The Croatian Eagles will field split squads on Saturday, with one team in Michigan for a Great Lakes Premier League match and the other in Brookfield for a Wisconsin Soccer Leagues Major Division semifinal.
Manager Alex Toth, who oversees both teams, wrote in a text message Friday that he tried to split the rosters evenly. His task was further complicated by injuries to several players and others who aren't available because of other obligations.
"It's been a struggle," wrote Toth, who is headed to Michigan while assistant Pedro Alvarado will coach the WSL playoff match.
The Croatians (0-3-2) play AFC Ann Arbor (1-2-3) at 3 p.m. in a GLPL match, then go on to play Oakland United (2-2-1) at noon Sunday in Rochester Hills, Mich. Back in Wisconsin, the top-seeded Eagles (14-1-4) take on fourth-seeded Bavarian SC (10-5-5) at 1 p.m. at Brookfield Indoor Soccer Complex Outdoor Fields.
UW-Milwaukee's Declan Rodriguez scored the lone goal and Marquette's Kyle Gress posted the clean sheet as the Bavarians got past the fifth-seeded Madison Fire 1-0 in a quarterfinal on Tuesday night in Glendale. The Croatians beat the Bavarians 1-0 on June 28 and 2-1 in a USASA Wisconsin Werner Fricker Open Cup match in October, after the teams tied 5-5 in a league match in September.
The second-seeded Milwaukee Brewers (11-5-3), who had a quarterfinal bye along with the Croatians, will face No. 3 seed North Shore United (11-5-4) in the second semifinal at 3:30 p.m.
NSU claimed a 4-0 victory over No. 6 seed United Serbians on Tuesday night in Cedarburg, as Mike Unwin, Tyler Hawley (Cedarburg), Diego Campos (Milwaukee Hamilton/Concordia) and Ian Bennett scored and Jimmy Jones (Kenosha Tremper/Cardinal Stritch) recorded the shutout. The Brewers tipped North Shore 1-0 on May 29, and the teams played a 0-0 draw in a season opener in September.
The WSL First Division semifinals also are Saturday in Brookfield.
The Bavarians Reserves (11-7-5) got a penalty kick from Paul Ciszewski (Germantown) and the game-winner from Josh Boris (Cedarburg) as they edged No. 5 seed Milwaukee Sport Club Reserves 2-1 on Tuesday in Glendale to earn a matchup against top-seeded Azteca United FC (15-5-2) at 3:30 p.m. Azteca United thumped the Bavarians Reserves 6-1 when the sides met on April 26.
The first semifinal pits second-seeded North Shore United Reserves (14-4-4) against No. 3 seed Atotonilco (16-3-4), which had the league's best overall record and routed sixth-seeded United Serbians Reserves 5-1 on Tuesday. Atotonilco and the NSU Reserves tied 1-1 last November in the final match of the fall portion of the season.
The WSL finals are scheduled for July 18 at UW-Milwaukee's Engelmann Stadium, with the First Division match at 5 p.m. and the Major final at 7:30 p.m.
Tag(s): Home Amateur News WSL Major Division Azteca United FC Bavarian SC Croatian Eagles Milwaukee Brewers First Division Bavarian SC Reserves North Shore United Atotonilco North Shore United Reserves PLA Croatian Eagles