The USL expansion Colorado Springs Switchbacks will play in their first playoff game Friday night at Sand Creek Stadium in Colorado Springs against the Seattle Sounders 2. They earned the 3rd seed in the tight Western Conference, which was contested right up to the last game of the season. Just 2 points separated the top 5 teams in the conference, with the top 6 advancing.
The Switchbacks head into the playoffs after a surprisingly successful regular season, finishing 14-10-4 and just 1 point out of the top seed. One of the few non MLS-affliated or owned clubs in the USL, they were dominant on their home turf going 9-3-2, including a 7 game winning streak. They face an S2 team that limped into the playoffs, clinching the 6th and final spot in the conference, after losing 6 of their final 8 games.
The teams met twice this year, with Seattle coming out the better, with a win at Starfire Stadium, and a tie at Sand Creek.
Switchback midfielder and captain Luke Vercollone summed up the teams excitement at earning a home field playoff game: "We love playing at home in front of our fans – we’ve shown that this season." Vercollone led the team in 14 goals, 4th best in the USL, and 9 assists, which tied him for second in the league. The veteran skipper was the franchises first player signing, and has become not only a leader on the field, but a leader in the community as well. Head coach, and former Colorado Rapids player, Steve Trittschuh praised his leadership, saying "I am more than happy with how Luke has performed," Trittschuh said. "He has really stepped up. The guys respect him because he goes about things the right way in games, in practice and off the field."
Should the Switchbacks win Friday night, they would travel next to Oklahoma City to face the second seeded Energy FC.
The game can be seen on Friday night at 7pm by clicking here:
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