The Soul on Wednesday took the long flight from Philadelphia to the state of Washington, where they will visit the Spokane Shock on Friday night for an Arena Football League contest between the sport's last two champions.

Kickoff is 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on NFL Network.

The Soul, who are back this season after a two-year absence from the AFL, took the title in 2008. And after the league shut down in '09, the Shock won the crown last year while the Soul organization continued to regroup.

Right now, however, the Shock's chances of even making the playoffs have all but ended. And the Soul need a lot of things to go right in order to qualify. They are 5-7 after winning their last two outings, and Spokane is 4-7 after dropping two straight before being idle last week.

While the Shock are in last place and out of the race in the West Division of the AFL's National Conference, the Soul are in third place and still alive in the East Division of the American Conference.

Ahead of the Soul in the division standings are the Pittsburgh Power (7-4) and the Cleveland Gladiators (6-5).

Pittsburgh, which has seven games remaining with only two at home, will visit the Soul on July 22 to end the regular season.

Cleveland, which has seven games remaining with four at home, comes to Philadelphia on July 8.

The Gladiators defeated the visiting Soul, 59-41, on May 21. Including their game Friday, the Soul have six games left with four at home.

"We have to have some things happen, but the main thing is we have to keep winning," said Soul coach Mike Hohensee.

The AFL playoff field will include the four division champions, plus two wild cards from each conference that finish with the next-best records.

In addition to the Gladiators, the Orlando Predators (8-3) and the Georgia Force (7-5) are currently in better position than the Soul to claim wild-card spots for the playoffs. The Predators and the Force trail the Jacksonville Sharks (10-1) in the American Conference South Division.

The Soul are coming off an uplifting, 39-37 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Mustangs that was decided on a 4-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Donovan Morgan with no time left.

Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or ktatum@phillynews.com.