TAMPA, Fla. – The race for the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs will come into focus over the final 12 weeks of the regular season, with the USL Game of the Week on ESPN set to bring some of the key matchups in the Eastern and Western Conference to fans across the United States.
The United Soccer League unveiled the games to be featured down the stretch run of the season on Monday, with Wednesday night’s clash between Rio Grande Valley FC and Real Monarchs SLC at H-E-B Park at 8:30 p.m. ET kicking off a run of games that features teams strongly in the hunt for the postseason.
Other games to watch include the first Game of the Week visit to the Charlotte Independence’s new home, the Sportplex at Matthews, with the visit of Bethlehem Steel FC on August 16 setting up a meeting between two sides that have both made strong runs into the playoff positions over the past month.
Photo courtesy Michael Rincon / Phoenix Rising FC
The USL Game of the Week will also pay a pair of visits to the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in the final two months of the season, with Didier Drogba, Omar Bravo and Phoenix Rising FC set to play host to Orange County SC on September 6 and Tulsa Roughnecks FC on October 4 in a pair of games that will be crucial to the playoff hopes for all three teams.
Current Western Conference-leader Real Monarchs SLC will also feature on September 27 when it visits Sacramento Republic FC at Papa Murphy’s Park, with the chance that the USL Regular Season Championship could be close at hand in Week 28 of the 30-week season.
All games on ESPN3 / WatchESPN
July 26 – Rio Grande Valley FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC, 8 p.m. ET
Aug. 2 – OKC Energy FC vs. Reno 1868 FC, 8:30 p.m. ET
Aug. 16 – Charlotte Independence vs. Bethlehem Steel FC, 7 p.m. ET
Aug. 23 – Louisville City FC vs. Harrisburg City Islanders, 7:30 p.m. ET
Sept. 6 – Phoenix Rising FC vs. Orange County SC, 10:30 p.m. ET
Sept. 20 – Reno 1868 FC vs. OKC Energy FC, 10 p.m. ET
Sept. 27 – Sacramento Republic FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC, 10:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 4 – Phoenix Rising FC vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 10:30 p.m. ET