With only one win in the pair's four-match series history, Forward Madison FC (7-7-11, 8th) will be eager to improve its playoff prospects with a win against a floundering North Carolina FC (6-12-5, 11th) side. With both sides' playoff hopes looking slim, North Carolina and Madison have failed to pick up a win since Aug. 10 and Aug. 20, respectively. However, a win from either side with a few weeks to go would significantly boost those hopes.
MAD - Mikey Maldonado: Despite his side’s loss to Chattanooga last week, Maldonado had a strong outing that featured one goal, two chances created and seven recoveries.
NC - Garrett McLaughlin: Still in the Golden Boot conversation with an impressive 11 goals in the season, NCFC will need McLaughlin to produce more goals in the early stages of matches rather than at the end.
A pivotal match with heavy postseason implications pits a red-hot Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (10-9-6, 5th) side against the top team in the league in the Richmond Kickers (13-7-5, 1st) on Saturday evening. With Richmond's wild stoppage-time winner against Omaha on Wednesday, the Kickers can claim the league's first postseason spot with a win against Chattanooga and a loss or draw from Madison and Charlotte. The Red Wolves will hope to extend its dominant all-time record against the Kickers which currently sits at 7-3-0 in favor of Chattanooga.
CHA - Nicolás Cardona: The Puerto Rico national team captain scored his first goal for the Red Wolves and recorded three clearances and two recoveries in his side’s big 5-2 win over Madison last week.
RIC - Jonathan Bolanos: The league’s assist leader added to his total last Wednesday with an impressive two-goal, one-assist performance in Richmond’s 3-1 victory over Tormenta FC. Bolanos has contributed to all six of Richmond’s goals in their last two contests.
Union Omaha (10-5-10, 2nd) will aim to take down Greenville Triumph SC (11-8-6, 3rd) for the first time since defeating the side in the 2021 USL League One Final. An uncharacteristic run of form for two of the league's best teams, Omaha and Greenville have accumulated a two and three-match winless run, respectively. A potential winner would be set up to challenge the Kickers for the top spot in the league by the end of the regular season.
OMA - JP Scearce: Despite Omaha’s shutout loss to Tucson last week, Scearce had a productive evening on the road with 11 recoveries and a 90% duel success rate on 19 total challenges. The 24-year-old midfielder also won six fouls.
GVL - Brandon Fricke: With his goal against Charlotte last week, Fricke has now scored in every League One season. The 30-year-old defender also completed over 90% of his passes and tallied three recoveries.
Central Valley Fuego FC (8-9-6, 9th) will hope to claim its first-ever win against the Charlotte Independence (9-10-6) in the Jacks’ first visit to Fresno in Week 25’s final fixture. While Charlotte finds itself positioned above the playoff line as things currently stand, it’s the ninth-place Fuego FC side that actually controls its own destiny thanks to its seven matches remaining. If Central Valley wins, it’s three points closer to clinching its spot in the playoffs in its inaugural season. If Charlotte wins, however, Central Valley will lose its magic number as the two sides would be even on tiebreakers.
CV - Victor Falck: Falck is tied for the team lead in goals with six after scoring the match-winner against Tucson in Fuego FC's last match all the way back in August.
CLT - Héctor Acosta: In addition to holding Greenville to just one goal, Acosta assisted Illia Shevtsov’s late match winner and added six clearances and two recoveries.