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The Kickabout: April 25, 2016

USL Matchday 5 Roundup

It was a good weekend in the USL if you like offense, with 27 goals from 13 games. Saint Louis looked to be not terrible, getting a win against struggling Sacramento in front of 11,547 at Bonney Field. Cincinnati also won away from home, albeit against a Toronto reserve side. Let’s dig in:

Orange County Blues FC 1, Porland Timbers 2 0

OC Blues made it two wins on the trot thanks to a first half goal from Travis Caesar. The Timbers’ offense continued to flounder, with just two shots and none on goal in this match, and 5 goals from 6 matches. The Blues have turned the season around, taking six from the last two games, after only earning two from the first three games.

Charlotte Independence 3, Richmond Kickers 2

The Independence and Kickers went right down to the wire in Ramblewood Friday night. Richmond came back to level the match twice, in the 43rd and 89th minutes, only to have Charlotte take all three points in stoppage time. There were a total of 24 fouls and 10 shots on goal in this one. Charlotte have nine points from five matches and Richmond keep seven from the same amount.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1, Orlando City B 2

OCB took their first win of the season on the road at Highmark Stadium on Friday, courtesy of a brace from homegrown player Tyler Turner. Pittsburgh took one back in second-half stoppage, but it proved academic. Pittsburgh has limped to a 0-2-1 start to the season, and OCB goes to 1-3-1 on the season.

Wilmington Hammerheads FC 0, New York Red Bulls II 1

Dan Metzger opened his professional scoring account Friday night in North Carolina, in a crazy match that saw 25 fouls, 17 shots, and 3 bookings. New York keeps second place in the Eastern Conference, taking their clean sheet record to four consecutive matches, and are unbeaten in 5 matches (3-0-2). Wilmington stays 7th in the east at 2-2-1.

Los Angeles Galaxy II 2, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 2

LA very much dropped two points last Friday at home against fellow playoff-bound side Whitecaps 2. LAGII looked to have put the match to bed 10 minutes into the second half when Jose Villareal netted his second goal of the season and the second goal of the match for the Los Dos. The Whitecaps 2 clawed their way back into this one though, scoring in the 69th and 75th minute, with Abdul Fatawu scoring the first and assisting Kyle Grieg on the second. Galaxy Midfielder Bryam Rebellon was sent off in the final moments of the match for getting too handsy with the ‘Caps. Both teams remain unbeaten on the season, though LA’s form has fallen off a little lately at 2-0-4 and Vancouver goes to 2-0-2.

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1, San Antonio FC 0

The Switchbacks continued their stellar start to the season with a victory over struggling San Antonio FC. A first half collision after a corner kick left primary Switchback keeper Devala Gorrick injured. Billy Thompson served well as his replacement however, turning in a couple of saves after entering the game. A comedy of defensive errors in front of SAFC’s goal lead to a tap-in for Martin Maybin [Ed Note: not Captain Martin Mayhem] in the second half. Colorado goes second in the West, just a single point behind LA, with two games in hand. San Antonio has collected 5 points from as many games.

Rochester Rhinos 2, FC Montreal 1

It was an underwhelming home opener for the defending USL champs, who conceded early in the second half to the last-placed Montreal outfit. They came back almost immediately to level in the 52nd minute, and a converted penalty two minutes later won it for the Rhinos. Rochester’s proximity to Montreal mean that these two ‘rivals’ play two more times this campaign. The Rhino’s take 7 points from 4 matches, which is only good for 8th spot in the conference. Montreal remain in the basement at 0-4-0 and have a goal record of 2 for and 7 against.

OKC Energy FC 1, Swope Park Rangers 0

The Swope Park Rangers dropped their first decision of their inaugural season in Oklahoma City last Saturday. A 79th minute goal by Kalen Ryden saw off the hot-handed upstarts. Rangers’ keeper Jon Kempin’s 5 saves weren’t enough to preserve their unbeaten start. SPR have taken a respectable 7 points from 4 matches, and OKC has chalked up their first win of the season, going 1-1-1 on the year.

Tulsa Roughnecks FC 0, Portland Timbers 2 2

100 miles to the east, Portland Timbers’ reserve side dealt Tulsa it’s third loss of the season in five matches thanks to goals from a Kharlton Belmar in the 23rd minute, and an assist from Belmar on an Andre Lewis cracker three minutes later. Tulsa are second-bottom in the West with a 1-3-1 record, and Portland are 3 spots ahead of them at 2-4-0.

Real Monarchs SLC 0, Rio Grande Valley FC 1

This clash between two mid-table opponents produced a lot of shots (15), but not a lot of goals. The RGV ‘Toros’ only needed to put 2 of their 5 shots on goal to produce a winner, a 25th minute effort by Jose Escalante. The Monarchs managed 10 shots themselves, but only one ended up on target. RGV have taken 7 points from 4 matches, and Real Monarchs have to make due with a 2-2-1 record.

Sacramento Republic FC 0, St Louis FC 1

Sacramento only turned 4 of their 18 shots on goal, which is a crying shame. St Louis dealt Sacramento their first loss of the season, in front of a sold-out Bonney Field. Sacramento has been struggling to find the back of the net, despite their plethora of chances. They’ve gone goalless on the last 3 matches. After losing their first 2 matches of the season, StLFC have seemingly found their stride in the West, going 2-0-2. Sacramento sit 8th in the West at 2-2-1, dropping their last 2 decisions. StLFC are 4th at 2-2-2.

Bethlehem Steel FC 0, Charleston Battery 0

It was a cagey match from Goodman Stadium Sunday, with a total of 4 shots on target and 30 fouls. Both teams were satisfied enough with splitting the points, with Bethlehem only really getting chances off of set pieces, and Charleston’s counters were blunted by BSFC. The Battery sit 5th in the East with a 2-1-2 record, and Bethlehem are 9th with 7 points from 5 encounters.

Toronto FC II 1, FC Cincinnati 2

Toronto got on the scoreboard first, right before halftime thanks to an effort from team leading goal-scorer Raheem Edwards. 15 minutes into the second period FC whatever leveled from an Andrew Wiedeman goal. Cincinnati kept the pressure on throughout the second half, and got their winner 6 minutes from the end. FC Cincy are 4th (and 3 spots behind Lou City). Toronto took their first one on the chin, and they sit down in 10th at 1-1-2.