PIECING TOGETHER THE MISL PLAYOFF PUZZLE

Monday, February 24, 2014

MILWAUKEE (Feb. 24) — The Milwaukee Wave still control their position in the Major Indoor Soccer League playoffs, despite losing Sunday and falling out of first place.

Four teams qualify, and those all have been decided. Milwaukee will be joined by the Baltimore Blast, Missouri Comets and Syracuse Silver Knights in the postseason.

Milwaukee (15-3) is a half-game behind the Baltimore Blast (16-3) at the top of the table, but owns the tiebreaker by virtue of sweeping both regular-season contests with its rivals. Missouri (12-6) is third, 1.5 games ahead of Syracuse (11-8). Syracuse owns that tiebreaker.

Milwaukee hosts St. Louis on Saturday and Missouri on Sunday to close the 20-game regular season, before hosting an MISL semifinal game at 7 p.m. Monday, March 10. Here are the scenarios facing the Wave:

Two Wave victories: The Wave clinches the No. 1 seed. Their opponent is likely Syracuse, who ends up in fourth with either a loss to Rochester (6-13) in its last game or a win by Missouri against St. Louis (4-14) this Thursday.

One Wave victory: If Milwaukee wins only one of this weekend's games, it needs Baltimore to lose to last-place Pennsylvania (1-18) to earn first place. Failing that, Milwaukee would be seeded second and likely find Missouri as its first-round opponents

No Wave victories: In the unlikely event that Milwaukee drops both home games, it falls to second for sure and Missouri clinches third place.

A Milwaukee-Syracuse series would be played at 6:30 p.m. CST Friday, March 7 in Syracuse and 7 p.m. Monday, March 10 in Milwaukee. If the teams split, a 15-minute mini-game would be played immediately after Game 2.

A Milwaukee-Missouri series would be played 3 p.m. CST Sunday, March 9 in Independence, MO and 7 p.m. Monday, March 10 in Milwaukee, with the same mini-game format.

The championship series is the following weekend, with dates TBD.

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