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07/11/2014, 2:00pm EDT
By Detroit City FC

This weekend is about as big as they come for Detroit City FC.

Looking to claim a regular-season conference title and a playoff berth for the second straight season, Le Rouge spent the week preparing to hostFort Pitt Regiment at Cass Technical High School on Friday July 11. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Two days later, on Sunday July 13 at 12 p.m., DCFC will visit Lansing United in the regular season finale for a match that will likely hold pivotal playoff implications. In the first meeting between City and United, Le Rouge came out on top, 1-0, thanks to a converted penalty kick from captain Josh Rogers.

DCFC enters Friday’s match coming off its third loss of the season after dropping a 3-1 game at FC Buffalo on Wednesday evening. However, morale was somewhat high as Le Rouge were still able to secure the Rust Belt Derby trophy — an honor given to the team with the highest point total in head-to-head matches between AFC ClevelandFC Buffalo, and Detroit City FC. The achievement marked the second consecutive season that the Rust Belt Derby trophy makes its way to Detroit.

Meanwhile, across the region in the Great Lakes East Conference, Fort Pitt Regiment has strung together numerous victories lately — losing just once in its past eight games — to leapfrog AFC Cleveland in the conference standings. Most recently, Fort Pitt Regiment earned a 1-1 draw with AFC Cleveland on Wednesday after beating FC Buffalo 3-1 on Sunday July 6.

Lansing United has enjoyed recent success as well, coming into the weekend riding a four game unbeaten streak. United crushed the Cincinnati Saints, 4-1, on July 4 before edging out the Michigan Stars, 1-0, on July 6. This weekend, Lansing plays host to the Indiana Fire on Friday July 11 before hosting DCFC on Sunday.

Lansing United currently sits in first place in the Great Lakes West Conference with Detroit City FC breathing down its neck in second, trailing by only one point. A pair of victories this weekend would ensure that Le Rouge would win its conference and secure a playoff birth, no matter what happens in the other conference games.

However, if City were to falter against either Fort Pitt Regiment or Lansing United, possible clinching scenarios are listed below. Each of the three division winners in the Midwest region qualify for the playoffs, as well as one wildcard team with the highest points per game from wins and draws out of all three conferences.

DCFC clinches a wildcard birth if the Madison 56ers win OR draw against the Minnesota United Reserves AND Detroit City FC wins one match this weekend. But if the Minnesota United Reserves win that match, they clinch the wildcard position and Le Rouge must win its conference to secure a playoff birth.

Detroit City FC can clinch the regular-season conference title with the following scenarios:

• Win both matches against Fort Pitt Regiment and Lansing United.
• If City loses Friday against Fort Pitt Regiment, it would need to beat Lansing United AND hope the Indiana Fire beats Lansing United on Friday AND that Indiana loses to or draws with Cincinnati on Sunday.

Two draws this weekend against Fort Pitt Regiment and Lansing United will end DCFC’s season, sending Lansing United or the Indiana Fire to the playoffs as conference champions. Ultimately, it’s a win and you’re in scenario for Le Rouge, and the most crucial match to keep an eye on will be the Madison 56ers v. Minnesota United Reserves match on Friday since it determines if City still has a shot at the wildcard position.

Everything is on the line in the final weekend of the season and Detroit City FC’s playoff push begins with the regular-season finale at Cass Tech on Friday. Don’t miss one of the final opportunities to see Le Rouge in action — tickets for the match are still on sale online at Gates open one hour before kickoff.

Tag(s): News