By JOHN BOSCHINI
With their closest rivals on hiatus, the Richmond Kickers are looking to take advantage.
A midweek loss to Orlando City put the Floridians into pole position in the American Division, a place Richmond has occupied since the first week of the season. Richmond currently sits four points behind Orlando but with a game in hand.
With a double-header this weekend, the Wimington Hammerheads can make a serious push towards the top of the crowded American Division table. The Hammerheads currently sit second from bottom but have a whopping five games in hand and have only dropped three points all season.
The two teams at the bottom of their respective divisions square off when the Charlotte Eagles travel to take on the Dayton Dutch Lions. Despite their difficult start, the Eagles have won two consecutive matches while Dayton has played only once in May.
The Charleston Battery is trying to keep pace in the American Division but face a stiff test against a Harrisburg side looking to take advantage of a weak National Division.
Here is a look ahead to all the action in the USL Pro:
Wilmington Hammerheads at Rochester Rhinos, 7:30 p.m.
The Rochester Rhinos have not been convincing so far this season, earning only 10 points from a possible 21. However, that's enough for second place and Rochester is in prime position to challenge the LA Blue for top position at the top of the National Division.
Wilmington Hammerheads at Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 7 p.m.
If Wilmington can beat Rochester on Friday night, the Hammerheads will be in a position to take over third place in the American Division, jumping two places in two days. Wilmington is led by Luke Mulholland's three goals.
FC New York at Richmond Kickers, 7 p.m.
On paper, this should be a straightforward win for Richmond but the rapid cooling of the Kickers following their hot start might open the door for FC New York. Richmond is winless in three games while New York has lost its last two. Both teams need a win badly to break their disappointing runs.
Harrisburg City Islanders at Charleston Battery, 7:30 p.m.
Charleston's offensive drought broke last week with a 2-1 win over Richmond, but can it last? Harrisburg has allowed six goals in five games and needs to get its offense going after scoring only four goals this season.
Charlotte Eagles at Dayton Dutch Lions, 8 p.m.
Both teams were easy pickings for the rest of the league during the first two months but Charlotte has started to turn it around. Is it a fluke or a sign of things to come? Dayton has only one point this season and is in some desperate need of some confidence.
What do you think of this weekend's games? Can Richmond turn its fortune around? How about Dayton? Can Wilmington surge up the table?
Share your thoughts below.