The boys in Old Glory Red picked up their first win since May 12 on Wednesday night with a first-half brace from Tucker Bone, downing Las Vegas Lights FC 2-1 at Cashman Field. Now back in the win column, the Republic FC’s midweek fixture set the tone for another exciting weekend of action across the USL Championship.
Things took a turn in the Pacific Division last weekend when Phoenix Rising FC was forced to settle for a point with Charlotte Independence, allowing Orange County to inch closer to a division title. Rising FC will look to get back in the win column on Saturday when they host LA Galaxy II.
Also on Saturday, Las Vegas Lights FC used a 74th-minute goal from Antonio Leone to steal three points from Oakland Roots SC in divisional action before falling at home to the Indomitable Club. A Sunday draw between LA Galaxy II and Tacoma Defiance capped off division play.
Wednesday’s action could not have provided any more drama, as the Republic FC used two goals from Tucker Bone to snag three points for the first time since May. San Diego Loyal SC took three points in a pivotal division matchup with Orange County SC despite going down a man from a red card.
Come Saturday, Rising FC will return home to face LA Galaxy II while Roots SC, Las Vegas and Orange County all take the pitch.
USL’s ESPN2 Game of the Week pits a pair of Mountain Division foes fighting for playoff seeding against each other in Colorado Springs –a fixture that has seen three of its last six meetings end in draws.
Colorado currently sits fourth in the Mountain Division and has been firing on all cylinders since starting the season 1-0-2, taking three points in four of its last six games but also dropping two of its last three. Switchbacks FC forward and current Golden Boot frontrunner Hadji Barry has found the back of the net 12 times this season, while as a team, Colorado Springs is tied for second in the league with 21 goals.
San Antonio has struggled through the 2021 season, in particular coming away with just two points in four outings away from Toyota Field. SAFC currently sits on the outside looking in,
holding down sixth place in the Mountain Division with 12 points. Like Switchbacks FC though, SAFC also boasts a prolific goal scorer in Santiago Patiño (five goals).
In a fixture that will likely have heavy implications in the trajectory of the Western Conference race, Orange County will look to get back the win column against an RGV Toros side that has recently had OCSC’s number, winning three of the last four head-to-head matchups.
This is unchartered territory for the Pacific Division club, who is coming away from a fixture without points in hand. Now at 6-3-3, OCSC left points on the table on Saturday in San Diego after conceding two goals in two minutes despite being up a man.
RGV, meanwhile, currently sits in second in the Mountain Division at 21 points, tied with an El Paso club that faces off with Las Vegas this weekend. RGV defeated El Paso 3-2 on June 30 in a Texas derby. Most recently, Toros are coming off a 1-1 draw with Austin Bold FC and a 5-1 trouncing by Liga MX side CF Monterrey in a July 4 friendly.
A showdown in the Sunshine State could shine some more definitive light on the Eastern Conference Race, as Miami is currently clinging toa fourth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. Depending on what happens on Saturday between Hartford and Charleston, this weekend could provide us with a clearer look at the Atlantic Division race.
Saturday’s fixture at FIU Stadium will pit one of the Eastern Conference’s most potent offenses (19 goals) in Miami FC against the conference’s stingiest defense in Tampa Bay (9 goals conceded).
Miami has won three of its last four outings, most recently dropping four goals on Loudon United FC ina 4-1 rout. The Rowdies will look to get back to three points territory after dropping two straight, including a 2-1 defeat to Miami on July 7. Overall, though, Tampa Bay has won four of the last six head-to-head meetings dating back to August 7 of last season.
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