KINGSTON, N.Y. — It's a grand occasion for the second-year Hudson Valley soccer club, made even bigger by the fact that the home fans will get to share in the historic moment as well.
Kingston Stockade FC will make its first-ever appearance in the NPSL Playoffs on Saturday, July 15. The match will be at home at Dietz Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.
- For the full 2017 NPSL Playoff bracket, CLICK HERE
By virtue of finishing with the best regular-season record (7-1-4, wins-draws-losses; click here for the complete NPSL standings) in the Atlantic White Division of the Northeast Conference, Stockade FC gets a bye in the first round and will host the winner of the 2nd vs. 3rd place match between Boston City FC and Hartford City FC (Boston hosts the one-off match on Wednesday, July 12).
Stockade FC has found some degree of success against both of their potential playoff opponents this season, as they beat Boston City at home, 2-1, on June 10, but lost to Boston City on the road, 2-0, on July 8. As for Hartford City, Stockade FC lost to the Connecticut club at home, 3-1, in the first match of the season on May 6, but then drew with them on the road, 2-2, on May 27.
Should Stockade FC win the home match on July 16 and advance to the next round, they will face the winner of the Atlantic Blue Division playoffs. Elm City Express is the top seed in the Atlantic Blue, with Brooklyn Italians in second place and TSF FC in third place. Stockade FC fell at the last gasp at Brooklyn, 1-0, on June 17, and also lost a late one to TSF FC, 4-3, at Dietz Stadium on July 3. Kingston has not played Elm City yet.
Here are a few more key facts about the 2017 NPSL Playoffs:
- The Northeast Regional semifinals would take place on Saturday, July 22. The semifinals would consist of the winners of the Atlantic Blue, Atlantic White, Keystone and Mid-Atlantic Divisions. The highest seed of the four (based on points per game; in order to see NPSL points-per-game standings, click on this link, then click on the "Power Rankings" tab) would host the lowest seed, with the second-highest seed hosting the third-highest seed. (The full 2017 NPSL Playoffs bracket can be seen here.)
- The Northeast Regional finals would take place on Saturday, July 29. The finals would be hosted by the highest remaining seed of the four above divisions.
- The winner of the Northeast Region advances to the NPSL National Semifinals on Saturday, August 5, with the highest remaining seed hosting the fourth-highest remaining seed, and the second-highest seed hosting the third-highest seed.
- The 2017 NPSL National Final would take place on Saturday, August 12. AFC Cleveland won the 2016 NPSL National Final.
- The winners of the four regions are guaranteed spots in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup, a national U.S. tournament that involves teams from MLS, NASL, USL, PDL, NPSL and amateur clubs as well. Beyond that, the number of NPSL clubs to qualify for the 2018 U.S. Open Cup is still to be determined (last year, 18 NPSL teams qualified for the US Open Cup). The 2017 U.S. Open Cup is still being contested. MLS side FC Dallas won the 2016 U.S. Open Cup.
- The winner of the U.S. Open Cup earns a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League against teams from Mexico, Canada and various Central American leagues. C.F. Pachuca of Mexico won the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League in April of 2017.
- The winner of the CONCACAF Champions League earns a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup, a seven-team tournament involving winners of the Asian Champions League, African Champions League, CONCACAF Champions League, Copa Libertadores Champions (South America), Oceania Champions League and UEFA Champions League. The current FIFA Club World Cup champions are Real Madrid from Spain.
By Randy Kim, Kingston Stockade FC General Manager