The two hottest teams in the Eastern Conference come together Tuesday night.
The Harrisburg City Islanders and Charlotte Independence are rocking and rolling through the middle part of the USL season, and have each defied early setbacks to climb the standings. The Independence won their last meeting at home, 2-0, over the Islanders, but Harrisburg is a different team now and should expect a better performance at home.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the midweek action:
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Charlotte Independence, 7 p.m.
The Harrisburg City Islanders fantastic run of form will be heavily challenged when the Charlotte Independence come to town. The City Islanders have slowly climbed the standings in the last few weeks, picking up 12 of 15 points in their last five matches. Despite the good results, most have come at the expense of lower competition, and the Charlotte Independence are anything but that. After starting the season in turmoil, the Independence have just one defeat in their last 11 matches. Jorge Herrera and Enzo Martinez are locked in and producing big for the Independence and may be too much for the City Islanders penchant to bunker and counter attack.
Rio Grande Valley FC vs. Orange County SC, 8 p.m.
Orange County SC will look to extend their undefeated streak to five matches when they visit Rio Grande Valley Wednesday night. OCSC is embarking on their death march of a schedule after playing just 12 games thus far this season. With a congested schedule looming, picking up points on the road against teams below the playoff line will be very important. Rio Grande Valley still sit in prime position to make a move into the top half of the table, and winning at home could vault them into seventh place with the right combination of results.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Swope Park Rangers, 10:30 p.m.
The Swope Park Rangers will look to complete their Cascadia sweep when they head to the Seattle Sounders 2. The Rangers are on a terrific run of form, winning six consecutive matches. Their last two wins came against the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 and the Portland Timbers 2, each by a score of 1-0. A third consecutive road victory in the span of eight days, and fourth match in two weeks, would be a great run for a team clicking in the midsummer season. The Sounders 2 have maintained a solid record at the lower end of the top half of the table, though their defensive performances leave room for improvement. Coming off back-to-back losses, and three losses in their last four matches, it will be critical for the Sounders to turn their poor form around to maintain their playoff spot.