It's the first meeting of the season between the Richmond Kickers (7-4-4, 2nd) and Greenville Triumph SC (8-4-4, 1st), and the winner of the high-stakes Week 16 matchup will finish the weekend on top of the League One table. Led by reigning Coach of the Month John Harkes, Triumph SC have been on a tear as of late and the Kickers have been following closely behind. With neither side conceding a loss in nearly a month, a potential winner could really build some momentum with a win.
RIC - Jonathan Bolanos: Bolanos was already leading the league in assists entering Week 15 and the 24-year-old attacker added to his total by providing a helper on Owayne Gordon’s match-tying goal in the 68th minute. In addition to creating a pair of chances, Bolanos grabbed seven recoveries and won nine ground duels.
GVL - Venton Evans: Coming on at the half, Evans proved to be the difference-maker in a defensive stalemate between Greenville and Central Valley last week. The 24-year-old Jamaican midfielder recorded the match-winner in the 66th minute and won 100% of his tackles and 75% of his ground and aerial duels in just 45 minutes of action.
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (5-8-2, 9th) have dominated the all-time series against North Carolina FC (5-6-3, 7th), winning all five previous contests and outscoring NCFC 16 to seven. Both teams are in desperate need of a win after each side has conceded a three-match losing streak since recording its last victory. A draw by either side may carry the same weight as a loss to these club's fans and players.
CHA - Juan Galindrez: Recently honored as Player of the Month following a six-score June, Galindrez may be the key to Chattanooga snapping its three-match losing streak. The Colombian striker will be eager to net his first goal of the month.
NC - Christian Lue Young: Lue Young tallied the first helper of his NCFC career last week, assisting Jaden Servania’s go-ahead goal in the first half. In his 44th League One match, Lue Young added seven recoveries, six clearances and won 75% of his ground and aerial duels.
Since dropping its first contest against South Georgia Tormenta FC (5-4-6, 3rd), Forward Madison FC (5-4-5, 5th) has controlled the all-time series with an impressive 4-1-2 overall record. After an up-and-down start to the season for both, Madison and South Georgia have continued their steady climbs up the table, losing just once in each of their last five outings. A potential winner would position themselves to challenge Greenville and Richmond at the top of the table moving forward.
MAD - Alann Torres: Torres became the youngest goalscorer of the 2022 League One campaign when the 18-year-old Indy Eleven loanee scored his first professional goal in the form of a 44th-minute match-winner for Madison against Northern Colorado last week.
TRM - Gabriel Cabral: Graduating from Tormenta FC 2 over the offseason, the 25-year-old Brazilian was the only player to record both a goal and an assist in the same match in Week 15. The first-year pro assisted Jamil Roberts’ opening score before netting the match-winner in the 81st minute against the Red Wolves.
A favorite prey of the Owls, Union Omaha (4-2-6, 8th) has dominated the all-time series against FC Tucson (3-7-4, 11th), winning seven of eight meetings and maintaining a plus-10 goal differential in those contests. Despite sitting last in the league table, FC Tucson have seen a number of impressive defensive performances lately thanks in large part to goalkeeper Carlos Merancio. Omaha will hope to get back to its winning ways following a pair of low-scoring draws.
OMA - Ryen Jiba: In his first professional season, the 21-year-old South Sudanese defender recorded the second assist of his professional career and totaled two chances created, four clearances and won 77% of his ground and aerial duels in Omaha’s 1-1 draw with NCFC last week.
TUC - Carlos Merancio: “El Gato” showed off his cat-like reflexes against Northern Colorado last week amidst heavy downpour in Tucson. The Mexican shot-stopper tallied a season-high six saves while facing the highest expected goals mark of Week 15 to secure a home draw.