Photo by Steven Christy/OKC Energy U23
The OKC Energy U23 are one point away from clinching the Mid South Division title, and after two big wins in Week 10, they take the top spot in the final edition of the Southern Conference Power Rankings.
The Energy U23 took down Midland/Odessa Sockers FC in convincing fashion before beating the Albuquerque Sol F.C. to take a four-point lead in the division. The Mid South’s top two teams will play each other twice to end the regular season, and Sockers FC need to win both matches in order to stop the Energy U23 from winning the division crown.
Here’s the Top 6 from the Southern Conference
1. OKC Energy U23 (Previous: 3)
Last Week: W 4-1 vs. Midland/Odessa Sockers FC, W 2-0 vs. Albuquerque Sol F.C.
The Energy U23 started Week 10 off strong with a great performance against Mid South contender Sockers FC. Then, they earned a 2-0 win in the PDL Game of the Week on Saturday. Noah Keats scored two goals in the victory against Sockers FC before scoring his 13th of the season – tying Fresno Fuego’s Christian Chaney and Ocean City Nor’easters’ Chevaughn Walsh for the league lead.
2. The Villages SC (Previous: 5)
Last Week: W 6-1 vs. SW Florida Adrenaline, W 4-1 vs. Floridians F.C.
The Villages SC dominated in Week 10, defeating Southeast Division opposition by a combined scoreline of 10-2. A win over former division leader Floridians F.C. was the most impressive result, as Carlos Araujo scored his 11th goal of the season in the match at The Villages Polo Club. Because The Villages SC plays Floridians F.C. on Wednesday, The Villages SC needs just one point from that game to clinch a playoff spot. Two wins, or a win and a tie, will see the club earn the division title.
3. Midland/Odessa Sockers FC (Previous: 1)
Last Week: L 4-1 at OKC Energy U23
Sockers FC could not match its Mid South rival on Tuesday, but the division title is still up for grabs. Fernando Machado scored the only goal for Sockers FC in Week 10. Two home matches against the Energy U23 remain, meaning two wins will see Sockers FC clinch the Mid South title.
4. South Florida Surf (Previous: 4)
Last Week: W 2-1 at IMG Academy Bradenton, W 5-1 vs. SW Florida Adrenaline
The Surf are on a three-game win streak, defeating two Southeast opponents in Week 10. Jorge Guinovart scored both goals in the win over IMG, while Miles Hackett netted a double in the weekend rout. The Surf, tied on points (25) with The Villages SC, play Palm Beach Suns FC in their final game of the regular season.
5. Floridians F.C. (Previous: 2)
Last Week: L 2-1 at Palm Beach Suns FC, L 4-1 at The Villages SC
Floridians F.C. suffered two losses in Week 10, putting it in a tough situation. The club needs to win its final two games to earn a playoff spot. Gonzalo Medina scored yet another goal this season, and he will be counted upon to continue his goal-scoring trend at home vs. The Viillages SC and FC Miami City.
6. FC Miami City (Previous: NR)
Last Week: W 6-2 Palm Beach Suns FC
Miami City is eliminated from playoff contention, but they have proven to be a solid and dangerous group many times throughout the season. Saturday against Suns FC was one of those times. Bryan Perea scored a hat trick, while Mohamed Kourouma netted a brace to see Miami City earn their fifth win of the season. The club can still finish third in the Southeast with one game left to play.