Playoff chase really heats up as Inferno host Mustangs ahead of showdown with Crunch May 22

TAMPA, Fla -- The race for the Major Arena Soccer League 2 playoffs will heat up in earnest over the next few weeks, starting with a matchup Saturday when the Colorado Inferno host the Chicago Mustangs.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time, and for folks in the Colorado Springs area, admission is free. The game will also be streamed live on the Inferno's Facebook page.

Two teams -- the Wichita Wings and Amarillo Bombers -- have already secured their spots for the July 17 and 18 "Championship Weekend" in Wichita by virtue of winning the Heartland Invitational and Rocky Mountain Invitational respectively.

A third will be determined next weekend when Chicago travels to take on the Cleveland Crunch in the final game of the Great Lakes Invitational series of games, a matchup that has already sold out for fans who have flocked to the Crunch's return to professional indoor soccer.

Cleveland controls its own destiny. With a win, the Crunch will become the third automatic qualified  for the four-team playoffs. A Chicago win will invoke a series of potential tiebrekers to determine who gets a post-season big.

"Chicago, Cleveland, Colorado, Omaha, they are all very much alive for a spot in our championships," Commissioner Chris Economides said. "The final month and a half of the regular season promises to bring a lot of exciting games, and there's no doubt based on the results we've seen already that any of the four teams that earn their way to Wichita can come home with a title this year which is very exciting for all our fans."

Colorado will be home again next weekend for a key matchup against Amarillo. The fourth and final playoff spot will go to the team remaining after the three invitational winners that finished highest in the standings. Those standings this year only are being determined by winning percentage because not all M2 teams will be able to play a similar number of games in 2021 because of Covid-19 restrictions.