Photo courtesy Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
As the calendar flips to August, we’re now officially in the second half of the 2021 League One season. That means with each passing week, points become just that little bit more valuable, and with a very crowded midtable, the race for the postseason places figures to come down to the final weeks.
An August slate featuring 25 total games figures to set the stage for a dramatic final two months of the season. With all that in mind, here are five matches you should be sure not to miss this month.
The three meetings between these two clubs so far this season have produced some fireworks, with Greenville winning the opener before Tormenta took each of the last two contests. The most recent saw South Georgia pull off an incredible comeback, overturning a 2-0 second half deficit to win 3-2. The fourth and final meeting of the season between the regional rivals promises to deliver once again.
Like Triumph SC and Tormenta FC, Omaha and Madison will play their fourth and final matchup of the season on Saturday, August 7. The season series between these two midwestern ornithological rivals is all square at the moment - Madison won the opener, Omaha the second game, and the most recent meeting on July 16 finished 1-1. With Omaha currently top of the table and eight points above Madison, this game is a chance for los Búhos to either pull away from the Flamingos, or for Madison to close the gap.
At surface level, this may look like a game between two teams near the bottom of the standings - and that’s objectively true. But both these teams’ table positioning paints a harsher picture of them than their performances. North Texas and North Carolina have never before met on the field, but each has plenty of exciting young players to keep your eye on.
On the North Texas side, Gibran Rayo, Bernard Kamungo and Derek Waldeck all capture viewers’ attention, while NCFC starlets Jay Tee Kamara, Selmir Miscic and Cole Frame are clearly all prospects with very bright futures in front of them. This game should be very easy on the eye, especially for the neutral.
The first game between these two clubs this year happened at Werner Park back on July 3 and ended 1-1 thanks to an equalizer at the death from Chattanooga’s Marky Hernandez, and at the moment, these two sides are still the top two in the League One table. With only a handful of points between them, and two of Omaha’s stars (Greg Hurst and Conor Doyle) being former Chattanooga players making their return to CHI Memorial Stadium for the first time, this has all the ingredients to be one of the most important games of the season.
Despite their geographic proximity, Greenville and Richmond have only met once this season, way back in Week 2. Triumph SC won 1-0 that day, and a match at Legacy Early College toward the tail end of August will be the only other game between the two clubs this season. Greenville is currently four points above Richmond in the table, and if things are still that close in three weeks’ time, this game could end up having big ramifications in the postseason race.