Kings stay alive with weekend doubleheader sweep of Colorado Inferno

OMAHA, Nebraska -- For a team that wasn't even supposed to play in Major Arena Soccer League 2 this season, the Omaha Kings are still making plenty of noise, and continue to be alive for a spot in next month's Championship Weekend in Wichita.

The Kings delighted their home crowds with 10-5 and 8-5 wins over the Colorado Inferno this past weekend to improve to 5-7 (.458 winning percentage). The Chicago Mustangs currently hold the fourth and final playoff spot, and have finished their regular season at 5-5 (.500 winning percentage).

Omaha -- which was originally set to play at the Major Arena Soccer League 3 level this season but was granted provisional status for the 2021 season to move up and play M2 this year -- has two games remaining, including a huge showdown this coming Sunday against the first-place Cleveland Crunch.

The Kings finish their regular season on the road June 20 at Amarillo. A win in both would allow the Kings to also hit the .500 winning mark, and they would earn the final playoff spot by virtue of their wins over Chicago earlier in the season. The teams played three times, with Omaha taking two wins. Because teams are not able to play the same number of games this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak, standings are being determined by winning percentage for 2021 only.

Saturday, Omaha raced to a 5-0 lead in the second quarter and Colorado could get no closer than three on two different occasions in the second half.

For the Kings, James Thayer had the hat trick, while Sebastian Contreras added a pair. Omaha got single scores from Murilo Ceruli, Eduardo Suarez and Leonides Mejia. Colorado goal scorers included Jorge Velasquez (3), Ben Brewer and Ventura Dominguez.

On Sunday, the Kings fell behind early, and then used a six-goal barrage in the second and third quarters to pull away from the Inferno, led by Ali Sodal's four point afternoon (three goals and one assist). Thayer and Ceruli each also added a pair while Mejia, Daniel Zuckweiler and Elias Galvan had one goal each.

Next weekend's action includes a return to the field for the Wichita Wings, who will host the Crunch Saturday before Cleveland moves on to Omaha Sunday. The Wings -- who along with Cleveland and Amarillo have already clinched playoff spots -- will host the Bombers for  a pair at Hartman Arena June 11 and 12. The arena will host M2's playoffs on July 17 and 18.