With four games remaining in the season, there remain a number of permutations in the playoff qualification picture though Sunday’s clash between Stegman’s Old Boys and Centennial will do much to determine the shape of the race.
With a victory, the Old Boys will remain in third place and be 7 points clear of Centennial and, assuming a win against Celtic, 6 points clear of Team Awesome with three to play. With the Old Boys still to play the top two, that cushion could prove critical. Anything less than a win for the SOBs though and this race will go down to the wire.
The Old Boys, coming off of a thrilling 2-1 victory over Team Awesome, are unbeaten in their last four matches and showing great form. Centennial, on the other hand, are coming into the match on the back of a 0-0 draw with bottom side United and haven’t won in three matches. That said, the first meeting between these two sides, a 1-1 draw at Arlington Park, threw the form book out the window, and with both teams needing to take maximum points this match could very well spring an upset.
“Centennial were so hot when they played us earlier this season” commented General Manager Nick Sindt “that they could have taken a crap, wrapped it in tinfoil and sold it to me as earrings. And I would have bought those earrings! For my wife, of course.”
Defender Dan Hoedeman returns on Sunday, but the Old Boys remain far from full strength. In addition to long-term absentees Cole Erickson, Justin Dzelzkalns and Ben Savitt, captain Jon Bisswurm remains out with a hairline fracture compounded by a severely strained ankle and midfielder Dan Erickson is questionable.
Bisswurm noted “injuries are the reasons that clubs like ours have such big squads. We’ve been rotating players, working through injuries and spending a lot of time in the FIFA lab. Well, I have been spending a lot of time in the FIFA lab. For the good of the team, of course.”
The Old Boys kick-off at 6:30 on Sunday away to Centennial at Rice Lake Field in Lino Lakes, Minnesota.