Only four games remain in the 2006 Augusta FireBall regular-season schedule. For the hometown United Soccer Premier Development League team, these final four games could make or break the season.
"This is the homestretch now. We've got to have every game," FireBall coach Alec Papadakis said.
The postseason situation looks good for the FireBall, who sit in second place in the PDL's South Atlantic Division. The team's dream of a postseason berth would come closer to reality with a win at 7 p.m. today against the Atlanta Silverbacks - currently third in the South Atlantic Division.
"That's a big game because they're right behind us," Papadakis said. "As long as we keep winning we'll be fine."
The home game against Atlanta today will be a rematch of a June 15 meeting in Atlanta that was all FireBall. The Augusta squad blanked Atlanta with a 3-0 win.
"They're a big and strong team," FireBall midfielder Karl Dix said. "They like to go long. We'll have to be prepared for a physical battle."
If the FireBall do manage to get past Atlanta, Nashville returns to town Wednesday. After that, a tougher opponent lies in wait. The South Atlantic Division regular season ends with the division's top two teams squaring off for what could be the division regular season championship.
The FireBall, who entered Friday's game in Raleigh with a record of 8-1-2, will face the Carolina Dynamo, a team that went in to Thursday's game against Nashville with an 11-0-1 record. The home and away series will take place at home July 16 and on the road July 22.
"That will be big, but we're still taking it one game at a time. The next game is the most important," Papadakis said.
Today's match against the Atlanta Silverbacks will take place at Patriots Park starting at 7 p.m.
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