Coach Gordon Bradley of the Washington Diplomats is optimistic about his team's chances of gaining a home-field advantage in the upcoming North American Soccer League playoffs.
The Diplomats, who beat Rochester, 4-3, Saturday, have won seven of their last eight games and four in a row.
"We've put things together lately," said Bradley, commenting on the teams' recent success after a disastrous midseason slump when the team lost six games in a row. "We are really enthusiastic now and we have a great attitude. But to get that home-field advantage, we're going to have score some more points" said Bradley, referring to the NASL playoff system.
Sixteen teams will be involved in the playoffs. These include the top two teams in each division, plus two wild-card teams per conference.
Each division leader at the end of the regular season, plus the team in each conference with the highest point accumulation for a nondivision leader, gets home-field games.
If the current standings hold true to the end of the season, Washington would lose home-field advantage to Portland because the Timbers have scored more points, 148 to 143.
"We are finishing well, though, and since we've gotten back players from either injury or suspension, we are getting better as a team. We are beginning to better understand each other's style of play," said Bradley. "That is the key to winning."
The Diplomats have four remaining games, including Wednesday night's match at RFK Stadium with New England.he risk of being run over by an accompanying car painted with advertising slogans or by one of t