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Quick kicks: NPSL Midwest Region playoffs in Madison this weekend

07/24/2015, 7:45am CDT


At Breese Stevens Field, Madison
Friday's semifinals

No. 2 Detroit City FC (8-2-2) vs. No. 3 AFC Cleveland (8-2-2), 3 p.m.
No. 1 Madison 56ers (9-2-1) vs. No. 4 Indiana Fire (7-2-3), 7 p.m.
Saturday's final
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m.
Midwest Region champion advances to NPSL national semifinals Aug. 1

Tickets: $8 per game, or $10 for both semifinals. Children under 14 admitted free.
Live stream: Madison 56ers UStream Channel


Coach: Jim Launder, 11th season (100-48-24).
Record: 9-2-1. Form (last six NPSL games): W-W-W-W-W-W.
Against the field: 1-1-0. Lost to Detroit City FC 5-0 on June 6, defeated Indiana Fire 2-1 on June 27.
By the numbers: Goals for – 30 (2.50 per game). Goals against – 19 (1.58). Shutouts – Three.
NPSL member since: 2005.
From the touchline: Forward Drew Whalen led the Midwest Region with 11 goals, including three hat tricks, but is questionable for the playoffs because of a knee injury. ... Whalen and defender Jack Hagstrom (Middleton), who will be a freshman at Brown in the fall, were named to the All-Midwest first team in voting by coaches. Midfielder Gideon Asante (three goals, five assists) was a second-team pick and midfielder-forwards Tony Amolo (3-4) and Wira Wama (2-4) earned honorable mention. ... Asante and University of Wisconsin center back Zacc Roelke (Madison East) scored in the regular-season victory over the Indiana Fire. ... English goalkeeper Joe White has three shutouts. ... Loss to Detroit City in May is the only time the 56ers have allowed five goals in a match in their 11 seasons. ... Have won four Midwest Region championships (2006, '07, '10 and '12), the most since the region was formed in 2005. ... First home playoff match since 2006, when the Sacramento Knights beat the then-named Princeton-56ers 2-0 in the NPSL final at Breese Stevens.


Coach: Ben Pirmann, third season (27-5-6).
Record: 8-2-2. Form (last six NPSL games): W-W-W-W-L-W.
Against the field: 2-0-0. Defeated AFC Cleveland 3-2 on May 15, defeated Madison 56ers 5-0 on June 6. 
By the numbers: Goals for – 30 (2.50). Goals against – 10 (0.83). Shutouts – Six.
NPSL member since: 2012.
From the touchline: Had the inside track to playing host to the regional, but saw the Erie Commodores rally for a 3-2 victory last Friday – a rare loss for Le Rouge on their home field at Cass Tech High School in front of their raucous Northern Guard supporters group. ... Forward Will Mellors-Blair finished second in the Midwest with 10 goals, but his NPSL season is over as he prepares for his college season at Michigan. ... Mellors-Blair and midfielder Cyrus Saydee (six assists) were first-team all-region picks, while midfielder Dave Edwardson landed on the second team and defender Josh Rogers and defender-forward Seb Harris (three goals) were honorable mention. .... Six-foot-4 French keeper Alexandre Bouillennec replaced incumbent Bret Mollon in goal and has posted three clean sheets in eight appearances. ... Harris' 88th-minute goal gave Detroit City its 3-2 victory over AFC Cleveland back in May. ... Midfielder Javier Bautista and forward Charlie MacInnes were standouts for the Quad City Eagles, who played against the 56ers several times each season from 2011 to '14.


Coach: Carter Poe, first season (8-2-2).
Record: 8-2-2. Form (last six NPSL games): W-L-W-W-W-W.
Against the field: 1-1-0. Lost to Detroit City FC 3-2 on May 15, defeated Indiana Fire 2-0 on June 19.
By the numbers: Goals for – 30 (2.50). Goals against – 10 (0.83). Shutouts – Six.
NPSL member since: 2012.
From the touchline: Loss to Detroit City was the team's season opener. Sergio Manesio and Tom Beck scored equalizers before the home side's late winner. ... Manesio (six goals) and goalkeeper Alex Ivanov made the All-Midwest first team, while Beck (six goals) and midfielder Admir Svljevic were honorable mention selections. ... Midfielder Brian Potocnik has added four goals, three of those coming in a 5-1 rout of the Fort Pitt Regiment in Sunday's regular-season finale. ... Played host to the 56ers in the 2012 Midwest final, dropping a 2-1 decision.


Coach: John Simmonds, second season (15-6-5).
Record: 8-2-2. Form (last six NPSL games): W-L-W-W-W-W.
Against the field: 0-2-0. Lost to AFC Cleveland 2-0 on June 19, lost to Madison 56ers 2-1 on June 27.
By the numbers: Goals for – 22 (1.83). Goals against – 10 (0.83). Shutouts – Four.
NPSL member since: 2014.
From the touchline: Won final four regular-season games. ... Claimed the final regional playoff berth on Wednesday when Minnesota United Reserves forfeited a rescheduled match – the three points from the 3-0 victory they were awarded moved them ahead of FC Buffalo (6-2-4). ... Haven't allowed more than two goals in any match. ... Forward Nago Mbengue (six goals) and midfielder Bennett Kim were first-team, All-Midwest selections, while keeper Cody Schweitzer and midfielder Jack Griffith were honorable mention. ... The team is a program of the Indiana Fire Juniors club, which is an affiliate of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire.

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