skip navigation

Match Previews - 8.19.2023

By Staff, 08/18/23, 4:45PM EDT


Busy, five-match slate closes out Week 23's action

North Carolina look to Build lead atop table, in series against Richmond

Matchup: Richmond Kickers (6-8-9, 9th) vs. North Carolina FC (12-4-5, 1st)
Venue: City Stadium; Richmond, Va.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: Sunny, 81°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #RICvNC
Series (First Meeting): 7-3-3, NC (2018)

  • McLaughlin chasing Terzaghi: Now tied with Jake Keegan as the second-highest-scoring player in League One history with 27 goals. Should Keegan fail to find the back of the net for Knoxville on Friday, McLaughlin will have a chance to claim sole possession of second place as he faces the all-time leader, Emiliano Terzaghi.
  • Back on top: North Carolina stretched its unbeaten streak to nine with a pair of favorable Week 22 results. Enjoying its longest unbeaten stretch since 2011, NCFC is the closest to locking up a playoff position and will remain on top of the table through the week regardless of its Week 23 result.
  • City Stadium drama: The Kickers are set to host North Carolina for the second time in 10 days. Last Wednesday, the Kickers pulled out an unbelievable, last-minute equalizer through Michael Hornsby to salvage a draw.
  • Garrett McLaughlin (NC): Now tied for the second-most goals in League One history, the NCFC captain scored once in each of North Carolina’s two matches on the week, adding 12 duels won, 10 recoveries and four fouls won to his productive Week 22.
  • RIC: F - Ethan Vanacore-Decker (out, injury)
  • NC: GK - Nick Holliday (out, injury), M - Kyrome Lumsden (out), D - Daniel Navarro (out, injury), F - Nathan Ntalu (out), M - Pecka (out, injury)

MAdison closing in on club-record season

Matchup: South Georgia Tormenta FC (8-11-3, 8th) vs. Forward Madison FC (10-6-6, 4th)
Venue: Optim Sports Medicine Field at Tormenta Stadium; Statesboro, Ga.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Mostly sunny, 83°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #TRMvMAD
Series (First Meeting): 6-3-2, MAD (2019)

  • Looking to avoid history: Currently positioned below the playoff line as the postseason looms, the Ibises are trying to avoid becoming the first defending champion to finish the regular season outside the top five spots in the table.
  • Most points for Madison?: With a possible 30 points remaining in their fifth season, the ‘Mingos are just eight points away from confirming their best-ever campaign.
  • Leaky defense in Statesboro: While Tormenta FC is tied for the most goals this season (37), the Ibises have also conceded the third-most scores (36) at the same time - already the most for a defending champion in league history.
  • Jayden Onen (MAD): The 22-year-old Londoner and Player of the Week assisted both of Madison’s two Week 22 goals, adding 10 recoveries, eight duels won, six chances created, four interceptions and three tackles while maintaining an 84% passing accuracy.
  • TRM: D - Nick Akoto (questionable, injury), D - Jake Dengler (questionable, injury), M - Tobias Otieno (questionable, injury)
  • MAD: M - Julio Benitez (out, injury)

Omaha, Chattanooga set for another enthralling encounter

Matchup: Union Omaha (10-5-7, 2nd) vs. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (5-12-5, 11th)
Venue: Werner Park; Papillion, Neb.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: Sunny, 94°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #OMAvCHA
Series (First Meeting): 3-2-3, CHA (2020)

  • On the way up: A club-record four-match win streak has the Owls perched at second in the table - their best position in nearly a year - and just five points away from first place.
  • Come-from-behind Chattanooga: A pair of stoppage-time goals in the pair's first meeting of the season saw the Red Wolves escape with a point after trailing the Owls 3-1 after 90 minutes.
  • All even: With 18 goals across eight all-time meetings, no player has scored more than once across the series' three-year history.
  • Nicolás Cardona (CHA): Across two Week 22 matches, the Puerto Rico international led the league with his 16 duels and 11 tackles won. Cardona also added 11 recoveries, four clearances and three chances created in a solid week for the Red Wolves.
  • OMA: F - Noe Meza (questionable, injury), D - Stefan Mueller (out, injury)
  • CHA: M - Christian Enriquez (out, injury)

Ice-cold Hailstorm host red-hot Greenville

Matchup: Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (10-5-5, 5th) vs. Greenville Triumph SC (9-7-5, 6th)
Venue: Future Legends Complex; Windsor, Colo.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: Sunny, 94°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #NCOvGVL
Series (First Meeting): 1-1-1 (2022)

  • Can the Hailstorm snap the streak?: Despite a club-record four consecutive losses, the fifth-place Hailstorm do have a chance - albeit slim - to claw their way back up to second place by the time Week 23 comes to a close.
  • History awaits for Amann: Northern Colorado's Trevor Amann is a hat trick away from setting the League One single-season scoring record (19). The second-year professional is on pace to finish the regular season with 25 goals.
  • Westward Ho!: Triumph SC is seeking its first win in Colorado and at Future Legends Complex in club history. Across 17 previous fixtures, Greenville is 6-5-6 when playing west of the Mississippi River.
  • Lucky Opara (NCO): Opara registered the first multi-goal match of his career with a brace against Omaha on Saturday. The Nigerian defender also completed six long passes, earned four recoveries and won four duels.
  • NCO: F - Valentín Sabella (out, injury)
  • GVL: M - Devin Boyce (out, injury), F - Leo Castro (out, illness), D - Tyler Polak (out, injury)

Jacks look to remain perfect in Fresno

Matchup: Central Valley Fuego FC (5-14-2, 12th) vs. Charlotte Independence (10-7-6, 3rd)
Venue: Fresno State Soccer Stadium; Fresno, Calif.
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Partly cloudy, 92°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #CVvCLT
Series (First Meeting): 3-1-1, CLT (2022)

  • Promising play from Pack: Named to the Team of the Week on eight occasions, Austin Pack has been a revelation for the Jacks in his first full season as a starter. The 29-year-old goalkeeper is on pace to shatter the previous league record of most saves in a single season (105) with 121.
  • Tough test for Fuego FC: Despite a shock victory over the Independence last month, Central Valley has historically struggled against Charlotte. Fuego FC's 12 goals conceded against the Independence is the most against any single opponent, and its -7 goal differential matches the club's worst.
  • Weathering the storm: According to American Soccer Analysis, the Jacks have faced the toughest collection of opponents from a goals-added perspective. Still, the Independence are on pace for their second season of 50 or more points across their last three campaigns.
  • Austin Pack (CLT): With his seven-save Week 22, Pack has positioned himself with the third-most saves in a single season in League One history (87), just 19 shy of claiming the record. Pack also led all goalkeepers on the week with his 1.83 goals conceded below expected and his 1.80 goals added, according to American Soccer Analysis.
  • CV: GK - Ofek Antman (out, injury)
  • CLT: None reported

Follow USL League One

Most Recent USL League One News

Most Read USL League One News

USL League One News