North Carolina FC (5-8-3, 10th) and the Richmond Kickers (7-6-4, 2nd) will meet for a Wednesday evening fixture in Cary as both sides are eager to claim three points. The Kickers have matched their longest winless streak of the season at three, while NCFC have been dropping down the table with a league-leading six-match winless run. Splitting the pair's two earlier meetings this season, North Carolina has controlled the all-time series, leading 6-2-2 and maintaining a plus-eight goal differential across the 10-match series dating back to 2018.
NC - Garrett McLaughlin: Now tied for second in the Golden Boot race, McLaughlin has failed to find the back of the net in five-straight contests and North Carolina need the 24-year-old striker to return to his early-season form. In those five matches, NCFC has gone 0-4-1 and been outscored by 12 to five.
RIC - Akira Fitzgerald: Despite leading the league in saves with 50, Fitzgerald has given up three goals in back-to-back games for just the second time in his Kickers career. Richmond will need a big match from the veteran 'keeper to stifle a hungry NCFC side.