Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Forward Madison FC approaches postseason play

Analyzing Flamingos’ campaign ahead of playoff season
Spencer Shapiro

Forward Madison FC began the final stretch of its regular season and is looking to secure a playoff spot during their final regular season matches.

The Flamingos, currently sitting with an 11-9-9 record, have had a strong regular season — the team’s 42 points rank 6th in the USL Leauge One. With three more games left in the campaign, their playoff spot is not guaranteed. Only the top six teams head to postseason play.

“So it’s just the same mentality we’ve had,” forward Christian Chaney said. “We all set goals in the beginning of the year, saying that we want to at least make [the] playoffs. We want to start off with just getting into the playoffs, and I think as a team that’s still our mentality. Do what we have to do to win the game essentially, and just give it our all and not have any regrets.”


As the Flamingos hope to experience success ahead of the final playoff stretch, the organization has made some roster moves to bolster their chances down the line.

They added midfielder Ozzie Ramos from the Central Valley Fuego FC. With the experience Ramos brings, and his ability to move up and down the field quickly, it will help boost Forward Madison into playoff contention.

Forward Madison FC: New signings, roster changes spur excitement for Flamingos

His addition, amongst the other contributors on Forward Madison FC, has put this team in the position that they want to be in.

“The job’s not done yet,” defender Stephen Payne said. “We still have to win a couple more games to confirm it, but every game now feels like a playoff game. Everybody’s dialed in. You got to pay a little bit more attention to details that every training matters a little bit more and every minute matters a bit more. So we’re all just a bit more focused, getting ready for the playoffs.”

Chaney, a Fresno, California native, is currently leading the offense with 10 goals this season, and forward Jayden Onen leads with six assists followed by four from Payne.

Chaney was able to travel back to his roots and play in Fresno earlier this season, where he ended up creating a new memory to add to his soccer experiences.

“It was a tie, but we went to my hometown, in Fresno, California,” Chaney said. “We played against them and we were a man down, and I ended up scoring the tying goal … but there was a lot of adversity in that game. And as a group, I just think we fought really, really hard to stay in that game.”

To keep the Flamingos’ morale high, team chemistry is an important contribution. The camaraderie and trust the team builds outside of training and games can be just as important as attending practices.

Some of those events include spending the Fourth of July together, or even attending comedy shows in their downtime, Chaney said. They coexist well together, a key trait to their success.

“Everybody [is] working for each other,” Chaney said. “Everybody [is] playing as a team before your individual self, so it has made us really close as a team [and] as a whole.”

Payne said odd-field chemistry plays into their production on the pitch. If they can continue that, the team may continue to find success in their future matchups.

The Flamingos’ final pair of games will be played against Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC away and Union Omaha at home.

“It’s a team sport, there’s 11 of us on the field, and if we all do our job, then that’s your main focus,” Chaney said. “What can I do to help the team win? What can I do to get a goal? We’ll try to make sure that the other team isn’t getting it so easy against us. I just want to do what I can to the best of my ability.”

Wisconsin dominates ranked foe in road sweep

Earlier this season, the Flamingos tied and dropped a match Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC and defeated Union Omaha in the season opener. These are crucial games as Forward Madison closes out their season. Winning both could open a pathway into the USL League One playoffs.

“One of the things that my coach was looking towards this year was just having a group that gels well together,” Payne said. “I think in the beginning, we had a lot of new faces, including myself, and we’re finally starting to learn each other’s tendencies now. I think that’s what’s leading towards our field success.”

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