It’s been a long and wild season in Georgia, but we’ve finally got everything sorted and we know what we’re looking at for the playoffs.
We also know who’s been relegated to Division 1 for next year, and this summer we’ll find out who replaces them.
Here’s a look at the power rankings, which are the same as the final table.
- Kalonji Pro-Profile, +0 from last week (W 3-0 over ATLetic AND W 3-0 over LSA). The former juggernauts who took some time off came back and took the spoils in the regular season. Kalonji sealed the deal with two wins this weekend, and that gives them an ideal position for the upcoming playoffs. Their quarterfinal opponent is Rovers, who they dispatched 4-0 a few weeks back. We’ll see if they can get a similar result this weekend.
- FC Matata, +0 from last week (W 3-0 over Stone Mountain). A forfeit win sees Matata get what’s really a below-average scoreline against the worst side in the league. They’re going to see seventh-ranked Seas Jamaica United in the first round of the playoffs this weekend, a repeat of one of the best fixtures all season. Matata eked out a 5-4 win over their playoff opponents, and they’d much prefer a more comfortable win this time around to see themselves through to the semifinals.
- LSA Limeño, +0 from last week (L 0-3 to Kalonji). LSA just weren’t up for this one, and Kalonji punished them for an off night. The Salvadorian side haven’t finished off the season in the best way, but they get a favorable matchup against Potros FC in the first round and also avoid Kalonji in the second round if they proceed. They could certainly make a division title run with the talent they have, but the midseason loss of Langston Blackstock to USL League Two’s SSA Kings has made its mark.
- Atlanta Elephants, +0 from last week (D 1-1 with Forest Rovers). The 1-1 draw for Elephants is underwhelming, and a win would have given them third place and a Division Cup spot. That said, though, it’s been a strong regular season from the Ivorians, and they host Atletico Atlanta, a team they drew 0-0 with last time out, in a bid to play the winner of Kalonji/Rovers in the second round.
- Atletico Atlanta, +0 from last week (no match). Atletico are now confirmed to face Elephants in the coming weekend, knowing Kalonji potentially waits in the next phase of the playoffs. It’s a far cry from last season’s perfect run, but Atletico is always a threat and will still set their sights on another National Playoff run. They’ve got the attacking talent to do it, but will they stay disciplined enough?
- Potros FC, +0 from last week (no match). Potros have done well for themselves to make the playoffs after a last-placed finish last year. They have a pretty favorable matchup against a sputtering LSA, so perhaps they could keep the magic going this season.
- Seas Jamaica All-Stars, +0 from last week (no match). Seas have been playing their best soccer of late, and they’ll face a Matata squad they really should have beaten the first time around. It’ll be a matter of defending well for a team that put four goals past Matata last time out, all without the help of recently-returned Akinni James. It’ll be a fascinating first-round fixture this weekend.
- Rovers FC, +0 from last week (no match). The crazy sequence that would have seen Rovers miss out on a playoff spot in their maiden season didn’t materialize, so they get a first taste of UPSL playoff soccer this weekend. Don’t count them out, either; Kalonji are high-quality, but Rovers have taken some top clubs by surprise over the course of the season.
- Forest Rovers FC, +1 from last week (D 1-1 with Elephants). They won’t see the playoffs, but a single point allows Forest Rovers to survive and stay in the top flight for another season. They’ll feel grateful for that, and it’s deserved from our perspective. They did just enough to stay up, and they’ve got the quality to be a permanent fixture in the Prem.
- Club ATLetic, -1 from last week (L 0-3 to Kalonji). It’s all imploded on the final day for ATLetic. They showed promise at various times throughout the season, but the manager of the club has seen a majority of his starting eleven leave mid-season and a wave of controversy over the last few weeks. It’s all come to a climax with a 3-0 forfeit loss to Kalonji, and because Forest Rovers got a point against Elephants, ATLetic will be spending next season in Division 1. Expect them to dominate down there and find their way back quickly.
- FC Stone Mountain, +0 from last week (L 0-3 to Matata). A forfeit is the last action of the spring for Stone Mountain, who will be somewhat relieved to see a tough season come to a close. It’s been tough for them all season long.
next week’s fixtures
8) Rovers v 1) Kalonji
5) Atletico v 4) Elephants
6) Potros v 3) LSA
7) Seas v 2) Matata
The quarterfinals await! What a ride of a regular season it’s been. smallworld is moving on to new leagues for the power rankings this summer, but stay tuned for a guest writer to keep us updated on the proceedings in the playoffs!
Thanks for reading this spring and support local soccer!