The Mighty Oak are playing the second of three matches in six days, as they travel to Grand Rapids FC Friday evening for the last road contest of the 2017 regular season.
Ann Arbor has already clinched one of two Great Lakes Division playoff spots and need just one point to secure the Great Lakes Championship. The remaining point needed to secure the top spot not only means the club’s first regular season title but will also lock up the one seed which comes with a bye to the Regional Final Four (Sweet 16 nationally).
AFC enters Friday with a seven game unbeaten streak dating back to the only loss of the season back on May 26, 2017 at Lansing United. In the seven match stretch, Ann Arbor has seen 21 goals from 9 different scorers. The defensive effort, led by goalkeeper TJ Tomasso, has been equally impressive as AFC’s offensive attack, allowing only 8 goals in 12 matches on the season. The combination of strong offensive and defensive efforts has led to The Mighty Oak having the largest goal difference in the entire Midwest Region (next best is 17 from Duluth FC in the NPSL North).
Even though the men have momentum, they’ll have a tough challenge Friday evening as Grand Rapids FC have picked up 13 points in the last 6 matches (4 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss). The Mighty Oak will enter a hostile environment in Houseman Field, a place where Ann Arbor has has come up empty handed on points in two attempts (2015 GLPL match, 2016 NPSL match). But Coach Rudland doesn’t seem to be worried as the team has trained hard and prepared appropriately as they have all season long.
“We’re not concerned about what’s been done or not done in previous seasons. We’ve prepared for this match just as every other match this season and our form on the road has been good. Our recent reports on Grand Rapids have helped us comprise useful information for our game plan and we are looking forward to the match,” said Coach Rudland.
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