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Match Previews - 8.5.2023

By Staff, 08/04/23, 3:30PM EDT


All 12 clubs in action for second consecutive Saturday

Possible Playoff Preview at Paladin

Matchup: Greenville Triumph SC (8-6-5, 6th) vs. Charlotte Independence (9-6-6, 3rd)
Venue: Paladin Stadium; Greenville, S.C.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: Sunny, 86°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #GVLvCLT
Series (First Meeting): 3-2-0, GVL (2022)

  • Pack-Man: In Charlotte goalkeeper Austin Pack's first full season as a starter, the 'keeper has already accumulated the fifth-most saves in league history and is well on his way to surpass Akira Fitzgerald’s record of most saves in a single regular season.
  • New digs: The Jacks have never earned a point in Greenville in two previous trips and are set for their first match at Paladin Stadium. Charlotte are 8-20-14 when traveling to a new venue for the first time.
  • Stretching the streak: A win or draw for Greenville would match a club record (May-July 2022) for the longest stretch with just one loss over the course of 11 matches.
  • Austin Pack (CLT): Conceding just one goal, Pack made five saves against Northern Colorado to propel his side to a massive 4-1 victory over the first-place side and earn a spot on the Team of the Week.
  • GVL: D - Tyler Polak (out, injury)
  • CLT: N/A

13th edition of Henny Derby set for City Stadium

Matchup: Richmond Kickers (6-6-8, 7th) vs. Forward Madison FC (8-5-6, 5th)
Venue: City Stadium; Richmond, Va.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: Partly cloudy, 84°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #RICvMAD | #HennyDerby
Series (First Meeting): 6-5-1, MAD (2019)

  • Smooth sailing: Madison's match against Richmond kicks off the first of eight consecutive matches against opponents below the playoff line. If the current table positions hold, it will double Madison's previous record for most consecutive matches against opponents out of a playoff position.
  • Richmond regression?: Richmond’s recent run of form will see the historic club sit below the playoff line for its longest stretch since Oct. 2021, and if the Kickers fail to win, it would mark its longest unbeaten streak (5) since Oct. 2019.
  • Get the Henny!: In one of the most unique rivalries in professional sports, the City Stadium is set to host the 13th edition of the Henny Derby - a celebration of Black culture.
  • Christian Chaney (MAD): The most impactful player in Week 20 with a goals-added mark of 0.86, according to American Soccer Analysis, Chaney was responsible for both of Madison’s Week 20 goals across a pair of matches. The 28-year-old forward added to his totals with eight duels won, five recoveries and three chances created.
  • RIC: F - Ethan Vanacore-Decker (out, injury)
  • MAD: M - Julio Benitez (out, injury), HC - Matt Glaeser (out, suspension)

Defending Champs host aspiring champs

Matchup: South Georgia Tormenta FC (7-9-3, 9th) vs. North Carolina FC (10-4-4, 2nd)
Venue: Optim Sports Medicine Field at Tormenta Stadium; Statesboro, Ga.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Mostly sunny, 83°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #TRMvNC
Series (First Meeting): 3-2-1, TRM (2021)

  • Lucky number seven: A win or draw for NCFC would see the club match its longest unbeaten streak (7) since the 2017 NASL season.
  • August anguish: Tormenta's match against NCFC kicks off a string of matches against the league's first, second, third and fifth-place teams over their next five matches.
  • Going for four: South Georgia have defeated North Carolina in three consecutive matches which accounts for NCFC's longest active losing streak against a League One opponent.
  • Kazaiah Sterling (TRM): Sterling recorded the fifth brace of his career for club and country, leading Tormenta FC to a huge victory over Madison on Wednesday and adding an assist against Omaha on Saturday, earning Player of the Week distinctions.
  • TRM: D - Jake Dengler (questionable, injury)
  • NC: F - Shak Adams (out, personal), GK - Nick Holliday (out, injury), D - Daniel Navarro (out, personal), GK - Tor Saunders (out, injury), M - Jaden Servania (out, injury)

Omaha hope to one-up struggling Knoxville Side

Matchup: Union Omaha (8-5-7, 4th) vs. One Knoxville SC (6-8-7, 8th)
Venue: Werner Park; Papillion, Neb.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: Partly cloudy, 79°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #OMAvKNX
Series (First Meeting): 1-0-1, OMA (2023)

  • Winning the possession battle: Both Omaha and Knoxville are among the league's best when it comes to success on the ball. The pair of clubs are within the top three in the league in average possession and penalty area entries.
  • Aiming to avoid the sweep: A Knoxville loss or draw would mark the side's first winless series against a single opponent since joining League One in the offseason.
  • Battle between the sticks: Knoxville and Omaha have accumulated an even six clean sheets, but OKSC's Sean Lewis currently leads the Golden Glove race (0.94 GAA) while the reigning Golden Glove winner and Goalkeeper of the Year in Omaha's Rashid Nuhu maintains a career-low goals against average figure (1.33 GAA).
  • Steevan Dos Santos (OMA): The veteran USL Championship goalscorer proved vital to Omaha’s big win on Saturday, recording a goal and assisting the match-winning score in stoppage time.
  • OMA: D - Stefan Mueller (out, injury)
  • KNX: D - Dani Fernandez (out, suspension), D - Kyle McDowell (out, illness), D - Sean O'Hearn (out, injury), D - James Thomas (out, injury)

Hailstorm eager to get back on track against Lexington

Matchup: Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (10-3-5, 1st) vs. Lexington SC (4-10-6, 10th)
Venue: Future Legends Complex; Windsor, Colo.
Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET
Weather: Partly cloudy, 72°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #NCOvLEX
Series (First Meeting): 0-0-1 (2023)

  • Gotta grab one: Lexington SC and the Colorado Rapids are the only clubs Northern Colorado have faced and failed to earn a victory against. A win against LSC would see Northern Colorado earn victories against every current League One club.
  • Hoping to stay hot: The Hailstorm have suffered back-to-back losses against the two clubs directly below them in the table (NC, CLT). A third consecutive loss would mark the longest league losing streak in club history.
  • Opposite ends of the spectrum: In what could be a mismatch, Northern Colorado have scored the most goals in the league (32) and Lexington have conceded the second-most goals in the league (34).
  • Bruno Rendón (NCO): The first-year Northern Colorado defender has excelled in his first season in Windsor. Rendón led the league with his 60 duels and 17 tackles won while adding two goals and two assists throughout July.
  • NCO: F - Irvin Parra (questionable, personal), F - Valentín Sabella (out, injury)
  • LEX: N/A

Central Valley, Chattanooga Hungry for points

Matchup: Central Valley Fuego FC (5-12-1, 11th) vs. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (4-11-4, 12th)
Venue: Fresno State Soccer Stadium; Fresno, Calif.
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Cloudy, 79°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #CVvCHA
Series (First Meeting): 2-1-1, CHA (2022)

  • Slow offense and leaky defense: Central Valley and Chattanooga have scored just 13 (12th) and 20 goals (11th), respectively, and have conceded 26 (1st) and 37 (T-6th), respectively.
  • Don't call it a comeback: Interestingly, Chattanooga and Central Valley have combined for 19 points won from losing positions (CHA: 12; CV: 7) on the season and have dropped the fewest points (CHA: 0; CV: 3) from winning positions this season.
  • Another result for Fuego FC?: Despite starting the series with three consecutive winless matches (0-2-1), Fuego FC is coming off of its first win over Chattanooga back in April.
  • José Carrera-García (CV): While he's missed a large portion of Central Valley's 2023 campaign, the former Chattanooga midfielder and 2022 USL League One All-League First Team selection is set to face his former squad for the first time since heading to Fresno in the offseason.
  • CV: GK - Ofek Antman (out, injury), F - Maximus Ekk (out, suspension)
  • CHA: M - Christian Enriquez (out, injury), M - Moe Espinoza (out, injury), M - Alex Tejera (out, injury)

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