The next round of the 2015 NPSL playoffs will see the 4-seed Sacramento Gold FC travel to Southern California to take on the 2-seed San Diego Flash, the 2015 Southwest Conference champions. The West Region semifinal game is set to kick off on Saturday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. at El Cajon Valley High School.
The Gold earned the regional semifinal berth by defeating 5-seed FC Tacoma 253 3-2 after extra time Saturday night. Jason Jones' two goals and assist helped Sacramento win a wild and physical game, which saw both teams reduced to nine men before the final whistle blew.
The Flash, meanwhile, earned a first round bye thanks to finishing as one of the top two seeds in the West Region. San Diego, which has only one loss all season (suffered in April), won its final five games to power its way to the conference title, holding off Deportivo Coras USA U-23 by a count of 3-2 and topping Temecula FC 2-1 to clinch the crown.
Though the semifinal matchup will be only the second NorCal-SoCal game of the season, the Gold and Flash have already met twice in the playoffs. 2011 saw the two meet in San Diego, while Sacramento hosted last season's contest. The Gold won both by a score of 2-1.
On the other side of the bracket, 6-seed CD Aguiluchos USA won its first ever playoff game in its inaugural postseason campaign, topping the 3-seed Coras 4-0. Because they are the lowest remaining seed in the region, Aguiluchos will travel to face the 1-seed Sonoma County Sol in the other semifinal matchup.
The semifinal winners will advance to the 2015 West Region Final slated for Saturday, July 25. The higher of the two remaining seeds will host the game. The West Region winners will head to Nationals, taking on the other three region kings to determine this season's national champion.