Louisville could wrap up the No. 1 seed Eastern Conference and the bye that comes with it on Wednesday night with a win if Memphis also drops points at home against Rio Grande Valley FC in a match that kicks off 30 minutes later. Detroit won’t be a pushover, though. Le Rouge arrives in town on a seven-game unbeaten run with reigning Player of the Week Maxi Rodriguez in tow. Detroit lost to Louisville in both league play and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this season, so you have to think they’ll be motivated for this match.
A weakened Memphis team lost last week in Miami, but it should be back at full strength for this tussle with the Toros. If Louisville trails late or loses in the earlier game, expect to see 901 FC go all-out for a win to take control of the Eastern Conference race back. RGV FC went 4-0-0 in September conceding just one goal before losing to Louisville 1-0 on October 1, which is a totally forgivable result. In the middle of a really tight playoff race out west, RGV FC will be desperate for a result of its own.
El Paso hasn’t played since Sept. 18, so some rust is to be expected. Despite the long layoff, Locomotive still sits in seventh place above the playoff line coming into this game. A loss here wouldn’t be fatal, but a win would really help. On the other hand, Colorado Springs is winless in four games and just saw leading scorer Hadji Barry depart for the Egyptian Premier League for a USL Championship record transfer fee. Barry’s production will be hard to replace, but talented attackers remain on the roster.
New Mexico can’t clinch a playoff berth with a win Wednesday night against LA, but it can put itself in position to clinch Saturday night if other results fall into place. New Mexico hasn’t won a game since Aug. 20, though, and this one doesn’t look easy on paper. LA beat Sacramento on Sunday to keep its playoff hopes alive. Another win here would be huge.
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