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Gameday Previews – Wednesday, May 17

By Staff, 05/16/23, 3:46PM EDT


Sacramento Republic FC heads to SoCal aiming to continue undefeated start in Wednesday night doubleheader

Sacramento Republic FC will try to defend its undefeated league record this season as it visits Orange County SC on Wednesday night at Championship Soccer Stadium. | Photo courtesy Victor Schwanke / FC Tulsa

The last undefeated team standing in the USL Championship this season will be in action on Wednesday night with Sacramento Republic FC’s visit to Orange County SC the second half of a doubleheader that also features Loudoun United FC and New Mexico United meeting in an interconference clash.

Here's a look ahead at the action.

Loudoun United FC vs. New Mexico United

Venue: Segra Field
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+ Predictor: LDN 31%, NM 42%, Draw 27%

The Lowdown: Loudoun United FC will look to rebound from recent setbacks as it plays host to a New Mexico United side coming off victory last time out as the sides meet for the first time since the 2021 season. Loudoun (3-5-1, 10pts) suffered a late 1-0 defeat at El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday night in the club’s last outing as it was unable to find a way past Locomotive FC goalkeeper Benny Diaz, who posted a five-save shutout. Loudoun is looking for its first league win since a 2-0 victory against Oakland Roots SC on April 23, with the side having been held to two goals in three games since then. New Mexico (3-3-2, 11pts) earned victory on Saturday against Monterey Bay F.C., meanwhile, as 18-year-old Alex Waggoner scored his first goal in the professional ranks before Sergio Rivas scored what proved to be the winner despite the side being reduced to 10 men early in the second half. Sam Hamilton will be unavailable for selection on Wednesday as he serves a one-game suspension, with New Mexico hoping to turn the tables on Loudoun this time around after falling 1-0 when the sides met previously at Isotopes Park.  

Spotlight Players
Loudoun United FC – Koa Santos:
The right back has been a good two-way contributor and notched his second assist of the season the last time Loudoun took the field in league play at home.

New Mexico United – Josh Dolling: The English center forward came on as a second-half substitute against Monterey Bay and could return to the lineup in search of his first goal for New Mexico in the league this season.

Orange County SC vs. Sacramento Republic FC

Venue: Championship Soccer Stadium
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+ Predictor: OC 37%, SAC 34%, Draw 28%

The Lowdown: Two teams heading in opposite directions will meet for the 25th time across the Championship’s regular season and playoffs as Orange County SC plays host to Western Conference leader Sacramento Republic FC. Orange County (1-6-3, 6pts) suffered its fourth consecutive defeat in league play on Saturday night as it fell 3-0 to Oakland Roots SC at Pioneer Stadium, continuing a rocky start for interim Head Coach Morten Karlsen. The hosts are looking for their first win since April 15, when they defeated Indy Eleven on home turf. The side has scored only three goals in its four league games since then, and could be tested further by Republic FC (6-0-3, 21pts), which has currently conceded three goals in nine games so far this season. Sacramento took a 3-1 victory on Saturday night behind a hat trick from Russell Cicerone against Indy Eleven at Heart Health Park that continued his stellar start to the season. Cicerone now leads Sacramento with seven goals this season, two behind league-leader Albert Dikwa. The overall series between these teams have been reasonably close over the years with Sacramento holding a 10-8-6 record in their prior meetings while entering this contest on a three-game undefeated run (1-0-2). The visitors will be hoping to extend their lead in the standings to five points with a win ahead of a big rivalry clash on Saturday against Oakland Roots SC.

Spotlight Players
Orange County SC – Cody Cropper:
The former United States youth international will need to be at his best in goal to help the hosts withstand what has been one of the best attacks in the league so far this season.

Sacramento Republic FC – Jack Gurr: The English right back has recorded two goals and two assists this season in nine appearances and has been one of Sacramento’s most consistent all-around performance in attack and defense.

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