FRISCO — USL League One leaders North Texas SC (10-2-3, 33 points) will host second place South Georgia Tormenta FC (7-3-4, 25 points) at Toyota Stadium in a highly anticipated match on Saturday, July 20 at 6 PM CT. This marks the very first time that the two clubs meet this season after battling for the top table spot all year long.
North Texas SC comes into this matchup on the right foot after traveling to Richmond and coming back with three points after a 2-0 win. The victory avenged NTSC dropping points for the first time at home on July 7 against Greenville as well as extended the gap between itself and South Georgia at the top of the table to eight points.
The Tormenta started off the season as North Texas SC’s biggest threat to its first-place crown, even topping the league for a short time during a string of poor results for NTSC last month. It has hit a bit of a slump, however, and has lost its past two games and only won two of its last five. South Georgia (5-1-1) has been strong at home this season but it hasn't been able to find the same results on the road, posting a 2-2-3 record.
Players to Watch
South Georgia arguably has the league’s best defense with just 12 goals conceded—good for second-lowest in the league—and the most clean sheets with eight. That means North Texas SC’s attackers must be ready, including Arturo Rodriguez. The oldest of the Rodriguez brothers has been one of North Texas’s MVPs this season. His three goals so far show he can score at will and his league-leading six assists and 32 chance creations convey his ability to be dangerous in more ways than one. His creative passing and field vision as well as his attacking abilities could prove detrimental to South Georgia’s defensive strengths come this weekend.
For South Georgia, whose main asset is its defense, its most important player on Saturday will be defender Conner Antley. The 24-year-old has proven to be critical at both sides of the field with his ability to hold down one of the league's most successful backlines while also scoring three goals and recording three assists in a season where he has already been nominated as a Midseason Most Valuable Player by the league along with NTSC’s Ronaldo Damus and Ricardo Pepi, among others.