheduled match, it was all still to be decided here until the very last moment. The FIFA pro behind FC Motown got out of a tricky situation by beating Rebels FC and securing second place. Rebels will still go through as a wild card, while San Lee FC are the biggest benefactors of the result, grabbing first place in the group.

Group A Unofficial Table:

  1. San Lee FC, 6 pts, +6 GD
  2. FC Motown, 6 pts, +2 GD
  3. Rebels FC, 6 pts, +1 GD
  4. Danubia Men’s Elite, 0 pts, -9 GD

Group B – By all measures, it was a great start to the eCup campaign by smallworld! Austin’s been true to his promise of silverware so far, earning a perfect record and a +16 goal differential from his three group stage games. Biscayne Bay earned a crucial win on the final matchday to secure second place, while Bateaux FC was sent down to third on negative goal differential and just three points, putting their playoff potential in peril.

Group B Final Table:

  1. smallworld soccer, 9 pts, +16 GD
  2. Biscayne Bay SC, 6 pts, +4 GD
  3. Bateaux FC, 3 pts, -1 GD
  4. TriSocPod, 0 pts, -19 GD

Group C – The Rogues were given a shock by their opening day draw with La Barra, but they cruised from then on, outscoring their worthy opponents and earning a first place position on goal differential. La Barra qualified easily as well, and because neither Agema/SKADI nor Delaware could find a winner in their battle, they’re both out of the running for a wild card spot, only having accrued one point each.

Group C Final Table:

  1. Providence City FC, 7 pts, +13 GD
  2. La Barra 608, 7 pts, +6 GD
  3. Agema FC/SKADI Soccer, 1 pt, -7 GD
  4. Delaware Rising FC, 1 pt, -12 GD

Group D – So I was wrong, and a lot of other people were right. As predicted by the people, Connor Swatts took all comers in Group D representing Brickyard Battalion. Magic City Brigade also advances, despite losing to Brickyard on the final day. Colorado Springs is in a decent position despite only sitting on three points, as they’ve managed to maintain a positive goal difference that will serve them well in their quest for a wild card spot.

Group D Final Table:

  1. Brickyard Battalion, 9 pts, +11 GD
  2. Magic City Brigade, 6 pts, +4 GD
  3. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, 3 pts, +1 GD
  4. eUSL, 0 pts, -16 GD

Group E – Lansing Common’s win in Week 3 was enough to see them through, but this group belonged to Sunflower State from the beginning. They grabbed three wins from three games and look like a strong competitor in the upcoming playoffs. Meanwhile, Steel FC never got off the ground and are nowhere near a wild card spot despite technically finishing in third.

Group E Final Table:

  1. Sunflower State FC, 9 pts, +8 GD
  2. Lansing Common FC, 3 pts, -7 GD
  3. Steel FC, 0 pts, -9 GD

Group F – This was a pretty tight group, but in the end, Black Rock FC did enough to qualify as the winners. Oakland County also progresses as the second-placed team, showing some real quality in their three matches. Hoboken FC won’t be in the running for a playoff spot after only getting one point from three games.

Group F Final Table:

  1. Black Rock FC, 7 pts, +7 GD
  2. Oakland County FC, 6 pts, +7 GD
  3. Hoboken FC, 1 pt, -6 GD

Group G – In the final group of three, there’s an interesting technicality that could possibly come into play. A fourth team in Group G dropped out at the last minute, but unlike the other groups of three, these teams couldn’t match up with another group to play cross-group games with. As a result, they each got a freebie 5-0 win to their credit. For that reason, last-placed Jacksonville Armada is technically on three points, despite not winning any games. It probably won’t matter since they still managed to rack up a -4 goal differential, but it’s an interesting scenario all the same.

Meanwhile, Greenville Triumph’s Giovanny Cañas needed no such drama to advance, grabbing two wins from two games (but technically three) and leaving no room for doubt. South Bend Lions also go through after splitting with their two group opponents.

Group G Final Table:

  1. Greenville Triumph SC, 9 pts, +12 GD
  2. South Bend Lions, 6 pts, +7 GD
  3. Jacksonville Armada FC, 3 pts, -4 GD
  4. DROPPED OUT

Group H – Well, Louisville Lightning bounced back nicely from getting annihilated in Week 1 by Harrington. Unfortunately, that poor goal differential will stick with them and cause them to be on the outside looking in, despite being level on points with quite a few clubs who will earn a wild card. The aforementioned Harrington finished the job, while Space United earned a second-place finish.

Group H Final Table:

  1. FC Harrington, 9 pts, +17 GD
  2. Space United, 6 pts, +4 GD
  3. Louisville Lightning, 3 pts, -16 GD
  4. San Francisco Metro FC, 0 pts, -5 GD

Group I – Dynamo suffered a surprising setback against last-place Union Dubuque, but that just goes to prove that this was a group of death, if not the definitive one. No harm, no foul for the Minnesota side, as they still finish in second thanks to a Tulsa win over Cook Street. Tulsa finishes in first, while the Canadian club recently featured by smallworld find themselves in a real pickle, sitting on 3 points but with a -6 goal differential.

Group I Final Table:

  1. Tulsa Athletic, 7 pts, +7 GD
  2. Dynamo FC St. Cloud, 4 pts, 0 GD
  3. Cook Street United FC, 3 pts, -6 GD
  4. Union Dubuque, 3 pts, -1 GD

Group J – A very important draw played out between Lone Star and SPAM, one that puts both squads in great position to advance, despite SPAM sitting in third. With four points, though, they put other bubble teams who are on three points in a state of anxiety. At the top of the table, AFC Mobile didn’t need any of that last-minute stress to see their way through the group comfortably, while Lacey struggled throughout in a quality group and will go home early.

Group J Final Table:

  1. AFC Mobile, 9 pts, + 8 GD
  2. Lone Star Republic, 4 pts, +4 GD
  3. SPAM FC, 4 pts, +3 GD
  4. Lacey Pocket Gophers, 0 pts, -15 GD

Group K – Two straight problem groups for the bubble watch teams with three points. Peak was able to surprise the group leaders and live up to their name, climbing the summit of Group K with a win over Miracle Hill. Inland Empire got a predictable victory over Cultures United, who are well and truly out of the competition, but we’ve now got a logjam at not just 6 points apiece between the top three, but also an even 5 GD for each team. Because they’re all inseparable as far as head-to-head record and goal difference, it comes down to goals scored, where Peak has a 1-goal advantage over Inland Empire and a 3-goal advantage over Miracle Hill. All three will still qualify, but the order could be important for matchup purposes in the playoffs, and it’s been decided by the finest of margins.

  1. Peak XI FC, 6 pts, +5 GD
  2. Inland Empire FC, 6 pts, +5 GD
  3. AC Miracle Hill, 6 pts, +5 GD
  4. Cultures United, 0 pts, -15 GD

Group L – Inland Empire Republic started brightly, but they couldn’t deliver results when it counted, and that could well have caused them to come up short on a playoff bid. Their loss to Oxnard leaves them with 3 points from 3 games, and worse, a -4 GD. The Guerreros clinched first place with that win, while Vlora FC took home second.

  1. Oxnard Guerreros, 9 pts, +13 GD
  2. Vlora FC, 6 pts, +9 GD
  3. Inland Empire Republic, 3 pts, -4 GD
  4. City Legends FC, 0 pts, -19 GD

QUALIFIED: Auto-qualifiers: Oxnard Guerreros, Vlora, Peak XI, Inland Empire, AFC Mobile, Lone Star Republic, Tulsa Athletic, Dynamo St. Cloud, FC Harrington, Space United, Greenville Triumph, South Bend Lions, Black Rock, Oakland County, Sunflower State, Lansing Common, Brickyard Battalion, Magic City Brigade, Providence City, La Barra, smallworld, Biscayne Bay, San Lee FC. Wild card spots; AC Miracle Hill, SPAM FC, Colorado Springs Switchbacks, Bateaux FC, Inland Empire Republic, Jacksonville Armada, Cook Street United.

smallworld Second Division

Xbox

Group A Final Table:

  1. Metro Louisville FC, 9 pts, +7 GD
  2. Peal XI FC, 4 pts, +1 GD
  3. Lansing Common FC II, 4 pts, 0 GD
  4. Winter Haven United, 0 pts, -8 GD

Group B Final Table:

  1. CS Montreal ’67, 9 pts, +12 GD
  2. Lansing Common FC II, 4 pts, -4 GD
  3. Hayward United FC, 3 pts, -2 GD
  4. eUSL II, 1 pt, -6 GD

Group C Final Table:

  1. Tallahassee SC, 6 pts, +13 GD
  2. Jacksonville Armada FC, 6 pts, +3 GD
  3. Cook Street United FC, 4 pts, +1 GD

Group D Final Table:

  1. Lansing Common FC II, 7 pts, +7 GD
  2. Oly Town Artesians, 3 pts, -9 GD
  3. Swan City Syndicate, 0 pts, -15 GD
PlayStation

Group A Final Table:

  1. Magic City Brigade, 7 pts, +4 GD
  2. TriSocPod, 6 pts, +7 GD
  3. Space United II, 2 pts, -3 GD
  4. Bell County FC, 1 pt, -8 GD

Group B Final Table:

  1. Space United II, 7 pts, +18 GD
  2. Little Rock Rangers, 6 pts, +8 GD
  3. Oly Town Artesians, 4 pts, +4 GD
  4. Inter Philadelphia FC, 0 pts, -30 GD

Group C Final Table:

  1. La Barra 608, 5 pts, +7 GD
  2. Vlora FC, 5 pts, +5 GD
  3. eUSL II, 3 pts, 0 GD
  4. Jacksonville Armada FC, 1 pt, -12 GD

Group D Final Table:

  1. Metro Louisville FC, 6 pts, +9 GD
  2. eUSL II, 3 pts, +5 GD
  3. Space United II, 0 pts, -14 GD

Fun Facts:

  • The only player to draw every single match was Alex Napoles of eUSL II in Group C of the smallworld Second Division PlayStation console. He finished third in his group and will not advance to the playoffs.
  • The highest goal differential across all divisions and consoles was +17, achieved by FC Harrington in Group H of the Premier Division PlayStation console. They won their group (obviously) and their tally was bolstered by a 12-0 win over Louisville Lightning in their first game. smallworld soccer’s +16 GD in Group B of the same division and console came in second across all divisions.
  • Not counting withdrawals and smallworld Second Division teams, only two clubs failed to score throughout the tournament. They are eUSL from Group D of the PlayStation console and Cultures United of Group K on the same console.
  • Danny from smallworld correctly predicted just 3 out of 12 groups in the PlayStation Premier Division, Groups B, G, and I. In the Xbox Premier Division, he didn’t accurately predict a single group out of nine. In PC, he didn’t correctly predict either group. He didn’t predict any of the smallworld Second Division groups correctly, either. On the whole, he only correctly predicted 3 of the 31 different groups in the eCup.

Well, that’s all she wrote for the group stage of a fantastic Lower League eCup event so far! Stay tuned for the Bracketology Show soon to come, and be sure to continue following the eCup as the action really gets going!

Stay weird and support local soccer!

Blessings,

Danny

By danny from smallworld

writer, founder, and owner of smallworld soccer. college student, soccer supporter, and underdog-lover. unashamed to follow Jesus, not cultural Christianity. the teams i support are all p trash rn: Atlanta United, Watford, Real Oviedo, Werder Bremen, and CS Herediano among many others.

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