The Albany Empire have won back to back games against the Washington Valor and now the real test of how far they've come this season as they face the Philadelphia Soul. The defending champion Soul spoiled the Empire's inaugural game winning 56 - 35 at the Times Union Center and now the Empire can get revenge at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday, May 19th at 6 pm. To get that win I believe Defensive Lineman Joe Sykes needs to have big game. Which is why he's my player to watch this weekend.

Sykes performance last week earned him the league's defensive player of the week honors:

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Sykes (6’4, 285, Southern) got one step closer to becoming the AFL all-time sacks leader on Friday. For the third straight game, Sykes recorded two sacks giving him a career total of 59.5, one behind AFL Hall of Famer Sam Hernandez (60.5). On the season, the three-time 1st Team All-Arena selection has 10.5 total tackles and three forced fumbles to go along with his six sacks.

Joe Sykes can make history and make Soul Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh uncomfortable all game long which could lead to a third straight win for the Albany Empire. Not just another win but a statement that they can beat any team in the league if they beat the Soul in Philadelphia.

You can listen to the Albany Empire games live on our sister station ALT 105.7.