Venue: Paladin Stadium; Greenville, S.C.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: Sunny, 76°
Series (First Meeting): 5-4-1 - GVL (2019)
Greenville Triumph SC is set to open its 2023 campaign against Players' Shield holders, the Richmond Kickers (0-0-1, 4th), in the former's first match at Paladin Stadium. Last week out, the Kickers could not find the back of the net - with just one shot on target through 90 minutes - in a scoreless draw against the Independence. Alternatively, Greenville open up its season with a reasonably banged-up roster; six players are listed on Triumph SC's injury report ahead of its season opener. In the fifth season of a largely defensive series, both sides average just 1.05 goals per matchup. Richmond may look the better side on paper, but the Kickers haven't been able to take down Greenville since 2021.
GVL - Ben Hale: Seeking his first professional appearance in his third season in Greenville, Hale will likely be tasked with filling the void of Paul Christensen. The former Paladin will return to Furman in Triumph SC's new home of Paladin Stadium but may be unavailable in his first match due to an injury.
RIC - Nil Vinyals: Hoping to build off his productive 2022 campaign in Richmond, Vinyals completed 90% of his passes and won 70% of his duels in Richmond's scoreless draw in Charlotte a week ago. If Vinyals can replicate his early season success from a year ago, Terzaghi and the Kickers' offense should reap the benefits.
GVL: D - Brandon Fricke (injury, out), M - Allen Gavilanes (injury, questionable), D - Hassan Gabo (injury, out), GK - Ben Hale (injury, questionable), M - Noah Pilato (injury, probable), D - Jamie Smith (injury, doubtful)
RIC: F - David Olsen (injury, out), F - Ethan Vanacore-Decker (injury, out)
Venue: CHI Memorial Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, 72°
Series (First Meeting): 1-1-1 (2022)
Despite finishing with just one point less than the 2022 league runners-up in Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC just missed out on postseason play in its inaugural 2022 season. Now, the pair will now meet at CHI Memorial Stadium to kick off their 2023 campaigns. Former Red Wolves players and current Hailstorm coaches Éamon Zayed and recently appointed Colin Falvey will return to Chattanooga in the Hailstorm's cross-country opener. For the Red Wolves, new Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski will hope to hit the ground running to replicate the success the '22 Red Wolves brought to the Den a season ago.
CHA - Moe Espinoza: In his first season at CHI Memorial Stadium, all Moe Espinoza could do was score bangers for the Red Wolves. The All-League Second Team selection and two-time Goal of the Month winner exploded for a club- and career-best 15 combined goals and assists. Espinoza may be looking forward to this matchup since Northern Colorado will be without their top goalkeeper.
NCO - Trevor Amann: Maybe not earning all the recognition he's due as he develops behind veteran Mexican attackers Irvin Parra and Brandon Rosas, the local product tallied an impressive five goals and four assists in his debut professional campaign a season ago. Look for the 24-year-old forward's continued development to pay dividends for the Hailstorm.
CHA: GK - Ricardo Jérez (international duty, out), D - Manuel Madrid (injury, questionable), F - Ropapa Mensah (ineligible, out), D - Richard Rentería (ineligible, out)
NCO: D - Donald Benamna (international duty, out), GK - Johan Peñaranda (suspension, out)
Venue: Optim Sports Medicine Field at Tormenta Stadium; Statesboro, Ga.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, 76°
Series (First Meeting): 2-1-1 - TRM (2022)
In a 2022 USL League One Playoff Quarterfinal rematch, the Charlotte Independence (0-0-1, 3rd) will aim to exact their revenge against eventual champions South Georgia Tormenta FC (1-0-0, 2nd) in the first match at Tormenta Stadium since the Ibises claimed their first league crown. In the only Week 2 matchup featuring clubs that participated in Week 1, both sides will be eager to increase their offensive production from a week ago. Tormenta FC scored just once, and Charlotte was held scoreless. South Georgia's Pablo Jara may have his hands full in goal as Charlotte's attacking unit develops its chemistry. Still, Tormenta FC's do-it-all midfield collection will be hard to contain. Midfielders Mukwelle Akale, John Murphy Jr. and Tobias Otieno collected a trio of Team of the Week honors after putting in work on both sides of the ball in Cary last week.
TRM - Tobias Otieno: Aiming to become the first League One player to claim three consecutive league titles, Otieno extended his form of consistency with the Ibises on Friday, winning 100% of his duels and 86% of his tackles to go along with 10 recoveries.
CLT - Clay Dimick: One of the longest-tenured Jacks, Dimick helped the Independence to an opening-day clean sheet with his six duels won, five recoveries and two clearances. The Team of the Week defender's 81% passing accuracy was good enough to earn the week’s top passing score from American Soccer Analysis.
TRM: F Arthur Bosua (injury, questionable), F Kazaiah Sterling (injury, questionable)
CLT: D - Carson Talboys (injury, out)