MADISON, Wis., (WMTV) -- Forward Madison FC is gearing up for their playoff debut. The team held their second-to-last training session in Madison on Wednesday before they fly to Dallas to play North Texas SC in a USL League One semi-final.
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“Playoffs are usually not the best soccer. Sometimes it’s about grit, but I do think we get to play on a very good field, against a very good team, so it will be a very good challenge for our guys,” said head coach Daryl Shore.
The Flamingos finished fourth in the USL League One regular season standings, qualifying them for the playoffs in their first year of existence. They will play Saturday against the number one seed North Texas SC.
“They’re a good team. They’re young but they are fit. They like to play, they play the right way. But if you are physical with them, you can get under their skin a little bit, which we did here so hopefully we can do that again,” said forward JC Banks.
“It’s a testament to our group. They’ve been through a lot and full credit to them to be where they are right now,” added Shore. “Whenever you have a chance, that’s all you can ask for. We are one of four teams that can win a championship,”
The regular season series between North Texas SC and Forward Madison FC is tied, 2-2. The Flamingos won the last match 1-0 when the two teams played on September 22nd at Breese Stevens Field.
Captain Connor Tobin says the playoffs is all about grinding it out on the pitch.
“This time of year is not about playing pretty stuff, it’s about playing effective soccer,” he said. “We are capable of being very hard to play against. Playoff soccer is about minimizing mistakes and capitalizing when the other team does make them. I think we are getting better and better at that each week,”
“Playoffs, you are going to have to scrap a little bit. In the games there is a lot of bounces and you have to fight a little more to get there and I think we have the guys that can do that,” added Banks.
Madison and North Texas kick off 7 pm on Saturday night. You can watch the game on ESPN+