The USL regular season is approaching its end - most clubs are into their last five scheduled games. In the Western Conference, the eight teams headed to the playoffs are not yet officially qualified, though at at least the top five of the current standings look pretty safe best. Over in the Eastern Conference, however, the playoff field is almost complete.
Four teams were already guaranteed a post-season before the games played on August 31. By the end of those games, three more were identified.
Charleston Battery booked its spot with a 1-1 tie with (already playoff bound) Richmond.
With tonight's results in #RICvCHS, @Chas_Battery have officially clinched their playoff spot for the #USLPlayoffs! pic.twitter.com/3PEJM7ATfK— USL (@USL) September 1, 2016
Charlotte Independence beat FC Cincinnati, 3-2, to claim its place among the top eight in the East.
With tonight's results in #CLTvCIN, @CLTIndependence have clinched their playoff spot for the #USLPlayoffs! pic.twitter.com/5WtCdv6sBT— USL (@USL) September 1, 2016
And Rochester Rhinos just watched results go their way.
With tonight's results, the @RochesterRhinos have clinched their place in the #USLPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/W4xElibHMO— USL (@USL) September 1, 2016
We now know seven of the eight USL playoff teams from the Eastern Conference: New York Red Bulls II, Louisville City FC, Richmond Kickers, FC Cincinnati, Charlotte Independence, Charleston Battery, and Rochester Rhinos.
The eight spot looks like Orlando City B's to lose.
Final positions - and therefore match-ups for the playoffs - will take a while longer to determine. NYRB II is already guaranteed a top-five finish.