By J. MAC DALY
Oklahoma City Energy FC and head coach Jimmy Nielsen face a difficult task this weekend with a long trip to the East Coast.
The Energy will play a double-header this weekend, with a Friday night game at the Wilmington Hammerheads and then a match the following night at the Charlotte Eagles.
Elsewhere in the league, first-place Orlando City will take on the Montreal Impact Reserves and second place LA Galaxy II will host the Dayton Dutch Lions. The Lions will also play two games in a busy weekend for the league.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of Week 12 in USL Pro:
OKC Energy vs. Wilmington Hammerheads FC (Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET)
The Energy will look to get their eventful weekend off to a good start after ending a three-game losing streak last week. Wilmington will be playing to maintain their unbeaten season, with four-consecutive wins.
OKC Energy vs. Charlotte Eagles (Saturday at 7 p.m. ET)
With little rest, the Energy will face an out-of-form Charlotte team that has lost its last three games. The Eagles managed only three points of their six games in May.
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Richmond Kickers (Saturday at 7 p.m. ET)
Last weekend, the Islanders defeated the Kickers in a thrilling finish. Harrisburg scored a late equalizer but a 90th-minute winner saw the Kickers take all three points. The third-place Kickers are favorites in this weekend’s rematch.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Rochester Rhinos (Saturday at 7 p.m. ET)
Last placed Pittsburgh will travel to mid-table Rochester. The resurgent Riverhounds have come up with four points in their last two games and will hope to continue their recent form against the Rhinos.
Montreal Impact Reserves vs. Orlando City SC (Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET)
League-leading Orlando City is coming into the weekend red hot after winning their last five games and will hope to continue their form against an MLS reserve team.
Dayton Dutch Lions vs. Orange County Blues FC (Saturday at 10 p.m. ET)
Both teams in the match are stuck in the bottom half of the table. A win for the OC Blues could see them rise to the top half, while three points will likely see the Dutch Lions climb out of second-to-last place.
Arizona United SC vs. Sacramento Republic FC (Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET)
Fourth-place Sacramento Republic have two games in hand on the highest ranked clubs in the league. They will look to close the gap with a home victory against a struggling Arizona United. Arizona United SC only have 10 points in nine games so far this season.
Dayton Dutch Lions vs. LA Galaxy II (Sunday at 11 p.m. ET)
In their second match of the weekend, a worn-out Dayton team will take on second-place L.A. The Galaxy II squad will look to capitalize on their opponents tired legs to secure the win.
Which match are you most anticipating? Think Orlando City can extend its winning streak? Can LA Galaxy II get the best of Dayton?
Share your thoughts below.