With USL sides involved in the U.S. Open Cup, the first double game week of the season is upon us.
The Rochester Rhinos match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies will headline the midweek slate as the USL Game of the Week on ESPN 3. ESPN picked a good one as the Rowdies will look to take sole possession of the top spot in the East. Reno 1868’s clash with the Tulsa Roughnecks will also feature two of the hottest teams around in a Western Conference battle.
Here’s a look at the midweek USL action:
Toronto FC II vs. Richmond Kickers (Wednesday, 12 p.m.)
In a battle of Eastern Conference cellar dwellers, TFC II and the Kickers will look to grab points in this one. Toronto enters this one in dismal form having lost three straight while the Kickers have drawn three straight. Toronto has only gotten on the scoresheet in one of their previous five matches so Angelo Cavalluzzo will have to be almost perfect in net for TFC II to pull out a result in this one.
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (Wednesday, 6 p.m.)
In the second leg of the Keystone Derby, the City Islanders will be looking to bounce back from a 1-0 Riverhounds win from their first matchup. The Riverhounds will enter in good form having won three of their last four. The City Islanders were able to escape with a draw on Saturday thanks to a Jonny Mendoza equalizer at the death of the match. Keystone Derbies tend to be competitive matches and nothing different should be expected here.
Rochester Rhinos vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (Wednesday, 7 p.m.)
The Rowdies look to keep pace with the Charleston Battery atop the Eastern Conference but the Rhinos will pose a tough test at home. Both teams are riding unbeaten streaks but something will have to give at Capelli Sport Stadium.
OKC Energy vs. Portland Timbers 2 (Wednesday, 8 p.m.)
Another matchup of bottom feeders, with this match coming in the Western Conference. The Energy will look to hold Timbers 2 scoreless for the fourth consecutive match as they look to win two straight matches.
Reno 1868 vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC (Wednesday, 10:30 p.m.)
Don’t look now but after a dismal start to the season, Reno 1868 has found their scoring touch. After going winless through five, Reno will now go for their third straight victory against a Roughnecks side who have won three of their last four. Tulsa will be tasked with stopping Dane Kelly who has posted back to back hat tricks bringing him to eight goals on the season. Kelly, USL’s all-time leading scorer, is leading the way for the golden boot and will be looking to add to his advantage.
Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Charleston Battery (Thursday 11 a.m.)
In the lone Thursday matchup, the Battery will travel to Goodman Stadium to take on the Steel. The Steel will be looking to bounce back from a loss to FC Cincinnati while the Battery will be looking to add to their Eastern Conference lead. Charleston will have to do so without Tah Anunga and Forrest Lasso who are suspended for this clash.