The final Henny Derby of the season between the Richmond Kickers and Forward Madison FC at City Stadium will be a key game in the bigger picture of the League One playoff race this weekend. | Photo courtesy Jessica Stone Hendricks / Richmond Kickers
Union Omaha might not have claimed victory on Saturday night against Greenville Triumph SC – which did its own postseason chances a world of good with victory on the road – but los Buhos became the first team to book its place in the 2021 USL League One Playoffs after North Texas SC’s defeat on Sunday night to the Richmond Kickers.
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC could be the next to follow and could also clinch before it takes to the field itself on Saturday night pending the results of Tuesday and Wednesday’s action. Greenville and Richmond are also closing in as well after their recent runs of success, and each has an avenue to clinch a playoff place on a busy Saturday night.
Here are two games to watch this week, and where everyone stands overall with three weeks to go in the campaign.
The Richmond Kickers’ last-gasp victory against North Texas SC saw the side claim its fourth victory in a row, and while there’s still pressure to continue its excellent run of form, the final Henny Derby this season could be a decisive moment beyond deciding the regular season series between the clubs. Regardless of Madison’s result on Tuesday night against the New England Revolution II, a victory for the Kickers would add a notable cushion on their rivals and could clinch a playoff spot if the right results happen elsewhere, while a Madison win would pull Richmond’s potential final total down and make it a tight race to the finish.
Greenville Triumph SC and the New England Revolution II both control their paths to the playoffs as the week begins, but both also still have little margin for error as the finish line approaches. The Revolution II kick off the week with a home game against Forward Madison FC, and should it take victory there it would move within a point of Greenville for third place in the standings. If things go right elsewhere for Greenville, this game could see the side clinch a playoff place with a win, and so could not only determine whether one, or in the case of a draw both, of these teams advances to the postseason, but which might claim a home game in the Quarterfinals when the playoffs arrive.