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League One Matchmaker: Find Your Ideal Championship Contender

By USLLeagueOne.com Staff, 10/31/19, 12:24PM EDT

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Which club could you find camaraderie with on the road to the Championship Final?

The 2019 USL League One season may be in the books, but there’s still plenty of exciting soccer to watch over the next few weeks as the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs continue with the Conference Semifinals this coming weekend.

With eight teams still fighting for a spot in the USL Championship Final on November 17, we decided to help League One fans choose a Championship club to support throughout the remainder of the postseason.

And since FC Tucson fans will likely be cheering on in-state partner Phoenix Rising FC, it works out perfectly to assign each of the eight remaining 2019 League One teams a corresponding Championship club.

Here’s what we came up with.

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If you are a North Texas SC fan you should root for...

Phoenix Rising FC

The comparisons between North Texas SC and Phoenix Rising FC are numerous, with both sides claiming the regular season title in their respective leagues to enter the postseason as the No. 1 overall seed. The two teams also amassed the most goals over the course of their respective regular seasons (NTX: 53, PHX: 89) and boasted their league’s Golden Boot in their attacking ranks, with Ronaldo Damus’ 16-goal tally falling just shy of Solomon Asante’s 22-goal haul. With Phoenix looking to match North Texas’ trophy sweep – something that hasn’t been accomplished in the Championship since 2016 – fans in the Lonestar State should find it easy to back another impressive attacking side wearing red that is favored to bring home the glory.
Phoenix Rising FC
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If you are a Greenville Triumph SC fan you should root for...

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

After watching their side finish runner up to North Texas, Greenville Triumph SC fans could very well be interested in backing a Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC squad that similarly takes care of business on the defensive end. Triumph SC (13) and the Hounds (17) led their respective leagues in clean sheets while both conceding less than a goal per game over the course of the regular season, but also have some standout attacking talents to boot. If they look closely enough, Greenville fans might see some of Jake Keegan and Carlos Gomez in Pittsburgh forward Neco Brett and midfielder Kenardo Forbes.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
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If you are a Forward Madison FC fan you should root for...

El Paso Locomotive FC

This one might not make a lot of sense at first glance but hear me out. The two first-year clubs have had greatly successful inaugural campaigns, both on and off the field, and created strong bonds with their fanbases by building a social following around their badges. #FullMingo and #CrazyTrain have taken off locally and internationally – with El Paso having the benefit of being a border city – and both teams have packed their stadiums week-in and week-out. If those similarities aren’t enough for the Flock, consider this, Madison went to Southwest University Park and defeated Locomotive FC 3-0 in the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup back in May, which matched El Paso’s largest loss of the season. If Locomotive FC wins the USL Championship Final, Forward fans could have a case of being the best team across the two leagues and, more importantly, the opportunity to make another trophy to match the Astonishingly Shiny Cup of All Cups.
El Paso Locomotive FC
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If you are a Toronto FC II fan you should root for...

Indy Eleven

Pittsburgh may be the northernmost team left in the USL Championship Playoffs, but Indy is almost exactly equidistant to the Canadian border in Windsor and features two Maple Leafs predominantly in its lineup. Tyler Pasher, a former member of the TFC Academy, led the Eleven with 11 goals during the regular season while Quebec native Karl Ouimette scored the side’s lone goal in a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls II in the Conference Quarterfinals. The duo will certainly be key to the Eleven’s chances moving forward, which would give TFCII fans north of the border a sense of national pride should Head Coach Martin Rennie’s side take the title.
Indy Eleven
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If you are a Chattanooga Red Wolves SC fan you should root for...

Real Monarchs SLC

Rooting for in-state rival Nashville or neighboring Louisville seems unlikely, so Red Wolves fans should look to the Western Conference for their Championship fix. With that in mind, the Monarchs seem like a good match given their dominance on home turf at Zions Bank Stadium and international influence in the squad. Chattanooga matched North Texas with the fewest home losses in League One this season, falling just once in 14 contests (8-1-5) at David Stanton Field, while Real finished the regular season 11-2-4 at home and added to that record with a 6-2 thumping of Orange County SC in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The Monarchs may not have an Irishman to match leading scorer Steven Beattie (nine goals), but Honduran forward Douglas Martinez (17 goals across regular season and playoffs) is certainly a fun talent to watch.
Real Monarchs SLC
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If you are a South Georgia Tormenta FC fan you should root for...

Nashville SC

Those that were around South Georgia Tormenta FC in 2018, when the side went undefeated through the regular season to claim the Deep South Division title in USL League Two, will know how important it is to gain continuity on the field as you prepare to move up a level. That certainly seemed to help Tormenta FC in the early half of the 2019 League One season, as the side looked poised for a playoff place before a late-season slide. With Nashville SC on its way to Major League Soccer after the USL Championship Playoffs, fans in Statesboro will understand the transitional phase NSC is set to undergo and would get to watch another strong shot-stopper in Championship Golden Glove Matt Pickens after seeing Pablo Jara backstop their side with 65 saves and keep nine clean sheets during the regular season.
Nashville SC
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If you are a Richmond Kickers fan you should root for...

Louisville City FC

As one of the oldest continuously run soccer clubs in the United States, the Richmond Kickers have a tradition of excellence that saw the side claim multiple USL Second Division titles and win the USL Championship Regular Season Title in 2013. The fact the club hasn’t lifted silverware since then may make Kickers fans a little bit jealous of the success that Louisville has had since joining the league in 2015, but both organizations have been standard bearers in their own right. Something tells me that Richmond fans would be fine seeing LouCity wrap up a three-peat in the coming weeks.
Loutisville City FC
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If you are a Orlando City B fan you should root for...

Sacramento Republic FC

Both Orlando and Sacramento know a thing or two about winning the USL Championship Final, with the original version of Orlando City SC having taken the league’s inaugural crown in 2011 and Republic FC following suit in 2014. Sacramento’s victory came over a No. 8 seed Penn FC side that had knocked off top-seeded Orlando in Quarterfinals. Orlando fans were probably rooting for Sacramento back then and would enjoy seeing a classic underdog story if Republic FC could go win it all from the Play-In Round after the way this inaugural League One season went.
Sacramento Republic FC

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