LEAGUE STANDINGS AT WINTER BREAK
As the winter break takes over in the Tri-County league, there is time to write about some of the clubs who appear to be on the move in the league.
IN THE CENTRAL DIVISION
The Lake Zurich Aces remain the most dominant club in the league. The Aces are a Metro league caliber team and are great league representatives in regional tournaments such as the Schwaben Tournament, where they performed well this past summer. Also, when it comes to inter-league play having a dominant club creates good rivalries and interest in the league. When the Aces lost 4-1 to ATS this fall, to some extent it was a moral victory for the entire league, since the Aces could no longer go undefeated in the league, even if the loss occurred only because the Aces were short players for the match. Following the Aces are the Palatine Celtics and Wauconda Chiefs #1, two clubs with great organizations and long histories in the league. Both clubs had successful fall sessions playing fairly tough schedules. However, neither team appears capable of pulling an upset over the Aces and will have to maintain their success this summer to ensure making the playoffs.
IN THE EAST DIVISION
In the East , Libertyville also known as the "Coaches" because the team has so many area High School soccer coaches, went undefeated in the fall session and are probably the most capable club when it comes to soccer tactics. One point behind are the Gurnee Spartans who last year finished as Division Champions and second overall behind the Aces. The Spartans played the Aces very tough this fall with the match being decided late in the second half, but in the end it was no points for the Spartans allowing Libertyville to take the top position. Rounding off playoff contenders in the East Division are the Gurnee Express, a club that appears to be on the rise from mid-table positioning. Although it's too early to predict playoff spots, the Express certainly have a good chance to make it in the top 8.
IN THE WEST DIVISION
Finally, in the West a lot of parity exists within the division. A surprise at the break are Dundee, with almost more points at the break than the team secured all of last year. If the success continues Dundee would be another new team for the playoffs. Otherwise, with good point distribution among the remaining teams, it's anybody's guess what clubs will ultimately finish at the top to quality for the playoffs.
Of course one thing is for sure, if you're involved with Tri-County soccer you're having fun. Have a safe winter break.