It was a bittersweet bye weekend for the Soul.
While Philadelphia got slightly farther behind Dallas in the pursuit of homefield advantage, it did clinch a playoff berth thanks to a win by its fiercest rival. Dallas' victory over Cleveland on Saturday secured Philadelphia's third consecutive postseason bid.
"We're thrilled," Soul coach Bret Munsey said. "We had a fantastic start and we want to now get healthy and get rolling."
The Soul jumped out to a 9-0 mark but has stumbled and lost three of the last four. Munsey was hopeful that starters Mike Brown, Bryan Save and Anthony Dunn would be able to return to the lineup for Saturday's crucial game at Dallas. Starting quarterback Tony Graziani, who's battling an injured knee, also could be back.
If the Soul (10-3) beats Dallas (11-2), it will tie the Desperados for the National Conference lead. Philadelphia would own the tiebreaker, though, having beaten Dallas twice, and would lock up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs by winning out. After Dallas, Philadelphia hosts Cleveland and visits New York.
"Our goal now is to win the next three," Munsey said, "and make the playoffs come through Philadelphia." *
- Ed Barkowitz