USL Championship: MLS second teams in danger of being shut out of playoffs

MLS second teams have won two USL Championship titles and finished second three times in the last five seasons, but they are in danger of being shut out of the 2020 USL Championship playoffs.

With two weeks left in the shortened regular season, seven of the nine MLS second teams have already been eliminated from the playoffs, and an eighth team, Sporting KC II, is last in its division but not yet mathematically eliminated.

The only team with a shot at making the playoffs is LA Galaxy II, which fell to third place in Group B when the San Diego Loyal beat the Phoenix Rising, 3-2, on Rubio Rubin's hat trick. The former U.S. international joined the Loyal on Sept. 1 after leaving Mexican club Tijuana.

The top two teams in each group advance to the playoffs. Nine teams have already clinched playoff spots.

LA Galaxy II, which had three games postponed earlier in the summer because of a COVID-19 outbreak, has two games in hand on San Diego, which travels to Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday.

In 2019, LA Galaxy II was one of three MLS second teams to make the playoffs. The Real Monarchs, Real Salt Lake's second team, won the title.

Since then, most MLS second teams have gone heavily on calling up young players into USL academy contracts.

*Clinched playoff berth.

USL Championship standings:
GROUP A
1 *Reno 1868 FC 10-2-1, 31 points
2 *Sac Republic FC 7-2-5, 26 points
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3 Tacoma Defiance 2-8-2, 8 points
4 Timbers 2 2-11-0, 6 points

GROUP B
1 Phoenix Rising 8-3-2, 26 points
2 San Diego Loyal 6-4-4, 22 points
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3 LA Galaxy II 7-5-0, 21 points
4 Orange County SC  6-4-3, 21 points
5 Las Vegas Lights 2-8-3, 9 points

GROUP C
1 *El Paso Locomotive 8-2-3, 27 points
2 *New Mexico United 7-4-2, 23 points
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3 Real Monarchs 3-9-1, 10 points
4 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 2-6-5, 11 points

GROUP D
1 *San Antonio FC 10-1-3, 33 points
2 FC Tulsa 3-2-7, 16 points
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3 Austin Bold 3-3-8, 15 points
4 OKC Energy FC 1-5-6, 9 points
5 Rio Grande Valley FC 0-9-3, 3 points

GROUP E
1 Louisville City 9-3-2, 29 points
2 Indy Eleven 7-5-1, 22 points
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3 Saint Louis FC 6-4-3, 21 points
4 Sporting KC II  4-8-1, 13 points

GROUP F
1 *Pittsburgh Riverhounds 10-3-1, 31 points
2 *Hartford Athletic 8-3-1, 25 points
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3 NY Red Bulls II 4-8-0, 12 points
4 Philadelphia Union II 2-8-2, 8 points
5 Loudoun United 1-8-3, 8 points

GROUP G
1 Birmingham Legion 7-3-4, 25 points
2 Charlotte Independence 7-3-3, 24 points
3 North Carolina FC 4-7-1, 13 points
4 Memphis 901 FC 2-7-4, 10 points

GROUP H
1 *Tampa Bay Rowdies 9-2-3, 30 points
2 *Charleston Battery 8-2-3 27 points
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3 Atlanta United 2 2-9-3, 9 points
4 The Miami FC 2-7-3, 9 points
mls, usl
1 comment about "USL Championship: MLS second teams in danger of being shut out of playoffs".
  1. Craig Kerr, September 21, 2020 at 2:42 p.m.

    That would be a great thing for US Soccer.  The more successful clubs we have that are independent of MLS, the better.

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