Playoff Implications as Aztex Host Sockers Tonight
The Playoff Picture
The Aztex lost their 449-minute shutout streak, and their first game of the season Wednesday night in Laredo, 1-0. Still, with every team in the Mid South Division now having played 10 games, and having four left to play, the Aztex (8-1-1) have a five-point lead over Laredo, and six over OKC, with the top two going to the PDL playoffs.
At the same time, though, the Aztex are keeping an eye on the Southeast Division as well – the other half of the Southern Conference – because the team with the best record in the conference earns home-field advantage for the Conference playoffs, if they submit a bid to host them. (The Aztex have said they they would do so, and the games would be Friday and Sunday, July 26 and 28.)
As of now, Ocala and Panama Beach are both 7-2 on the season, four points back of the Aztex, but with one more game left to play, and pretty easy schedules. So it may well be that the Aztex need to win out to avoid another playoff trip to Florida. The Aztex last season ended in Orlando, where they beat Ocala in the semifinal, but fell to the Orlando City U-23s in the conference championship.
• The Sockers (3-5) are the only team in the division the Aztex haven't faced this year; they'll see them again in Midland in two weeks, on the final weekend of the regular season.
• The Aztex will be without prolific striker Tucker Hume, serving a automatic suspension for a red card Wednesday in Laredo.
• Get there early to see local country band Brass Buckle playing a full set pre-game, 6:30-7:15pm.
(Pts.; W-L-D; Goal Differential)
Mid South Division
25 Austin Aztex (8-1-1; +19)
20 Laredo Heat (6-2-2; +14)
19 Oklahoma City (6-3-1; +10)
11 West Texas Sockers (3-5-2; -4)
07 Houston Dutch Lions (2-7-1; -13)
04 El Paso Patriots (1-8-1; -26)
Southeast Division Contenders
21 Ocala Stampede (7-2-0; +20)
21 Panama Beach Pirates (7-2-0; +5)
19 Orlando City U-23s (6-4-1; +5)
The rest of the Aztex schedule:
Fri., 7/5, 7:30pm - West Texas Sockers at House Park
Sat., 7/13, 7:30pm - Oklahoma City at House Park
Thur., 7/18, 7:30pm - at West Texas Sockers
Sat., 7/20, 9:00pm - at El Paso Patriots