Week 3 Preview: what you need to know

The Championship starts to heat up

EM Dash Photography

The USL Championship is slowly getting up to speed, although by the end of Week 3, there will still be 3 teams yet to play a game. Those are Memphis 901 (who w:ill open their season here next week – against a full strength and possibly very angry Legion side), Austin Bold and Orange County. However, those few aside, every team will have at least one game under its belt.

As far as the Legion is concerned, we all know that they will be travelling north to Louisville to face probably their toughest opponent of the year, in or out of the Central Division. And they will be doing without JJ Williams and Junior Flemmings, both with 1-game suspensions remaining, and the injured Zach Herivaux. LouCity have no injuries or suspensions, but are coming off a bye week and will be playing their first game without the now-departed head coach John Hackworth. With the established Danny Cruz at the helm, and with several player-coaches with the team, that is unlikely to have a great effect on them. This will also be Birmingham’s first visit to the new Lynn Family Stadium, which was scheduled to open last year with the Legion visiting. It’s been a long wait. You can also check out the USL’s own match preview here.

Elsewhere in the Central Division, there is a game tonight: Sporting Kansas City II host OKC Energy at 7pm. The game can be watched on ESPN+ (as can all USL Championship and League One games). The Energy already desperately need a win, having already lost twice, to FC Tulsa and Atlanta United 2.

Those two are likely to be bottom-dwellers in the division; of more interest is the Indy Eleven-FC Tulsa match, which kicks off at 6pm Saturday, half an hour before the Legion’s own game, so most fans should be able to catch at least some of the game. That accounts for 7 of the 8 teams in the Central; Atlanta United 2 are also idle this weekend and are 1-1-0 on the season.

If you want to be a Championship junkie on Saturday, there are two interesting games out west that you can watch. At 8:30pm, right about the final whistle for the Legion game, El Paso Locomotive host New Mexico United, two strong teams that should make for entertaining viewing. And then at 9:30pm, the redoubtable Phoenix Rising welcome Oakland Roots SC, who will be playing their first ever game as a franchise.

But here are the most important details for the weekend: the Legion kick off at 6:30pm Saturday. The game can be watched on my68 or ESPN+ (which will likely use the Louisville feed). If you want to hang with other fans, then you can join the Magic City Brigade, who will be hosting a viewing party at Cahaba Brewing.

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