Playoffs at Fever Pitch with Soccer Chaplains United Chaplains
A number of results this past Wednesday night solidified the playoff destinies of teams where Soccer Chaplains United chaplains are serving.
In Major League Soccer, while my own Colorado Rapids lost to league-leading New England, Ben Dudley and Troy Ready’s Portland Timbers won 2-0 to clinch a spot. In the Eastern Conference Billy Cerveny’s Nashville SC won with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Cincinnati to clinch a playoff place with a few games in the season remaining.
In the National Women’s League, Christina Garber’s Portland Thorns clinched the league shield (most points in the season) and will have the top seed for postseason play.
In the United Soccer League Championship, Soccer Chaplains United chaplains are serving six different teams. In the Mountain Division, with four teams, there will be a tense playoff battle which will either see Chaplain Isidro Piña’s Rio Grande Valley Toros or Clint Moore’s New Mexico United go through. Erick Jiménez’s El Paso Locomotive clinched the top division spot weeks ago and Kurt Trempert’s Colorado Springs Switchbacks recently secured a home playoff game. In the Pacific Division, Jubal McDaniel’s Tacoma Defiance are in striking distance, but need results to go their way and a win against division leader Phoenix, this weekend. Elsewhere, Greg Aydt’s Memphis 901 FC finally secured a spot with Wednesday night’s home victory.
On the college front, Kim Beach’s work with Trinity International University will see the last home game and senior night this weekend. TIU has stumbled a bit this season to a 3-13 record and with an ever-shifting landscape from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kim’s work as chaplain will continue well into the offseason with the student athletes of TIU.
In High School, Greg Navitsky’s Valor Christian High School team advance out of the first round of the Colorado State High School playoffs with a 1-0 win over Doherty Wednesday night. Ryan Doyle’s boys team at Christ Presbyterian Academy play in the spring and Jordan Medas’ work in central Virginia is just getting going.
The extension of ministry due to the playoffs means that chaplains have more opportunities to serve and love and care for the athletes, coaches, staff, and families that they serve. More touch points and potentially some difficult places as teams flourish or fail — sometimes the failing places offering more space for a chaplain to represent God to people and to bring comfort in the midst of disappointment and loss.
Please keep our chaplains and their respective teams in your prayers.
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