FRISCO — USL League One regular season champions North Texas SC ((17-6-5, (+22) 56 points) will host third place Greenville Triumph SC 12-9-7, (10) 43 points) in the inaugural USL League One Final at Toyota Stadium on Saturday, October 19th at 6PM CT.
North Texas FC has been gunning for the championship all year, and the moment of truth has finally arrived. September was an excellent month for North Texas, winning four of their five games. The team has also rediscovered the home form that helped them run away with the league, winning the last four home matches by a combined score line of 13-0. North Texas will be counting on exceptional home support, with the team only losing one out of 14 games at Toyota Stadium
Greenville Triumph arrive in Texas off the back of an upset of Lansing Ignite FC. Greenville were in poor form entering the playoffs, losing their last two games and only keeping hold of third place based on goal difference. However, against a strong Lansing attack they kept a 1-0 clean sheet. With four defensive USL League One All-League First Team accolades, Greenville will be counting on a backline that has kept 14 clean sheets.
North Texas SC and Greenville Triumph SC’s regular season matchups makes for unusual reading. North Texas won the first game in South Carolina, but still had two trips to make to Toyota Stadium. However, the season series ended at 1-1-1, as Greenville scraped out a 0-0 draw on July 7th, the first time North Texas were shut out the whole year. The rematch three weeks later was an eye-opener for North Texas, as they lost 4-0 in their heaviest defeat and only home loss of the year. That performance must be in the mind of both coaches going into the final
Players to Watch
For North Texas to beat Greenville, they will have to penetrate a strong defense, and with goalscorer Ricardo Pepi and provider John Nelson (who assisted Pepi’s first goal) not in the squad, North Texas will turn to the man who has delivered the goods all year- Arturo Rodriguez. Rodriguez earned a spot on the USL League One All-League First Team, as well as being nominated for Young Player of the Year and MVP of USL League One. Rodriguez averaged 2.6 chances created a game and led the league with 10 assists. He goes into the final in fine form, has created 4 chances in the last match, along with a passing accuracy of 91%.
Greenville know they face a potent attack when they travel to Toyota Stadium, but will be confident that they can emerge victorious in a low scoring affair. One player who will be key to keeping the scoreline respectable is Dallas Jaye, Greenville Triumph SC goalkeeper. Jaye led the league with 13 shutouts and a 0.78 goals-against average in the regular season to claim the League One Golden Glove. He also recorded 47 saves in 27 appearances.