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Gameday Previews – Friday, September 15

By Staff, 09/14/23, 12:35PM EDT


Orange County looks to put pressure on top two against Switchbacks, New Mexico looks for boost against Indy

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC's Romario Williams and Orange County SC's Dillon Powers could square off on Friday night at Championship Soccer Stadium. | Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

Orange County SC will try to continue the longest undefeated streak in its regular season history as the weekend’s action gets underway in the USL Championship with a pair of games on Friday night that see Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and New Mexico United both looking to boost their playoff chances and Indy Eleven within reach of a move into the top-four in the East.

Here's a look ahead at the action.

New Mexico United vs. Indy Eleven

Venue: Isotopes Park
Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+ / SiriusXM FC

The Lowdown: Indy Eleven will try to extend its six-game undefeated streak as it heads to face New Mexico United, with the hosts in need of a turnaround in their bid to return to the postseason. New Mexico (9-13-6, 33pts) suffered a second consecutive defeat last Sunday evening as former player Neco Brett scored the only goal as Birmingham Legion FC took a 1-0 win at Protective Stadium. United is now four points out of the playoff positions in the West with six games to go in the regular season and has won only once in its past six games to fall off the pace in the playoff race. By contrast, Indy (11-9-8, 41pts) is looking well set for a return to the postseason having won five of its last six games, including a 1-0 victory against Miami FC in its most recent outing on September 2 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium. Sebastian Guenzatti scored the only goal of the game in that outing and is now tied for the club lead with nine goals alongside Aodhan Quinn. After falling 2-1 at home to New Mexico last season, when Justin Portillo and an own goal by Mechack Jerome led United to victory, the Boys in Blue will be out to turn the tables this time around as a win would move the side ahead of Louisville City FC and into the top four in the East ahead of Saturday’s slate of games.

Spotlight Players
New Mexico United – Amando Moreno:
The El Salvador international could return to United’s lineup after starting in both of La Selecta’s contests in the Concacaf Nations League in the past week with the aim of adding to his team-leading nine goals.

Indy Eleven – Sebastian Guenzatti: The veteran forward has scored five goals during Indy’s six-game undefeated run, including three game-winners, as he returns to the form that has made him one of the USL Championship’s most prolific forwards in recent years.

Orange County SC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

Venue: Championship Soccer Stadium
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+

The Lowdown: Orange County SC will look to add to its nine-game undefeated streak as it plays host to a Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC side that is under pressure to remain above the playoff line. Orange County (14-9-5, 47pts) played to a scoreless draw against El Paso Locomotive FC last Saturday night, a result that ended the club’s eight-game winning streak but saw the side set a club record for its longest undefeated run in the USL Championship’s regular season. The 2021 title winners remain three points behind second-placed San Antonio FC in the West, with a game in hand, but to pull level will need to flip the script from their last meeting with the Switchbacks in June which saw Colorado Springs run away to a 4-0 victory at Weidner Field. The Switchbacks (11-13-4, 37pts) are winless in their last three games as they head to Championship Soccer Stadium but got a small boost last weekend when USL Academy signing Marco Rios scored a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with San Antonio FC. With the battle around the playoff line continuing to tighten, the visitors would give a major boost to their chances of a third consecutive trip to the postseason with a fifth road victory of the season.

Spotlight Players
Orange County SC – Milan Iloski:
OCSC’s leading scorer is set to depart the club at the end of the season to FC Nordsjælland in the Danish Superliga but will want to end his time on a high note after recording 12 goals so far this season.

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Deshane Beckford: The Jamaican winger has been influential on the right side this season and could face a fascinating matchup with OCSC left back Ryan Doghman, who has three assists himself this season.

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