A few things will need to go the way of the Owls if they want to clinch a first-round bye, but things will be a bit more simple should Union Omaha (10-6-13, 4th) complete the season sweep and defeat Central Valley Fuego FC (10-12-7, 8th) at Werner Park. The Owls must snap its six-match winless run to potentially clinch the two seed as they face a Fuego FC team recently eliminated from playoff contention. Central Valley has been shut out in both of the previous two meetings but will certainly hope to end its inaugural season with a positive result.
OMA - Conor Doyle: In a 1-1 draw with Tormenta FC last week, Doyle scored the lone Omaha goal to earn a crucial home point and spot in the playoffs. Doyle reeled in 14 recoveries and created four chances.
CV - Christian Chaney: The only player in Week 28 to record both a goal and assist, Chaney continued his good form by assisting Zahir Vazquez’s match-winning goal before scoring one of his own to finish off Tucson.
The 10th all-time meeting between the Richmond Kickers (14-7-8, 1st) and Greenville Triumph SC (12-8-9, 2nd) will pit the top two teams against each other in a thrilling regular season final with heavy postseason implications. While first place is already locked up for Richmond, a win for Greenville would confirm the two seed, a first-round bye and hosting rights for the Semifinals. Should Richmond complete the season sweep and defeat Greenville to even up the all-time series at 5-5-0, the door would be open for Chattanooga, Omaha or South Georgia to potentially claim the coveted first-round bye.
RIC - Emiliano Terzaghi: The league's all-time leading scorer has a two-goal lead in the Golden Boot race as the Argentine continues to cement his status as a league legend.
GVL - Jesus Ibarra: Tied for the most chances created last week with seven, Ibarra assisted Jacob Labovitz’s match winner in his side’s playoff-clinching 1-0 victory over Charlotte.
A battle of in-state rivals has heavy implications for both sides as the Charlotte Independence (11-12-6, 7th) chase a postseason spot and an eliminated North Carolina FC (8-15-6, 11th) hope to see their striker, Garrett McLaughlin, continue his final push for the Golden Boot. An up-and-down first League One campaign for the Jacks has come down to the final regular season matchday with a simple formula: win and they're in. A season series split at one win apiece, the all-time series dating back to 2015 was dominated early by NCFC but recently taken over by Charlotte. Still, NCFC has scored two goals for every one Charlotte goal in the eight-year rivalry.
CLT - Héctor Acosta: The defender that contributed the most goals added per American Soccer Analysis last week, Acosta maintained 85% passing accuracy and 78% duel success rate top go along with five recoveries and four clearances.
NC - Garrett McLaughlin: McLaughlin is two goals shy of the Golden Boot title pending Emiliano Terzaghi's Week 29.
A battle of teams with a chance at the two seed and a first-round bye, South Georgia Tormenta FC (11-9-9, 6th) is set to host Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (12-10-7, 3rd) for the second-ever match at Optim Sports Medicine Field at Tormenta Stadium. The all-time series favors Chattanooga with its 4-3-2 record, but both teams have claimed a 2-1 victory over its opponent earlier this season. Both Chattanooga and South Georgia must win in order to have a shot at the two seed, but of the pair, only South Georgia still has a chance at postseason elimination should the Ibises lose on Saturday and Charlotte take down NCFC.
TRM - TJ Bush: Playing a large part in Tormenta FC's late-season playoff push, Bush has helped South Georgia win or draw 80% of its matches since taking over goalkeeping duty in August compared to just 63% before.
CHA - José Carrera-Garcia: Carrera-Garcia created five chances to go along with his assist of Juan Galindrez’s match winner against NCFC last week. The Red Wolves captain also won 100% of his tackles and completed 85% of his passes.
If North Carolina can take down Charlotte earlier in the evening, the final contest of the regular season between FC Tucson (8-14-7, 10th) and Forward Madison FC (7-11-11, 9th) will be a battle to stay out of the bottom of the table. FC Tucson had a strong showing in September, but a rough start to October derailed its postseason ambitions. For Madison, the 'Mingos have failed to earn a point in its last five contests. As long as the weather is amicable, both sides will push to end the season on a high note.
TUC - Luca Mastrantonio: Mastrantonio notched his second goal of the season in his side’s 2-1 loss at Northern Colorado last week. The 26-year-old Italian also recorded nine recoveries, five clearances and maintained 83% passing accuracy.
MAD - Jeremiah Streng: Madison's leading scorer hasn't found the back of the net in over a month. It would be nice for him to finish up his loan stint in Madison with a goal or two before returning to Europe.