Soccer teams inching closer to playoffs

Mater Dei Catholic alumnus Alejandro Guido has been a mainstay on the San Diego Loyal the past few seasons. Photo courtesy SD Loyal

Both the Major League Baseball and men’s and women’s pro soccer playoffs are approaching the horizon. While it seems the Padres are in line to qualify for the National League wild card race — knock on wood — both the San Diego Loyal and San Diego Wave soccer teams also appear bound for postseason play.

The Loyal will host its Fan Appreciation Day on Oct. 9 against New Mexico United at 3 p.m. It will mark the Loyal’s final regular season home match.

The USL championship team will host its first home playoff match in club history the weekend of Oct. 21-23.

The Loyal (18-9-4) sits in second place in the Western Conference standings behind San Antonio FC (22-5-4). The San Diegans are six standings points ahead of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks (16-12-4). New Mexico United is 11-9-10 on the season – 15 standings points behind the Loyal.

The top seven teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.

Midfielder Alejandro Guido (Mater Dei Catholic) remains South County’s top connection to the team, which plays its home games at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego.

Guido is having another successful season, ranking third on the team with 41 shots in 29 games. Overall, he’s collected four goals and three assists.

The Loyal secured a home field playoff berth following its 2-1 win at the Las Vegas Lights last Saturday. Team scoring leader Kyle Vassell scored his 14th goal of the season just 16 seconds into the match after taking the opening kickoff and speeding past a defender.

Alex Morgan of the San Diego Wave and Megan Rapinoe of the OL Reign vie in a NWSL match earlier this season at Torero Stadium. Photo by Andy Bartotto

The first-year Wave continues to set records in the National Women’s Soccer League after attracting a sellout crowd of 32,000 to its first home match at Snapdragon Stadium on Sept. 17, a new bench mark for the nine-year-old league.

The Wave sent the colossal crowd home happy with a 1-0 win over Angel City as Jaedyn Shaw, 17, scored on a far post header to net the first soccer goal in Snapdragon Stadium.

The Wave hosts the North Carolina Courage, 2022 Challenge Cup champions, in its second match at Snapdragon Stadium on Friday. Kick-off is 7 p.m.

The Wave (10-6-5, 35 points) is involved in a tight race for first place in the league standings with the Portland Thorns (10-3-8, 38 points), OL Reign (10-4-7, 37 points), Kansas City (10-5-6, 36 points) and Houston Dash (9-6-6, 33 points).

The top six of the league’s 12 teams qualify for postseason play.

The Wave had regularly drawn sellout crowds at 6,000-seat Torero Stadium before making the move to Snapdragon Stadium late in the NWSL season.

Team USA veteran Alex Morgan leads the Wave in scoring with 15 goals and two assists in 17 games.