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Gameday Previews – Sunday, April 23

By Staff, 04/22/23, 10:00AM EDT


A trio of afternoon interconference clashes wrap up the weekend’s action

San Diego Loyal SC and Elijah Martin will look to maintain their perfect home record this season when they host the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Sunday afternoon at Torero Stadium. | Photo courtesy Ben Nichols / San Diego Loyal SC

Week 7 of the USL Championship’s regular season concludes on Sunday afternoon with three interconference matchups that feature one of the remaining undefeated sides so far this season in Las Vegas Lights FC and a rematch of one of the most entertaining games in the 2022 regular season as San Diego Loyal SC hosts the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Here’s a look ahead at all the action.

Loudoun United FC vs. Oakland Roots SC

Venue: Segra Field
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+ Predictor: LDN 31%, OAK 42%, Draw 27%

The Lowdown: Loudoun United FC will look to build off its biggest win of the season so far when it plays host to an Oakland Roots SC side aiming to rebound after a setback last time out. Loudoun (2-2-1, 7pts) returned to winning ways last Saturday night as it took a 3-0 result against Birmingham Legion FC to move into fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Zach Ryan and Kalil ElMedkhar each recorded a goal and assist in the performance, with Ryan now sitting on four goals and two assists after his offseason arrival from the New York Red Bulls. Oakland (2-2-1, 7pts) saw a three-game undefeated streak come to an end in its most recent outing as it fell 2-1 at home to Hartford Athletic as Dariusz Formella’s second half penalty kick couldn’t spark a comeback for the side at Pioneer Field. Roots SC has made a solid start to the season overall, however, with Formella sitting on two goals and two assists and Edgardo Rito having notched two assists and one goal. Rito was among the goalscorers for Oakland when these sides met last year, helping lead Roots SC to a 4-1 victory at Laney Stadium that also saw Emrah Klimenta find the net. The visitors will be hoping for a similar performance this time around, but should get a stronger test from Loudoun’s overhauled squad that would record its best six-game start to a season in club history with a victory.

Spotlight Players
Loudoun United FC – Kalil ElMedkhar:
The former FC Dallas player notched his first goal of the season against Birmingham to go with two assists in the campaign. ElMedkhar has provided a consistent final-third threat with eight shots on target and a team-high 12 chances created.

Oakland Roots SC – Irakoze Donasiyano: The attacking midfielder has provided creativity on the ball this season, completing 14 dribbles and recording four chances created as he looks for his first goal of the season.

Miami FC vs. Las Vegas Lights FC

Venue: Riccardo Silva Stadium
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+ Predictor: MIA 57%, LV 16%, Draw 27%

The Lowdown: Las Vegas Lights FC will try to continue its undefeated start to the new season as it visits Miami FC with both teams in search of their first league win of the season as they square off for the second time. Miami (0-2-4, 4pts) played to a 0-0 draw last Saturday night against Detroit City FC as it was held scoreless for a second consecutive outing. The hosts have only scored three goals in six league games so far this campaign, and while Miami has been defensively stout will be hoping to get its attack into gear ahead of a notable Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup clash against Inter Miami FC on Wednesday night. Las Vegas (0-0-4, 4pts) enters the weekend as one of three undefeated teams in the Championship but is also seeking its first win after a 2-2 draw at Memphis 901 FC last Saturday night. Emmanuel Ledesma scored a spectacular equalizer for the side at AutoZone Park for his first goal for Lights FC, while goalkeeper Leo Diaz made a penalty save late in the first half that also proved key. Las Vegas took a 3-2 victory at Cashman Field when these sides met for the first time last year and will be aiming to maintain their unbeaten record ahead of a clash with Real Salt Lake next Wednesday night in the Open Cup at Cashman Field, a game that will mark the club’s first official meeting with an MLS club.

Spotlight Players
Miami FC – Florian Valot:
The French playmaker is one of the three players to have found the net this season for Miami in league play. After finding the net last season in Las Vegas, Valot will want to make his mark on this contest.

Las Vegas Lights FC – Alejandro Mitrano: The Spanish center back has been solid for his new club so far, recording 14 clearances and 14 assists while starting all four of Lights FC’s league contests.

San Diego Loyal SC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies

Venue: Torero Stadium
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+ Predictor: SD 50%, TBR 24%, Draw 26%

The Lowdown: San Diego Loyal SC will look to maintain its perfect home record this season as it welcomes the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who make their second trip to California this season hoping to rebound from a setback last time out. SD Loyal (3-1-2, 11pts) played to a 1-1 draw against New Mexico United last Saturday night as Evan Conway scored in his second consecutive outing for SD Loyal, while Charlie Adams notched his third assist of the season, and both could be key as SD Loyal looks to continue its home success so far this season. San Diego has won all three of its contests at Torero Stadium so far this season, a run the Rowdies (1-3-2, 5pts) will be aiming to break as they look to rebound from a 2-1 defeat to the Charleston Battery last time out. Tampa Bay will also be aiming to reverse a 3-2 defeat to SD Loyal when the sides met last season when Conway scored a late winner for San Diego at Al Lang Stadium as it looks to get its season on track ahead of hosting Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo FC next Wednesday night in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.  

Spotlight Players
San Diego Loyal SC – Charlie Adams:
The English midfielder has recorded assists in three of the past four games for SD Loyal to move into a tie for the league lead while notching eight chances created overall this season.

Tampa Bay Rowdies – Yann Ekra: The veteran midfielder could become the Championship’s all-time leader in regular season appearances on Sunday and will need to be at his best against a solid SD Loyal midfield group.

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