Utica City FC hopes to seize the opportunity in front of them.
They won their first ever division title this year, and will face the Baltimore Blast in the postseason for a second straight year after doing so last year in a losing effort as the Syracuse Silver Knights.
Their best-of-three series begins on Saturday.
“This is our best opportunity in the last nine years to take it to Baltimore,” head coach Ryan Hall said. “If it’s not going to be this year, we’re in trouble. These guys are ready to go and they’re excited.”
The two teams have been on a collision course all season since Baltimore ended their hopes for a title last year.
“Anytime you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” Hall said. “In order for us to prove we’re the top team in the league, we have to go through Baltimore. It’s a familiar foe, but I know these guys are as ready as they can be to take it to them this weekend.”
Utica City FC hasn’t forgotten the feeling of having their title hopes come to an end at the hands of the Blast.
“It would be nice to get revenge on them,” Andrew Coughlin said. “We’ve played against Baltimore so many times, we know what they have to offer. It’s just about execution, trying to limit our mistakes and trying to execute our game plan as efficiently as possible.”
Game time on Saturday is scheduled for 6pm. The series will then shift to Utica for Game 2 on Monday night.