Atwood Stadium, Kettering University, Flint, MI
The Central Conference Champions officially get to host one of the 2019 USL League Two Semi-Finals in Flint, Michigan.
To advance, The Bucks had to travel to Des Moines to play the, previously undefeated and hosts, the Des Moines Menace. The thrilling game required late heroics from Flint City, once in the 93rd and then again in the 121st to force penalties where they won 4-2. In their second matchup, they faced Kaw Valley, who upset Chicago in their first game. The Bucks got off to a hot 2-0 start in the opening 15 minutes, but the next 15 minutes belonged to Kaw Valley who equalized before the half-hour mark. Flint City went on to score twice more to win the Central Conference.
Golden State Force progressed in a dominant performance against the Colorado Pride Switchbacks U23 where they struck early and did not slow down for the next 90 minutes winning 4-0 to advance to the next round. In the Conference Final, they faced one of only two teams to have beaten them all season in the Ventura County Fusion. The Force struck first with an absolute blast from just outside of the box for the hot start they needed against the Fusion. Just past the hour mark, Ventura found their equalizer but would concede the game-winning penalty just a few minutes later.
Erk Russell Park, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Heading down south to the Deep South Champions and Southern Conference Champions out of Statesboro, Georgia as Tormenta FC 2 will host the other USL League Two Semi-Final.
Tormenta FC 2 faced two tough tests in the Southern Conference as they played The Villages in the first round. It started as a close competition throughout the first half but behind three second-half goals and a mostly resolute defense saw the South Georgia side go through to the Southern Conference Final. In the final, Tormenta met up with Brazos Valley Cavalry, who were previously undefeated and scored 56 goals and only conceded 14 in 15 games. But Tormenta came out fast, scoring three goals in the first half and conceding only one. They went on to score twice more to take down the Mid-South Champions, 5-1.
Reading United claimed back-to-back Eastern Conference Titles in front of their home support starting with GPS Portland Phoenix in the first round. But they faced a good test from the wild card team out of the North West. GPS took Reading to extra time and even to penalties that ended 5-4 to move United onto the Final against Western Mass. The Pioneers were another undefeated team averaging under 0.5 goals against per game, but Reading struck in the first half and rode out a flurry of attacks throughout the game to hold on and win the Eastern Conference.