Major Arena Soccer League 2 sets 2021 playoff format
TAMPA, Florida– The Major Arena Soccer League 2 has set a format for its postseason this summer, a plan that includes the finals to be hosted by the Wichita Wings and Hartman Arena in July and additional games for an expanded Great Lakes Invitational tournament.
Winners of the three invitationals being held during the 2021 season will automatically earn postseason berths, as will the team remaining that hasn’t won an M2 tournament which has the highest winning percentage. The top four teams will be seeded based on overall win percentage of their minimum of 10 regular season matchups, with the number one seed facing the number four, and two versus three in the final four.
This means two teams, the Wichita Wings and Amarillo Bombers, have secured their spots in M2’s postseason, having already won the Heartland Invitational and Rocky Mount Invitationals which both recently came to a close.
With invitationals taking a more central role in determining playoff teams, an expanded Great Lakes Invitational, which originally involved the Muskegon Risers hosting M2 and M3 teams in March and April, will now determine the third postseason representative.
The Chicago Mustangs, Cleveland Crunch and Colorado Inferno will all play three games each as part of the expanded invitational series, with games in being played in Muskegon, Chicago, and Cleveland. The overall records and win percentage in GLI designated games will determine the third playoff berth. Because of local and state Covid-19 concerns, the Risers will not be able to play the minimum number of games to qualify for the postseason, but will still have some games against them count towards both the GLI and regular season standings for the participating teams.
In addition to the invitational play, the six teams participating in the full season this year will play the minimum number of 10 regular season games that will make them eligible for the playoffs, Commissioner Chris Economides said. Following the regular season matches, the semi-finals and finals will be conducted July 17 and 18 at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
“This format, while we appreciate it is unconventional, brings us the ability to plan for a playoffs that still insures the most competitive and representative field of teams possible,” Economides said. “We have all had to make significant adjustments to make sure we are able to continue our regular season and reward those teams that most deserve a chance to play for an M2 championship. Adding certainty --- because we know there are still uncertainties ahead as we all work to end this country’s pandemic – made the most sense to all our teams who are very comfortable with this one-year solution to crowning a champion.”
Following is the schedule of games for the GLI that will count towards the 3rd playoff spot with the team that has the best win percentage.
March 21 at Cleveland
April 24 at Muskegon
April 25 at Chicago
March 21 vs. Colorado
April 24 vs. Chicago (in Muskegon)
May 22 vs. Chicago
APRIL 24 vs. Chicago (in Muskegon)
April 25 vs. Colorado
May 22 at Cleveland
COMPOSITE GLI SCHEDULE
March 21 Colorado at Cleveland
April 24 Colorado at Muskegon (in Muskegon)
April 24 Cleveland vs. Chicago (in Muskegon)
April 25 Colorado at Chicago
May 22 Chicago at Cleveland
Ticket information for the additional Great Lakes invitational matchups and M2 Finals weekend will be released in the coming days/weeks. The remainder of the regular season games will be released soon. For more information follow @M2arenasoccer or visit www.M2soccer.com