This past Thursday the Crystal Palace FC won their matchup against Harrisburg 2-1 to earn a berth into the playoffs. Crystal Palace became the 4th team to earn a playoff spot, leaving two more spots up in the air.
The true test for the Crystal Palace FC comes tonight in Charlotte against the 1st Place Eagles. Crystal Palace had their worst showing of the year against this same team earlier this year when they lost to the Eagles 3-1 at home. That night nothing seemed to go right for Crystal Palace and they made Charlotte look alot better then they are.
If Crystal Palace wants to receive a better seating in the playoffs then tonight is where they will have to start. “A win against Charlotte will be a 6 point turn!!” Co-Manager Jim Cherneski told me by phone. “We need to make a strong showing and win this game.” He continued. “Our goal is to secure the 2nd place spot in the playoffs to receive home field for the playoffs.” Jim stated. Currently Crystal Palace is in 4th place of the USL2 standing only 1 point out of 3rd place and 6 points out of 2nd place.
In order for Crystal Palace to achieve this goal the team will probally have to win the remaining 5 games on the schedule. As hard as this sounds it can be done. Crystal Palace has Charlotte (tonight), Real Maryland (Thursday at home), Bermuda twice (both at home) and Richmond left on their schedule.
The key is Charlotte tonight!! Crystal Palace will have to play the match tonight without both Gary Brooks (the team leading scorer) and Val Teixeira. Both players were sent off in the last game against Harrisburg. Brooks received a red card in the 1st half and Teixeira received a 2nd yellow card in the 2nd half and was also sent off.
Crystal Palace’s defense had been stellar all season and they will need a strong showing tonight against the high scoring Charlotte Eagles. Co-Manager Jim Cherneski told me “Even without Gary and Val playing tonight, we have played other games without key members and had success and tonight our defense will have to play the way they have been recently.”
My opinion is that Crystal Palace’s bench will win this game tonight and Pat Healey will step up and have a big game. Crystal Palace wins 2-1.