The scoreboard is a bit barren this week, but the one definitive result is the one that matters and it’s also the one that causes us to start looking at the end of the season and who might be walking away with the championship.
Wordsmiths hosted Sporting Black Cats to a scoreless draw, keeping Wordsmiths without a victory and holding Sporting Black Cats in the bottom four.
Gothica hosted Allen FC, with Donovan Righte scoring the sole goal at 47′ to give Gothica three more points of a lead over their second place competitor.
Naval Armada hosted Shamrock Celtic in a scoreless draw, both clubs desperately need to start winning and desperately need to start showing some sort of dominance.
Vulcan FC hosted Shazam CM in a scoreless draw.
Halo hosted Emerald United in a 1-1 draw, with Halo scoring at 37′ (Andrei Ramius) and Emerald United scoring at 86′ (Trent Areonak).
Knightsquare hosted Real Olympia in a 1-1 draw, with Knightsquare scoring at 24′ (Nico Capella) and Real Olympia at 48′ (Francisco Perez).
“We’re the only club to gain ground this week,” said Simon Tarken, Gothica’s team captain. “We’re one step closer to claiming the championship and I think that there isn’t a club out there that can stop us.”
“The tale of this season is a clear one,” said Donovan Righte, Gothica’s second highest goal scorer. “Simon has the most goals in the league, I just took a clear second. With the two highest goal scorers, and the only club with a solid hold on top, there’s not much that can get in our way. We are focused and we are ready to win.”
The tale of the season is starting to get clearer. There are six more weeks and while Gothica holds an 8 point lead over Emerald United, they have not completely wrapped up the season. Gothica needs to win 4 more matches to seal their position as champions, or have the league falter as they either hold steady or win.
“Assuming that Gothica doesn’t win another match all season,” said Michael Brady, analyst for the ESPL. “Then Emerald United, Shamrock Celtic, Shazam CM, Naval Armada, Halo, and Allen FC all have a legitimate shot at winning the championship. Looking at the likelihood of who actually has a chance to win the championship, Naval Armada is just a little too far out, with Shazam CM having only a marginally better chance. The real race is actually between Gothica, Emerald United, and Shamrock Celtic.”
“Shamrock Celtic goes to Gothica before the season ends,” said Martin Thomas, ESPL commentator. “That will be a spectacular match if, and that’s a big if, the two clubs are closer in points by that point. They also play Emerald United, which will be another big push for one of those clubs. Honestly, this race is only close if one of Shamrock Celtic or Emerald United is on a big winning streak and Gothica is stalled out.”
“Emerald United has been solid all season, really,” said David Archer, ESPL commentator. “United has a harder road than Celtic, though, as they have to play Celtic, Shazam, and Naval whereas Celtic only has Gothica and United in their way.”
“The final piece in the puzzle is Gothica,” said Angela Marcus, ESPL field reporter. “All of the speculation relies on Gothica being stagnant. Their only two real challenges in the final six games are against Shamrock Celtic and Shazam CM. After those two, the other four matches don’t pose much of a problem. Real Olympia, Knightsquare, and Wordsmiths are all easy wins, in my opinion. Vulcan is the fourth in that string and they have a shot against Gothica, but it isn’t a strong shot. Gothica really has this wrapped up unless they literally fall apart from here on out.”
Time will tell… see you next week.