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The Kickabout: May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day, y’all! Kevin’s doing Memorial Day stuff so you’ll have to put up with me (again!) today. We had yet another exciting week in the USL. The table is beginning to become a little less fluid, as most of the top teams picked up points and the bottom ones, well, didn’t. Montreal picked up its first points of the season, though! Let’s go! (Recaps are mostly courtesy of uslsoccer.com)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Harrisburg City Islanders 2-1 Toronto FC II

Toronto FC II finished up its third straight road game with a third straight loss to start Week 10 play, dropping 2-1 to Harrisburg at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The City Islanders’ Paul Wilson opened the scoring in the 26th minute when a jumped on a poor pass from Toronto and hit a perfect 30 yarder over TFC2’s Quillan Roberts. Aaron Wheeler doubled the lead just three minutes later for Harrisburg. Brian James picked up a consolation goal for the Reds in injury time, but it was obviously too little, too late. Harrisburg improved to 4-5-1 with the win, while Toronto slumped to 2-6-2.

Oklahoma City Energy 3-1 Real Monarchs SLC

The Monarchs opened the scoring in this one on a Devon Sandoval goal in the 22nd minute, but OKC Energy thundered back quickly on goals from Danni Konig and Coady Andrews just minutes later and OKC rallied past Real Monarchs SLC for a 3-1 victory on Tuesday at Taft Stadium. The match was nearly complete until a lightning delay took effect in the 88th minute. Following that delay, Kyle Hyland put the match out of reach with his first tally in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. With the win, Energy FC improves to 3-1-4 (13 points) overall and extends its unbeaten streak to seven games (3-0-4). The Monarchs, who garnered the game’s opening goal through the foot of Devon Sandoval, dropped to 3-4-3 (12 points) and 1-2-1 on the road.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

St. Louis 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps 2

Saint Louis FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 played to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. Vancouver had the better of the first half, and took the lead midway through as Brett Levis surged forward from his fullback position and drove a finish into the right corner of the net from 25 yards out. Saint Louis (4-3-3, 15pts) rebound well after the break, and Jamiel Hardware found the equalizer just past the hour-mark after his initial shot was blocked. STLFC’s Chad Bond twice hit the crossbar after Hardware’s leveler, but Vancouver (6-0-3, 21pts) was able to hold on to earn a point, and remain undefeated. The draw stopped a four game winning streak for Vancouver, who’s been lighting the West on fire for over a month.

San Antonio 0-0 Rio Grande Valley

San Antonio FC and Rio Grande Valley FC played to a scoreless draw on Wednesday as goalkeepers Josh Ford of SAFC and Calle Brown of RGVFC put in stellar performances at Toyota Field.  Both sides had chances in the game, as RGVFC (4-2-3, 15pts) almost took the lead through both Jose Escalante and Memo Rodriguez, only for Ford to come up big and keep the game scoreless. San Antonio (2-4-4, 10pts) almost took the lead early in the second half when Jason Johnson had his effort saved by Brown, and late on as Brown denied Victor Araujo, but honors ended even in the second edition of the South Texas Derby.

 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Portland Timbers 2 1-0 Seattle Sounders 2

Villyan Bijev scored his first goal of the season and the Portland Timbers 2 defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2 by a 1-0 margin on Thursday at Providence Park. Surprisingly, this was T2’s first win against S2, as Seattle had won the first four games of the series last season. With the victory, Portland moves to 4-6-1 (13 points) this season, ending a two-loss stretch and improving to 3-3-0 at home. Seattle fell to 1-6-4 (7 points) and 0-2-1 on the road. S2 now holds a six-game winless streak (0-3-3).

Friday, May 27, 2016

Colorado Springs Switchbacks 1-1 Orange County Blues

Orange County Blues FC’s Roy Meeus scored from the penalty spot deep in stoppage time as his side took a 1-1 draw against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Friday night at Switchbacks Stadium. The Switchbacks (6-2-1, 19pts) went ahead from a corner kick just past the half-hour mark as Josh Phillips headed home at the back post from Josh Suggs’ delivery from the right. The Blues (3-4-3, 12pts) saw their task increase in difficulty when Ivan Mirkovic was sent off with 17 minutes to go, but Meeus’ penalty kick after a handball in the penalty area salvaged his side a point.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rochester Rhinos 2-2 Bethlehem Steel

With a home unbeaten streak nearly extinguished by Bethlehem Steel FC, it was Joe Farrell who recorded a brace including a stoppage-time equalizer to help the Rochester Rhinos draw 2-2 on Saturday at Rhinos Stadium. The Rhinos’ home unbeaten run now moves to 24 games, including last year’s three postseason wins. Farrell had the game’s opening goal on a header, and Bethlehem responded with a Ryan Richter penalty kick in the 24th minute and Michael Daly’s go-ahead second-half tally in the 58th minute. Farrell came through again in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time with a header that found its way into the net in a crazy scramble to salvage a point and maintain the home unbeaten run. Rochester moves to 4-2-3 (15 points) and 3-0-2 at home while Bethlehem moves to 3-3-4 (13 points) and 1-2-2 on the road.

Richmond Kickers 1-2 Montreal

Goals and leads have been difficult to find for FC Montreal this season, but the visiting side found both on Saturday with a 2-1 victory against the Richmond Kickers at City Stadium. It marks Montreal’s first win of the season after starting the campaign with eight consecutive losses. Alessandro Riggi’s second-half penalty kick and Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla’s 75th-minute tally into the upper right corner led Montreal to the win and also dealt Richmond its first home loss of the season. Brian Ownby pulled one back for Richmond in the 87th minute. Richmond’s Samuel Asante was sent off in the 80th minute as the Kickers played with 10 men for the remaining 10 minutes of regulation and seven minutes of stoppage time. Montreal is now 1-8-0 overall and 1-5-0 on the road and Richmond moves to 4-4-3 (15 points) and 4-1-1 at home.

Harrisburg City Islanders 0-2 Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati picked up a goal in either half to take a 2-0 win against the Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday night, extending its undefeated streak to six games. Andrew Wiedeman gave Cincinnati (6-2-2, 20pts) the lead in the 19th minute with an excellent strike from 25 yards that dipped into the top-left corner of the net. The City Islanders (4-6-1, 13pts) were reduced to 10 men eight minutes into the second half when forward Aaron Wheeler was sent off for a particularly nasty elbow to Cincinnati’s Harrison Delbridge while play was stopped, but almost grabbed an equalizer through Shawn McLaws on a hesitant pass back that Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt did enough to smother. Cincinnati wrapped up victory with a minute to go, however, as Antoine Hoppenot was brought down in the penalty area, and Sean Okoli made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Orlando City B 2-1 Charlotte Independence

After a rocky start to the season, things are starting to look up for East Coast OCB, who picked up their seventh point in its last four matches on Saturday night. Pierre Da Silva scored his first professional goal and also notched an assist as Orlando City B took a 2-1 comeback victory against the Charlotte Independence at the Titan Soccer Complex. The Independence took the lead 12 minutes before the halftime break as Brian Brown began and finished a counter attack with help from Patrick Slogic to finish low from close range, but Orlando hit back eight minutes into the second half when Da Silva played a good give-and-go with Richie Laryea and slotted home his first professional goal. Da Silva then played provider as his free kick from the right found Craig Nitti in the center of the penalty area for a flicked header as OCB grabbed another big three points.

New York Red Bulls II 1-0 Pittsburgh Riverhounds

New Hounds head man David Brandt’s coaching debut didn’t go as well as he might have hoped. Junior Flemmings scored an early goal and the New York Red Bulls II never looked back during their 1-0 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday at Red Bull Arena. While the match had its back-and-forth moments, the defenses only conjured up some sporadic saves during the one-goal affair. The Red Bulls II, who are second in the Eastern Conference standings behind Louisville City FC, extended their unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1) and improved to 6-1-3 (21 points) overall. Pittsburgh fell to 1-5-3 (6 points) and 0-2-3 on the road.

LA Galaxy II 4-1 Arizona United

Jack McBean netted his USL-leading 10th and 11th goals of the season and 19-year-old Ryo Fujii tallied two goals as the LA Galaxy II defeated Arizona United SC soundly, posting a 4-1 victory on Saturday at StubHub Track & Field Stadium. McBean also set up Fujii’s first goal and built a three-goal cushion heading into halftime. The Galaxy II improve to 5-2-5 (20 points), one point behind Western Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. Arizona falls to 2-5-3 (9 points).

Sacramento Republic 1-1 Swope Park Rangers

Swope Park Rangers and Sacramento Republic FC exchanged goals three minutes apart as they played to a 1-1 draw at Bonney Field on Saturday night. Sacramento held the upper hand for more of the contest, but the Rangers (3-4-2, 11pts) took the lead with 16 minutes to go an outstanding shot from 30 yards by Kevin Oliveira that tailed away perfectly into the right corner of the net. Republic FC (4-3-2, 14pts) hit back quickly, as Tommy Stewart set up Cameron Iwasa to equalizer two minutes later after a good passing movement. The hosts then almost grabbed a late winner through Danny Barrera, only for Swope Park goalkeeper Zac Lubin to make a great save to keep it level.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 2-2 Real Monarchs SLC

League leader Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 maintained its unbeaten start to the season, though the host side certainly missed a valuable opportunity to gain the full three points as Real Monarchs SLC rallied for a 2-2 draw on Saturday at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. Ben McKendry and Vancouver captain Kyle Greig each provided first-half goals to give WFC2 a two-goal edge. Then it was Monarchs goal-scoring leader and captain Ricardo Velazco who tallied two times to give his side a road point. Vancouver moved to 6-0-4 (22 points) and 2-0-2 at home, while the Monarchs moved to 3-4-4 (13 points) and 1-2-2 on the road.

Toronto FC II 1-3 Wilmington Hammerheads

A return to the friendly confines of Ontario Soccer Centre wasn’t enough for Toronto to get off of their losing streak. Mael Corboz scored the winner with seven minutes to go as Wilmington Hammerheads FC took a 3-1 win against Toronto FC II on Sunday evening. Toronto took a deserved lead midway through the first half when a good pass down the left by Robert Boskovic found Sal Bernal, and his low cross came to Shaan Hundal, who finished for his first professional goal. Wilmington leveled seven minutes later from the penalty spot through Bruno Perone, and then gained a man advantage when Toronto’s Skylar Thomas was sent off with just under half-an-hour to go for his second yellow card. The Hammerheads made that advantage tell with seven minutes to go, as Corboz struck for his first professional goal, before Matthew Barnes-Homer added a late goal on the counter-attack.

Rio Grande Valley 1-1 St. Louis

Irvin Herrera is on fire. His brilliant strike earned Saint Louis FC a 1-1 draw with Rio Grande Valley FC on Sunday night at the World Wide Technology Soccer Park. Neither side was able to produce a major scoring threat in the opening half, but the Toros broke the deadlock with just over 20 minutes to go when Memo Rodriguez split Saint Louis’ defense to find Jose Escalante, who rounded Pais and slotted into the back of the net. Saint Louis responded in spectacular fashion, as Irvin Herrera’s bending shot from 25 yards on the right curled in off the left post to level the score.