Matchday nine of the United Soccer League action features a few top of the log matchups to keep you thrilled. The big games out of the Eastern Conference comes as Louisville City and Pittsburgh Riverhounds slog it out in a momentous showdown between fourth place and third. Meanwhile, in the Western Conference, the Monarchs lie in the second spot as they lock horns with fourth-placed Colorado Springs. In a clash of Major League Soccer hopefuls, San Antonio “pit” their unbeaten run against Phoenix Rising, who're coming off a rebound win over OKC Energy after their lousy defeat a few weeks ago.

Saturday afternoon fixtures

New York Red Bulls 2 versus Ottawa Fury — the Red Bulls 2 have arguably proved less dominant than their past season counterpart, but still remain intact in the playoffs berth with eleven points through nine games. The Ottawa Fury have struggled much in their inaugural campaign, lying level with Toronto FC II at the cellar of the Eastern standings.

Toronto FC 2 versus Tampa Bay Rowdies — second placed Tampa Bay Rowdies appear to have established a “grip on first” as they face struggling TFC II. Toronto has had a tough time this term, earning only just six points through eight games with two straight defeats in recent weeks.

FC Cincinnati versus Bethlehem Steel — though, “rousing” success in terms of attendance, FC Cincinnati will certainly hope to pursue more success on the field of play, as they are winless through five games.

They will hope to “leapfrog” Bethlehem Steel, who lie just one place ahead of them, leveled on the same points in the table.

Other Saturday night fixtures

OKC Energy versus orange county the first Western game of the week features two clubs who have struggled much to find their footing in the league, as joint bottom OKC Energy takes on “playoff fringe candidates” County SC.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds versus Louisville City — Pittsburgh have also begun the season apparently well off, comfortably sitting third and extending their winning streak to three games. Louisville lie directly behind the Riverhounds and hope to move ahead of them with a road win this weekend.

San Antonio versus Phoenix Rising — A battle between two Major League Soccer hopefuls pit-top-dog San Antonio against unsettled Phoenix Rising.

The Phoenix bounced back strong in their previous encounter, stunning a 2-1 win over OKC Energy last weekend, while the Antonio have not lost yet this term in their past nine games.

Real Monarchs versus Colorado Springs Switchbacks — the Monarchs, who thrived under Mike Petke (now manager of Real Salt Lake), have clearly maintained their success in winning four consecutive games.

Colorado have been generally decent, but have struggled a bit in recent weeks, posting a 1-2-2 mark through five matches.

The only Sunday fixture

Rochester Rhinos versus Richmond Kickers — the Rochester Rhinos, fresh off their US Open Cup win, aim to jump into the playoffs berth with a home win this Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Kickers suffered a discomfited loss to Christos FC in the US Open Cup and now need to rebound strongly in the midst of an unpleasant United Soccer League campaign as well.