How does the 2024 NPSL playoffs look for the red-hot Akron City FC?

Writer: Sideline and Beat Reporter, Cade Cracas

For the first time in club history, Akron City FC (ACFC) will make their way into the Midwest Great Lakes playoffs.

This is the first time that ACFC has made such successful strides in the NPSL since being established in 2021. Heading into the final week of the regular season ACFC sits at an overall record of 7-0-2 in league play which places them second in the Great Lakes Midwest Region and ninth in the entire NPSL.

With the league altering the playoff picture for the 2024 season, what does the path to a championship look like for the team that calls Akron home?

In the Midwest Great Lakes Conference, the conference in which ACFC is apart of, four teams will make an appearance in the postseason. The first and fourth seeds will take on one another, with the second and third seeds clashing. Both outings will take place on Wednesday, July 10, with the higher seed hosting.

For ACFC, they will pay host to a team yet to be determined from Green Street Stadium. If ACFC is to pull off a win on July 10, they will move on to the conference final which will be played on Saturday, July 13. Yet again, this matchup will be hosted by the higher seed.

After the Midwest Great Lakes champion is crowned, they will move on to the regional playoffs. The conferences in ACFC's region are the North Conference and the Gateway Conference. 

Each conference champion will meet in the regional playoff round, with the highest ranking team paying host to both the semi-final and final game. However, if needed, the league can suggest a neutral site to compete at. Seeding for the regional tournament is based on regular season points-per-game. To see where current overall standings are shaking out, access the link below:

The two and three seed will clash for the regional semi-finals at the home of the two seed on Thursday, July 17. The winner of that game will then take on the one seed in the regional finals on Saturday, July 20. 

In years past, the NPSL has received roughly eight berths into the U.S. Open Cup. If a team is to make their way into the regional finals, it places their chances high on being selected to compete in the prestigious cup. 

Once the regional finals have come to a close and a regional champion is crowned, that team will move on to the national semi-finals. Here, the four remaining teams will be seeded from one to four based on how the overall league standings pan out.

The one and two seeds will host the national semi-final game, unless the league suggests altering matchups to reduce travel, which will take place on Saturday, July 27. Whichever two team's make their way through the national semi-finals, will compete at the home of the highest remaining seed in the national championship on Saturday, August 3.

Akron City FC will look to continue their hot-streak through the back half of the 2024 season, with the regular season finale set to take place on Saturday, July 6. They will take on Erie Commodores with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. on the road in Pennsylvania. 

Currently, ACFC's overall record of 7-0-2 in league play places them second in the Great Lakes Midwest Region and ninth in the entire NPSL.

When the regular season concludes, ACFC will officially know who they will be taking on in the first round of the conference playoffs.

When that information is provided, this article will be updated.