Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC will host the USL Summer Showcase on Wednesday night, welcoming FC Tulsa to Weidner Field. | Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
The 2023 USL Summer Showcase presented by Hisense highlights a four-game slate of action on Wednesday night as Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC looks to further solidify its playoff prospects against FC Tulsa at Weidner Field. Elsewhere, we have a top-four clash in the Eastern Conference as LouCity plays host to the Charleston Battery, while Indy Eleven and Birmingham Legion FC square off in an important game for both after setbacks last time out.
Here's a look ahead at all the action.
Venue: Michael A. Carroll Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
The Lowdown: Indy Eleven and Birmingham Legion FC will both aim to rebound from late defeats in their most recent outings with the Boys in Blue looking to move back above the playoff line with victory on home turf. Indy (6-9-7, 25pts) suffered a 2-1 defeat to Memphis 901 FC on Saturday night at The Mike as the visitors scored with nine minutes to go to claim all three points. The result allowed Miami FC to jump one point ahead of the Boys in Blue for the eighth and final playoff place in the East. The night was brightened by a pair of milestones for Solomon Asante, who reached 100 combined goals and assists in the league’s regular season in his 150th appearance as he set up Aodhan Quinn’s eighth goal of the season, with both Asante and Quinn now one assist away from a half-century in the Championship’s regular season for their careers. Birmingham (9-10-2, 29pts) also fell for a second consecutive outing in a 2-1 loss to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Friday night that saw the Switchbacks find a winner with six minutes remaining at Weidner Field. Legion FC remains in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, but holds only a four-point edge on Indy as the sides enter this contest, meaning the visitors will be hoping for a repeat of their 2-1 victory at Protective Stadium in June when the sides met for the first time this season. A victory for the hosts, however, could pull Birmingham into a battle for its fifth consecutive trip to the postseason.
Indy Eleven – Sebastian Velasquez: The veteran winger has yet to record a goal or assist since his move to Indy but has looked bright in spells for his new club and will be hoping to provide inspiration here.
Birmingham Legion FC – Neco Brett: The Jamaican landed at No.1 on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top Ten on Friday night for his spectacular bicycle kick finish in Colorado Springs and is now only one goal from 75 regular season tallies in the Championship for his career.
Venue: Lynn Family Stadium
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
The Lowdown: Louisville City FC and the Charleston Battery will square off in an intriguing contest between two of the top clubs in the Eastern Conference this season. LouCity (10-7-5, 35pts) took its second consecutive victory on Friday night in a 3-0 result against FC Tulsa that saw Cameron Lancaster record a goal and assist and both Sean Totsch and Wilson Harris also find the net. The shutout was the club’s league-leading 11th of the season as goalkeeper Oliver Semmle set a new mark for clean sheets in the Championship in their rookie season in league history. Lancaster’s goals in consecutive games, meanwhile, have moved him to 78 in the Championship’s regular season, within one of equaling Hadji Barry for second place all-time. By contrast, Charleston (11-6-6, 39pts) suffered a 1-0 defeat to Oakland Roots SC on Friday night that saw the side suffer a rare misfire in the attacking third despite creating numerous chances to take something from the contest. The Battery have been the best side on the road in the league this season, however, taking 21 points from 11 road contests so far, and after the sides played to a scoreless draw at Patriots Point earlier this season the visitors will be hoping to break a six-game winless run against LouCity that stretches back to the 2018 season on this occasion.
Louisville City FC – Cameron Lancaster: The English forward appears to be coming back into form with two goals and one assist in the past two games and he’ll be looking to add to a pair of goals in nine prior appearances against Charleston.
Charleston Battery – Augustine Williams: The Sierra Leone has recorded five goals in 10 away appearances this season and will be looking to move into double-digit tallies in a season for the third time in his career with his next goal this campaign.
The Lowdown: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC will look to build on a bounce-back victory last time out as they host an FC Tulsa side in need of the same after consecutive defeats as they meet in the USL Summer Showcase presented by Hisense in downtown Colorado Springs. The Switchbacks (10-11-2, 32pts) moved up to sixth place in the Western Conference standings as Juan Tejada’s late goal earned a 2-1 victory against Birmingham Legion FC before a sold-out Weidner Field last Friday night. The win broke a three-game winless run for Colorado Springs, but the side could move back into the top four in the West on Wednesday night with a repeat of its victory against Tulsa a season ago at ONEOK Field. Tulsa (7-9-7, 28pts) suffered a second consecutive 3-0 defeat last Friday, meanwhile, as Louisville City FC took victory at ONEOK Field to leave the hosts in seventh place in the Eastern standings. Tulsa has suffered consecutive defeats for the first time since June and will be looking to respond with only a three-point gap separating itself from ninth-place Indy Eleven. With only two road wins this season, that could be a challenge at one of the most difficult places to visit in the Championship with the Switchbacks averaging two points per game at home this season.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Deshane Beckford: The Jamaican winger has notched two goals and four assists this season, finding the net against Birmingham on Friday, and will prove dangerous on the right flank.
FC Tulsa – Patrick Seagrist: The experienced defender gets a quick return to his former home venue after his transfer from the Switchbacks to Tulsa late last month having made his debut for his new club against Louisville City FC.
Venue: Torero Stadium
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET
The Lowdown: San Diego Loyal SC will look to rebound from a setback last time out as they play host to a Loudoun United FC side that is winless in its last five games as it heads for the first meeting between the two clubs. SD Loyal (9-6-6, 33pts) let a halftime lead slip in a 3-1 defeat to Orange County SC on Saturday night after Evan Conway’s ninth goal of the season had put the side ahead at Torero Stadium. The result saw San Diego drop to fifth place behind OCSC in the Western Standings, but with two games in hand on both third-placed Oakland Roots SC and fourth-placed Orange County this contest offers a chance to resume a push up the standings. Loudoun (6-15-3, 21pts) returns to action after a scoreless draw last Wednesday against Memphis 901 FC still in theoretical range of the Eastern Conference’s playoff positions, sitting only five points behind Miami FC in eighth place. With only 10 games to go in its regular season, however, Loudoun has claimed only seven points away from home this season, fewest in the Championship, making this a game the visitors need to take something from to begin that playoff push.
San Diego Loyal SC – Adrien Perez: The former D.C. United winger has been a key creator for his new side with five goals and two assists this season and could be well known to some of his opponents in the Loudoun squad.
Loudoun United FC – Cole Turner: The defensive midfielder put in a solid display in his side’s game against Memphis last Wednesday and will need to be on his game against a flexible and free-flowing SD Loyal attacking midfield.