USL Championship: Saint Louis FC and Tulsa FC make playoffs on final day of season

Saint Louis FC won't go out quietly.

The USL Championship team has already announced that it won't return in 2021, but it has some more business to do.

On the final day of the regular season, it claimed the second playoff berth in Group E when it beat Indy Eleven, 2-1.

Tyler Blackwood and Wal Fall scored for STLFC, but it got a scare when it conceded a penalty kick that Iljia Ilic converted in the 82nd minute.

“I thought the guys left it all on the field and that’s all I could ask of them,” said STLFC coach Steve Trittschuh. “I really had a good feeling about this game, and I’ve said before that if this team could make the playoffs, we have a good chance of doing something special. I don’t think we’re finished by far right now.”

The Indy collapse is one of the worst in USL history. It had a 12-point cushion on a playoff berth at the beginning of August, but it finished with a 2-8-2 record over the last 12 games.

Louisville City went 9-0-2 in its last 11 games to claim first place in Group E.



Needing a result in its season finale to make the playoffs, Tulsa FC beat the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, 2-0, to overtake the Austin Bold FC for second place in Group D.

Rodrigo da Costa had a one and an assist to send Tulsa FC to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 and just second time in its six seasons.

 If Tulsa FC had lost, it would have had to play a makeup game against Rio Grande Valley FC.



North Carolina FC, which recently had two games postponed when opponents had COVID-19 positive cases, was in a similar situation.

It could have forced a makeup game this week to complete its schedule and have a chance of overtaking the Charlotte Independence, but it failed to beat the Independence on Saturday, dropping a 1-0 decision at home.

Final USL Championship standings:
GROUP A
1 *Reno 1868 FC 11-2-3, 36 points
2 *Sac Republic FC 8-2-6, 30 points
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3 Tacoma Defiance 4-10-2, 14 points
4 Timbers 2 3-13-0, 9 points

GROUP B
1 *Phoenix Rising 11-3-2, 33 points
2 *LA Galaxy II 8-6-2, 26 points
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3 Orange County SC  7-6-3, 24 points
4 San Diego Loyal 6-5-5, 23 points
5 Las Vegas Lights 2-9-5, 11 points

GROUP C
1 *El Paso Locomotive 9-2-5, 32 points
2 *New Mexico United 8-4-3, 27 points
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3 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 2-7-7, 13 points
4 Real Monarchs 3-11-2, 11 points

GROUP D
1 *San Antonio FC 10-3-3, 33 points
2 *FC Tulsa 6-2-7, 25 points
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3 Austin Bold 5-4-7, 22 points
4 OKC Energy FC 1-8-7, 10 points
5 Rio Grande Valley FC 2-9-3, 9 points

GROUP E
1 *Louisville City 11-3-2, 35 points
2 *Saint Louis FC 7-5-4, 25 points
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3 Indy Eleven 7-7-2, 23 points
4 Sporting KC II  5-10-1, 16 points

GROUP F
1 *Hartford Athletic 11-3-2, 35 points
2 *Pittsburgh Riverhounds 11-4-1, 34 points
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3 NY Red Bulls II 5-11-0, 15 points
4 Philadelphia Union II 2-11-3, 9 points
5 Loudoun United 1-9-3, 6 points

GROUP G
1 *Birmingham Legion 8-4-4, 28 points
2 *Charlotte Independence 7-5-4, 25 points
3 North Carolina FC 6-8-1, 19 points
4 Memphis 901 FC 4-7-4, 16 points

GROUP H
1 *Tampa Bay Rowdies 10-3-3, 33 points
2 *Charleston Battery 9-3-3 30 points
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3 The Miami FC 4-8-4, 16 points
4 Atlanta United 2 3-10-3, 12 points
*Clinched playoff berth.
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