BIMRINGHAM, AL (Oct. 14, 2021) – Two things are known, at present. Birmingham Legion FC will host a playoff game in the Magic City for the first time in the club’s three-year history on Sunday, November 7, and the team currently controls its own destiny regarding the number one seed in the USL Championship Central Division with three games remaining in the regular season.
What is unknown, is Legion’s potential opponent in the first round of the playoffs. The top four teams from each division in the regular season will advance into a regionalized single-elimination bracket. Division winners will be matched with the fourth-place team, while second-placed teams will meet third-placed teams from the opposing division in the Conference Quarterfinals, matching up teams from the Atlantic Division and Central Division in the Eastern Conference.
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FiveThirtyEight currently gives Legion FC a 59% chance to finish first in the Central, but, whether its first or second, potential opponent’s include Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (currently in second in the East on 51 points), the Charlotte Independence (third, 49) and Miami FC (fourth, 48).
All three East teams have remarkably similar statistical profiles this season. Pittsburgh has played one more game than MIA and CLT, and sports a 15-8-6 record and +16 goal differential, while Charlotte 15-9-4, +15 and Miami is 14-8-6, +13. PIT has scored 49 goals (fifth-most in the league) and allowed 33 (tied for sixth-fewest), CLT has scored 48 and given up 33 as well, while MIA has bagged 49 of its own and allowed 36.
As of today, FiveThirtyEight has Charlotte as the slight leader in the race for the Eastern Division’s two-seed, at 44%, with Pittsburgh at 41% and Miami at 12% and most-likely to finish fourth. Head-to-head, Birmingham has knocked off Miami, by a 1-0 score line on June 23, and beat Charlotte 2-1 at home on September 26, but has not played Pittsburgh in 2021.
Following the Conference Quarterfinals round, home advantage will be determined by total points earned, regardless of division rank, for the remainder of the postseason, so continuing the current hot streak, one game at a time, will remain front of mind for the Legion FC squad and staff.
Birmingham’s next game is this Sunday, October 17, at OKC Energy FC at 5:00PM and will air locally on My68 and nationally on ESPN+. Then team returns home Sunday, October 24, to take on Sporting KC II at 4:00PM before a potentially colossal contest against Louisville City FC on Saturday, October 30 for all the marbles on the last day of the regular season. Fans can get tickets for the 24th and 30th HERE.
The Championship season will conclude with the USL Championship Final on Sunday, November 28 with kickoff set for 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN or ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes.
To stay up to date with all Legion FC news, such as a playoff game announcement in the coming weeks, follow @bhmlegion on social media, and download the Legion FC app today!