FC Olympia visits Bay Area, faces Oakland Soul SC in West Coast Semifinal 

USL W League playoffs preview 


After clinching the lone playoff spot for the Northwest Division in unbeaten fashion, the women of FC Olympia are tasked to face the Oakland Soul SC in the Western Conference Semifinal of the 2024 USL W League national playoffs kicking off on Friday, July 5, at the Pioneer Stadium in California State University, East Bay in Hayward, CA. 

The USL W League official website has released the final bracket of the national playoffs on Monday, confirming the first opponents of FC Olympia from the NorCal Division in the national knockout stages featuring 16 of the country’s best amateur women’s soccer sides. 

The national playoff bracket for this season’s USL W League featuring the road to glory for FC Olympia
The national playoff bracket for this season’s USL W League featuring the road to glory for FC Olympia

Coached by Jessica Clinton, Oakland Soul SC got their playoff spot after finishing second in the NorCal Division, finishing with 30 points and just missed out the division’s top spot through goal difference. Like the Artesians, they finished the division unbeaten with nine wins and three draws. 

The playoff-bound Artesians are set to face a club with a similar history, as the Oakland Soul SC was formed in 2022 as the women’s club of USL Championship side Oakland Roots SC and only joined the USL W League in 2023.  

Similar to FC Olympia, they also qualified for the playoffs in their inaugural season last year only to be trounced in the Western Conference Semifinal by the San Francisco Glens on the other side of the bracket, while the Artesians bowed down to California Storm SC. 

This will be the first time for the Oakland-based club to host a USL W playoff match, and they are expected to have a tough match-up against FC Olympia. Players to watch for among the Artesians’ opponents are in-form striker Shae Murison, who had a hat trick on their final division game, and US-born Thai international forward Miranda Nild.  

The Artesians should be ruthless in aggression and creative in the run of play, all the while locked down on the defense as one of the deepest and most in-form clubs in the whole league, which at one point finished #4 in the national power rankings under the tutelage of Raphael Cox.  

FC Olympia returns to the national playoffs again.
FC Olympia returns to the national playoffs again.

FC Olympia is expected to be led by its top goalscorers McKenna Martinez and Ameera Husseen, while it’s quite a toss-up as to who will start in goal between international debutant Shu Ohba and an in-form Murphy Sheaff, who has saved two penalties in the last two division matches.  

Ellie Karolak and Sydney Stephens will also be vital in their role as defensive stalwarts of the team, while Maia Tabion and Sadie Sider-Echenburg will also have the chance to express themselves in the national playoffsbeing two of the most in-form players by far for the Artesians. 

Should the Artesians beat the Oakland Soul in front of their ardent home supporters, they will qualify for the Western Conference Final for the first time and will face the winner of the NorCal Division champs California Storm SC and Mountain Division champs Colorado Storm in the stormy other side of the bracket. 

The playoff match will start at 7:00 p.m. PST on July 5 and will be streamed live here. Tickets are also available here. 

Good luck in the playoffs Artesians! Oly Oly Oly! 


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