The first leg of the USSF D2 playoff Championship Finals begins tonight at 6:05 pm ET as the Puerto Rico Islanders host the Carolina RailHawks. The second leg of the championship series will be played next Saturday October 30 in Cary, North Carolina. Who would have thought eight weeks ago that these two clubs would battle for the playoff championship in 2010.
The Islanders were the 8th and final playoff seed, yet went on to defeat regular season points leader Rochester and then Vancouver to arrive in the finals. Carolina, who came on strong the last month of the season and overtook Vancouver for the NASL Conference regular season title, defeated two hot clubs, the NSC Minnesota Stars and the Montreal Impact, to reach the finals. The Islanders were recently eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League play after suffering a 3-0 loss to Olimpia in Honduras Wednesday night.
Both Coach Colin Clarke of the Islanders and Coach Martin Rennie of the RailHawks deserve a great deal of credit for getting their teams to the finals. Should be an exciting series to cap off the USSF D2 season.