Championship Look Ahead
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies return home this week to open a busy stretch which will see them play three times in eight days for the first time since the end of May.
Here's a look at some of the biggest matches happening in the Eastern Conference this weekend.
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Atlanta United 2
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. | ESPN+
After a torrid August, the Rowdies started September off on the right foot last weekend with a 3-1 win in Charlotte. Tampa Bay currently sits in third but the top four is separated by just two points.
Atlanta United 2 is unlikely to make the playoffs this season, but it has picked up as many points from its last five matches as the Rowdies have, so Saturday's match should be a good one.
Birmingham Legion FC vs. Saint Louis FC
Friday, 8 p.m. | ESPN+
Birmingham has won seven of its last nine matches to surge up the table into the playoff positions, but it still has some work to do. Legion FC is just one point above the current playoff line.
Saint Louis has won each its last three matches after a prolonged summer slump and is in a dead heat with Charleston for the last playoff spot. A win over a bubble rival would be great for Saint Louis' playoff odds.
Indy Eleven vs. Bethlehem Steel FC
Saturday, 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Because of its backloaded schedule, Indy plays basically every weekend and every midweek for the rest of the regular season, which can be either beneficial or negative. The Eleven moved to second place with a win over Ottawa on Wednesday night.
Bethlehem is eight points short of the playoff line with eight games to go, meaning it's basically do-or-die for Steel FC from now. A trip to Indy is on the docket for this weekend with a visit to St. Pete lurking next weekend, so Bethlehem will have to be at its very best.
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from September 12, 2019
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