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Match Previews - 2023 USL League One Playoffs Semifinals

By Staff, 10/27/23, 5:00PM EDT


2023 USL League One Final participants to be decided Saturday evening

Owls' quest for second League One title begins with experienced Jacks

Matchup: No. 1 Union Omaha vs. No. 4 Charlotte Independence
Venue: Werner Park; Papillion, Neb.
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 28; 5:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Cloudy, 36°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #OMAvCLT | #USLPlayoffs
Series (First Meeting): 2-2-2 (2022)

  • Postseason juggernauts: After becoming the first club in league history to lift the Players' Shield twice, Omaha is a pair of victories away from becoming the first League One club to win the League One Final twice. The Owls enter the contest as the highest-scoring club in League One postseason history.
  • Off to a hot start: Just two years after joining League One, the Independence are a win away from playing for the first trophy in its nine-year history. Already sixth in league history with its 1.468 points per match in the regular season, Charlotte are just the third team in league history (Greenville, Omaha) to participate in the postseason in each of its first two seasons in the league.
  • Dead even: Across six all-time meetings, the Owls and Jacks have been incredibly even, accruing two wins, two losses, two draws and seven goals each. The past two meetings have been lopsided, though, with Omaha downing Charlotte, 4-1, on Oct. 4 and Charlotte defeating Omaha, 3-0, on June 3.
  • CLT - Austin Pack (CLT): Pack will need to step up in a big way if the Jacks hope to advance to the 2023 USL League One Final. The 2023 Owls have scored the most goals in a single season in league history (61), but Charlotte has conceded the third-fewest against Omaha this season (4).
  • OMA: M - Conor Doyle (questionable, injury), D - Stefan Mueller (out, injury)
  • CLT: None reported

North Carolina, Northern Colorado clash in Cary for third time in 2023

Matchup: No. 2 North Carolina FC vs. No. 3 Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC
Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 28; 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, 73°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #NCvNCO#USLPlayoffs
Series (First Meeting): 3-2-1, NCO (2022)

  • Semifinal struggles: After accumulating the most points (63) and most points per match (1.969) in club history, North Carolina FC is set to compete in its first semifinal since the 2017 NASL season. That said, NCFC is just 1-6-1 across the eight semifinal matches the 17-year-old club has competed in.
  • Upset-minded Hailstorm: Fresh off a 4-1 dismantling of Madison in the Quarterfinals - the second-highest-scoring performance in USL League One Playoffs history - Northern Colorado will head to Cary for the third time this season. The Hailstorm are 3-1 in knockout matches against higher-seeded or higher-division opponents.
  • Three is a magic number: While Northern Colorado leads the all-time series at 3-2-1, NCFC was the only club to claim a shutout victory over the Hailstorm in 2023, and the only one to do it twice. The Hailstorm will look to replicate South Georgia Tormenta FC's postseason magic from a season ago in which the Ibises became the first three seed - and lowest overall seed - to win the USL League One Final.
  • F - Trevor Amann (NCO): Fresh off his second-career hat trick a week ago - the first in USL League One Playoffs history - Amann will look to increase his record-breaking goalscoring total of 27 scores across all competitions.
  • NC: M - Pecka (out, injury)
  • NCO: None reported

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