Let’s break down what has to happen as we approach the final couple of games in the Lone Star Conference of the NPSL.
First up, the Lubbock Matadors have clinched a playoff spot and 1st round hosting as of right now after Wednesday’s win over Austin United FC. Via their 2-1 victory over Brownsville, they hold the initial tiebreaker if those teams are tied and are guaranteed to host their 1st round playoff game at Pirate Stadium. But it is in the best interest of the Matadors to win 1 and tie 1 of their remaining 3 games to secure home pitch advantage throughout the NPSL Playoffs.
Let’s look first at the NPSL teams who have been eliminated from playoff contention:
Central Texas Coyotes FC best they can do is 7 points which would be 0.636 Pts/GP
CF10 Houston FC best they can do is 13 points which would be 1.3 Pts/GP
Austin United FC best they can do is 14 points which would be 1.4 Pts/GP
Ft Worth Vaqueros FV best they can do is 15 points which would be 1.36 Pts/GP
The 6 teams fighting for the four NPSL playoff spots are the following:
Denton Diablos FC best they can do is 18 points which would be 1.63 Pts/GP and the worst they can do is 15 points which would be 1.36 Pts/GP.
Laredo Heat SC best they can do is 19 points which would be 1.72 Pts/GP and the worst they can do is 13 points which would be 1.18 Pts/GP.
Corinthians FC of San Antonio best they can do is 22 points which would be 2.2 Pts/GP and the worst they can do is 13 points which would be 1.18 Pts/GP.
Brownsville NPSL best they can do is 25 points which would be 2.27 Pts/GP while the worst they can do is 19 points which would be 1.72 Pts/GP.
West Texas FC best they can do is 27 points which would be 2.45 Pts/GP and worst they can do is 18 points which would be 1.63 Pts/GP.
Lubbock Matadors best they can do is 33 points which would be 3 Pts/GP while the worst they can do is 24 points which would be 2.18 Pts/GP.
Saturday’s game in Denton at Texas Women’s University is a must win game for the Diablos. After their 3 all tie versus CF10 Houstonon Wednesday, their playoff chances are hanging on a thread. If Denton falls to the Matadors any win by Laredo or the Corinthians FC will eliminate the Diablos. A tie for the Diablos vs the Matadors will help, but then they are depending on other matches around the conference to help. One of the matches will be West Texas FC hosting Corinthians FC of San Antonio at the same time in Midland.
Laredo faces Austin on Sunday. They will know what they have to do as the Denton / Matadors & Corinthians / West Texas matches will determine their needs. Depending on those match results and if they win versus Austin, their game vs the Corinthians COULD be a playoff play-in game.
The West Texas Dustico between the Lubbock Matadors and the West Texas FC could determine the regular season champion. If the Matadors take care of business versus Denton, all the Matadors have to do is a simple draw versus West Texas on July 5th and they will claim the Lone Star Conference Championship no matter what happens on Saturday the 8th in Midland.
Would the Matadors give up the Dustico trophy in exchange for resting their players in advance of a playoff tilt on Tuesday July 11th. Probably, but don’t count out Paul Gilbert and the Matadors yet.