Two teams with recent experience in the semi-finals of the USL League Two playoffs will square off on Saturday night when Flint City Bucks host FC Golden State Force in the first of two semi-final matchups this weekend. The Force last made it to this stage in 2017, and the Bucks in 2016 when the team went on to win its third USL League Two title.
To reach the semi-finals, Flint City pulled off a dramatic victory over Des Moines Menace in the first round of the Central Conference playoffs. Trailing 2-1 near the end of regulation, Ayuk Tambe pounced on a loose ball to equalize and force extra time. The Menace took the lead again in the 108th minute, but Bucks backup goalkeeper Gustavo Vasconcelos, who was subbed on and wearing one of his outfield teammate’s jerseys, chipped the Des Moines keeper in the dying moments to send the match to penalties. Vasconcelos converted his spot kick as well, and Flint City won the shootout 4-3 before defeating Kaw Valley in the next round to become Central Conference champions.
FC Golden State Force entered the playoffs coming off a dominant regular season. The team continued its strong run of form in the Western Conference semi-finals with a strong 4-0 result against Colorado Pride Switchbacks U23. The Force then took on Ventura County Fusion, one of the only two teams to defeat them all season, in the conference final. Goals either side of halftime from Daniel Trejo and Cyro Oliveira helped Golden State to a 2-1 victory and a second Western Conference title in three years.
The winner of Saturday night’s matchup at Atwood Stadium in Flint will play the winner of Sunday’s semi-final between South Georgia Tormenta 2 and Reading United in the USL League Two title game.
Atwood Stadium - Flint, Michigan - 7:30 PM EST