New England Soccer Today

Elm City May Face Weakened Foe in Final

Photo credit: Alex Serbetzian

Elm City Express may face a severely weakened foe in Saturday’s league final as NCAA regulations could render the vast majority of Midland-Odessa FC’s players unavailable for the match.

Following the Sockers semifinal victory over Detroit City FC on Saturday, coach Matt Barnes told the Detroit Free Press about the dilemma facing his squad, which is largely comprised of college players.

“We have to figure that out with the league in a couple of days,” Barnes told the Free Press.

Going into Saturday’s semifinal, the club confirmed via Twitter that it only had 16 players at its disposal in recent weeks. Of those 16, 13 were college players, all of whom may not be able to suit up for Saturday’s final in New Haven.

Meanwhile, it appears Elm City does not have the same dilemma. According to a January 2017 report from the New Haven Register, head coach Teddy Haley confirmed with the league the club will be fielding a professional team ahead of its debut season.

“In the NPSL you have to declare yourself as an amateur team or pro team,” Haley told the Register. “We are a pro team. We will have some players from Brazil on our roster along with some familiar local players.”

Saturday’s final, which will kick off at 7:00pm, will take place at Yale University’s Reese Stadium.

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