Week 10 of the 2022 USL Championship season kicks off on the west coast on Friday night with a pair of interconference contests that will see Louisville City FC try to remain undefeated after its midweek Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup success, and the renewal of a matchup that was last played in the 2019 campaign.
Here’s a look ahead to the action.
Venue: Championship Soccer Stadium
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET
538.com Predictor: OC 55%, TUL 21%, Draw 24%
The Lowdown: Orange County SC will try to get back into the win column as it plays host to an FC Tulsa side that picked up a morale-boosting victory last time out as the teams meet for the first time as members of opposing conferences. OCSC held a two-goal lead at home in its last outing against Oakland Roots SC last Saturday as Sean Okoli and Albi Skendi each scored, but the hosts let the lead slip as Roots SC equalized in second-half stoppage time to earn a 2-2 draw. The result kept Orange County four points below the playoff line eight games into its Championship title defense in the West. Tulsa also sits outside the postseason positions in the East but boosted its position last time out with a 3-1 victory against Detroit City FC as El Salvador international Joaquin Rivas scored a pair of goals for the hosts at ONEOK Field. Head Coach Michael Nsien’s side will arrive at Championship Soccer Stadium hoping for a repeat of the last time they visited Orange County, which saw the visitors take a wild 5-3 win on March 16, 2019. Goalkeeper Sean Lewis and playmaker Rodrigo da Costa remain from the starting lineup for Tulsa from that contest, with the sides having taken four wins apiece and drawn once in nine prior regular-season meetings.
Orange County SC – Albi Skendi: The Albanian center back scored his first goal for OCSC against Oakland and has been a solid addition to the squad and could be key as the hosts look to contain Tulsa forward JJ Williams.
FC Tulsa – Rodrigo da Costa: The Brazilian playmaker notched an assist in Tulsa’s last trip to Orange County, and after bagging his fourth goal of the season against Detroit City last Saturday will be looking for more.
Venue: Dignity Health Sports Park
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET
538.com Predictor: LA 20%, LOU 55%, Draw 25%
The Lowdown: Louisville City FC will look to continue its undefeated start to the 2022 season as it heads for a second game in California so far this campaign in a first meeting with the LA Galaxy II. LouCity took a 4-0 win in its last league outing on May 4 on the road against Atlanta United 2 as both Brian Ownby and Niall McCabe starred, and this past Tuesday also booked a place in the Round of 16 of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after defeating fellow Championship club Detroit City FC 4-2 in a penalty shootout after the sides had played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time at Keyworth Stadium. Wilson Harris scored for LouCity against DCFC for his seventh goal in all competitions this season, while goalkeeper Kyle Morton made a key shootout save in the second round to allow Ian Soler’s penalty kick to open the fourth round to prove decisive. LouCity claimed a 5-2 win against San Diego Loyal SC in its prior trip out west on April 16, and will now face a Galaxy II side that has earned all three of its wins at home this season – including a 3-0 result against Phoenix Rising FC on May 1 – but that is coming off a 4-0 road defeat against El Paso Locomotive in its most recent outing last Saturday at Southwest University Park.
LA Galaxy II – Taylor Davila: The midfielder has started in seven contests so far this season for Los Dos and been one of their most consistent performers, posting an 88 percent passing accuracy rate while recording 12 chances created.
Louisville City FC – Owen Damm: The 18-year-old Academy product was recalled from his loan from Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC on Wednesday and could be called into action immediately with Manny Perez and Amadou Dia both nursing injuries.