New Mexico United and Sacramento Repulic FC will both be aiming to build on weekend victories as they square off for the second time this season on Wednesday night. | Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
Two teams vying for a home postseason contest in the Western Conference will square off on Wednesday night as August’s slate gets underway in the USL Championship regular season with a two-game night that also sees one of the Eastern Conference’s contenders in action.
Here’s a look ahead to the action.
Venue: MSU Soccer Park
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
538.com Predictor: NY 18%, MEM 57%, Draw 24%
The Lowdown: Memphis 901 FC will try to regain third place in the Eastern Conference standings as it heads to face the New York Red Bulls II with the hosts hoping to shake off a late defeat this past weekend in a quick return to action. New York suffered a 2-1 defeat to New Mexico United on Sunday evening at MSU Soccer Park as it conceded a 90th-minute goal to remain in single-digit points this season. After a challenging first half, the hosts had leveled through Steven Sserwada in a bright start to the second half but a red card for Hassan Ndam after his second cautionable offense reduced the side to 10 men with 15 minutes to go before New Mexico broke through late to grab victory. Memphis will return to action on Wednesday and bring with it two familiar faces to MSU Soccer Park in defenders Patrick Seagrist and Rece Buckmaster, both of whom played for the Red Bulls II at the start of their careers. 901 FC played to a 1-1 draw against Indy Eleven in its most recent outing on July 23 as Phillip Goodrum scored his 12th goal of the season, allowing Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC to move into third place after its win this past Saturday, but with only a point to make up and two games in hand on the Hounds, Memphis will be aiming for a victory and a chance to challenge the top two in the Eastern Conference this weekend.
New York Red Bulls II – Michael Knapp: The central midfielder has made 12 appearances this season and will need to produce a strong display against a Memphis lineup that features one of the better two-way midfielders in the league this season in Aaron Molloy.
Memphis 901 FC – Rece Buckmaster: The right back has recorded one goal and four assists this season for 901 FC and will look to join the attack when possible as he visits his former stomping grounds.
Venue: Isotopes Park
Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET
538.com Predictor: NM 47%, SAC 25%, Draw 28%
The Lowdown: Two of the top five teams in the Western Conference will each be aiming to build on victories this past weekend as they vie for position and a potential home playoff berth when New Mexico United hosts Sacramento Republic FC in their second meeting of the season. The teams played to a scoreless draw at Heart Health Park in May, but both delivered positive results to boost their respective playoff chances this past weekend. New Mexico’s Will Seymore scored his first goal in the USL Championship to provide a 90th-minute winner for his side in a 2-1 victory on Sunday evening against the New York Red Bulls II, while Sacramento’s Luther Archimede and Emil Cuello each had a goal and assist in Republic FC’s 4-2 win against the Charleston Battery on Saturday night. Archimede and Cuello were part of a rotated lineup from Sacramento’s historic progression in the Semifinal of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup last Wednesday night, and players such as Rodrigo Lopez and Luis Felipe Fernandes could make their return against New Mexico. With a five-point gap between the two sides, a United win would solidify its chances at a first home playoff game in October, while fifth-placed Sacramento will be aiming to close the gap.
New Mexico United – Romario Williams: The Jamaican forward made his debut for United on Sunday against the Red Bulls II and with a short turnaround could be in line to make his first start in relief of either Jerome Kiesewetter or Neco Brett.
Sacramento Republic FC – Luis Felipe Fernandes: The central midfielder has been one of the big impact players for Republic FC this season and will face a key potential matchup against United playmaker Justin Portillo.