Greenville Triumph SC is hoping for a repeat of its 1-0 victory against South Georgia Tormenta FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 8 when they meet in league action on Saturday. | Photo courtesy Greenville Triumph SC
After Wednesday evening brought North Texas SC’s undefeated start to the season to an end, every team in USL League One is in action to wrap up Week 10 of the regular season. Here are five things to watch for over the next two nights of action.
REPEAT THE MAGIC: Greenville Triumph SC suffered another tough defeat last Saturday night to leave it with just one win in its last five league games, but as second-place South Georgia Tormenta FC comes to visit Legacy Early College to open its June slate the side led by Head Coach John Harkes might take some inspiration from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. While Greenville fell to Tormenta FC when the sides met back in March for the first game in League One history, last month’s Triumph SC victory in the Second Round of the knockout tournament also had a positive knock-on effect to the side’s league form. Cole Seiler was the hero on May 8, and with a chance to close the gap on the top two in the standings on the line Greenville should be raring to go back in front of its home fans.
KICKERS LOOK FOR JOLT: The Richmond Kickers are still above the playoff line for now, but after suffering back-to-back defeats in the league the side will need to be at its best as North Texas SC visits City Stadium. Richmond fought back admirably in Orlando last weekend to level late against OCB only for an ill-advised challenge by Ivan Magalhaes to give the hosts a chance late from the penalty spot that it gladly took, putting that good work that could have earned a point to waste. With North Texas coming in off its first loss of the season, though, there’s a chance for the Kickers if they can get out to a strong start. The omens there may not be good, the Kickers have scored only twice in the first half in nine outings this season, but you can expect that to be the message Head Coach David Bulow has been driving home to his side over the past couple of days.
MIDWESTERN SHOWDOWN: You can tell from the banter between Forward Madison FC and Lansing Ignite FC and their followers on social media this week that this is a matchup both clubs have been waiting for since the schedule was announced. With both teams looking to make a move up the standings after recent winless streaks, too, there are pretty good stakes involved in terms of league position on the line as well as regional bragging rights. With Madison looking to rebound from its midweek Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup defeat to the USL Championship’s Saint Louis FC it will want to feed on the energy of what’s expected to be another big crowd at Breese Stevens Field, but with forward Alex Bruce available again after suspension Lansing will be hoping to land the first blow in what has the potential to be a very entertaining rivalry.
Orlando City B fell 3-1 in its first meeting with FC Tucson in March, but after back-to-back victories that have seen the side score five goals it is feeling far more confident heading West for a Friday night showdown. | Photo courtesy Mark Thorstenson /
GOING STREAKING: Orlando City B may be still on the bottom of the League One standings but after back-to-back victories they’re now within sight of the playoff places as they visit FC Tucson on Friday night. Having recorded one of the highest volumes of shots in the league this season – OCB sits second in total shots on 122 – but one of the lowest conversion rates, things finally seem to be turning around in the last couple of weeks in front of goal with five goals. Going on the road to Tucson is going to be a good test of that form – while FCT fell on the road in its last outing it has been much better at the Kino Sports Complex this year – and OCB could be in with a chance of picking up its first road points of the season, especially if Thiago Souza’s hot streak continues.
RED ALL OVER: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC and Toronto FC II meet for the first time on Saturday night at David Stanton Field with both sides coming off victories, but Toronto looking like the side in form after handing North Texas SC its first loss of the season on Wednesday evening. TFC II moved up to third place in the standings thanks to a thrilling 3-2 win against the League One leaders as Jordan Perruzza scored for a second consecutive game with the side led by Head Coach Michael Rabasca looking much more like the side that opened the season with three-game undefeated streak. Chattanooga, meanwhile, is still right there in the standings and would overtake Toronto with a win of its own, but it will need to be far more convincing than in its 1-0 win against Greenville Triumph SC last Saturday that saw goalkeeper Alex Mangels put in a performance that earned him Player of the Week honors before Eamon Zayed’s goal in the 94th minute lifted the Red Wolves to victory.