Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (4-5-2, 4th) will face the Charlotte Independence (4-5-2, 5th) for the first time on Wednesday evening at CHI Memorial Stadium. Both losing three of their last four, the once top-of-the-table sides will hope to bounce back with a win on Wednesday. Charlotte have lost three straight while failing to score a single goal, and Chattanooga snapped its own three-match losing streak on June 11 against Fuego FC.
CHA - Rafa Mentzingen: The veteran midfielder is third in the league in goals added per match according to American Soccer Analysis. The Red Wolves need their leader to step up in order to extend the Chattanooga winning streak.
CLT - Tresor Mbuyu: Still returning to form following an injury, the league's Player of the Month in the opening month of the season has not scored since May 18. If Mbuyu can return to the scoresheet, the Jacks will have a better chance to earn points.
The first-time meeting between League One's youngest clubs, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (2-3-4, 10th) will host Central Valley Fuego FC (3-2-5, 6th) in a battle of fire and ice. Fuego FC started the season hot, but Martín Vásquez's side has failed to record a win in over a month. For the Hailstorm, Northern Colorado have only lost once in its last five but have settled for draws rather than victories leading to a low standing in the league table.
NCO - Robert Cornwall: The heartbeat of the Hailstorm defense, Northern Colorado’s captain recorded a goal and an assist last week in the same match for the first time in his impressive decade-long career. In defense, Cornwall registered five clearances and three recoveries.
CV - Nathan Smith: In Fuego FC’s scoreless draw with FC Tucson in the inaugural Western Clásico last week, Smith pulled in eight recoveries and three interceptions while winning 11 of 15 ground and aerial duels.