The Chicago Riot entered Sunday's match with their backs to the wall. After a tough loss to the Baltimore Blast on the marvelously executed Chicago Soccer Heritage Night (video and picture evidence here), the Missouri Comets rolled into the Villa Park Odeum Center clinging to a half game lead over the Riot for 4th place. The winner would keep their playoff hopes alive. The loser was likely going to be forced to start focusing on the long Major Indoor Soccer League off-season.
John Schulz of the venerable Windy City Soccer has a full summary of the action but it all boils down to this: the Comets had no answer for Riot forward Bato Radoncic. In addition to scoring the first and last goals of the game, Bato scored a goal that gave the Riot a 8-6 lead and he scored the goal that kicked off an 8 unanswered point swing that saw Chicago come out victorious 16-12 over Missouri. Bato's performance was so great, he was named MISL Player of the Week. Now that the Riot have leapfrogged over the Comets, Chicago sets its sights on the Omaha Vipers as the two squads will battle in a home and home matchup on Friday and Sunday night. If Chicago can take both games, they will be in the driver's seat for the 3rd and final playoff spot.
In that scenario, Chicago would improve to 5-9 while Omaha would fall to 6-9. The Riot's post-Omaha schedule includes three games against the lowly Comets, two more games against the 11-3 Blast and one game against the 10-4 Milwaukee Wave. Omaha's schedule is much more intimidating with a pair of games each against the Blast and the Wave and only one game against the Comets. Even if Chicago splits the series, there's still hope... and that's why you need to get out to the Odeum this Sunday. The chance for playoff glory will be on the line.