By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After a 12-6 regular season and an East Division title, it is now a three-game season for the Philadelphia Soul as they open the playoffs Saturday night, hosting Orlando.
Philadelphia had won seven in a row before dropping their regular season finale to San Antonio, a loss which cost them the top seed in the conference. But they have been one of the hottest teams in the league since mid-season.
‘We’ve played well these last two months, no question about it,” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel tells KYW Newsradio. “We had a little slip-up. We didn’t play a few players, that probably came back to haunt us, but we wanted to make sure we were totally healthy coming into the playoffs.”
Orlando is just 7-11, but that was good enough to grab a post-season berth. Philadelphia beat the Predators, coached by former Soul head coach Doug Plank, twice this season. Back on April 6th in the second game of the season, the Soul smothered the Predators 61-33 down in Florida. Then on May 18th, in South Philadelphia, the Soul picked up a 61-51 victory.
“They’ve got the all-time greatest quarterback, as far as statistics, in Aaron Garcia,” Dolezel says. “So we definitely have to get after him and put some pressure on him, try to make him make some bad decisions. Hopefully we can get some turnovers and we can take care of the football on the offensive side. If we can do those two things and keep special teams very active like we have over the past two months, I think we’ll have a great chance to win.”
Dolezel thinks the fact that this game is in South Philadelphia is really a big advantage for them.
“I tell everyone and I’ve said it all my career playing 13 years and coaching for four of it, there’s no other sport where fans can make a difference (like arena football),” Dolezel says. “If they get loud and the opposing team has the ball, they’re trying to listen in the huddle for snap counts, communication fails a lot of times. They (fans) can change the game. That’s why it’s so important to have home field advantage in arena football.”
Winner of this game plays the winner of Jacksonville and Tampa Bay in the conference finals.
Philadelphia and Orlando will kick-off at 7:05pm on Saturday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.