USL Matchday 23 Roundup
There were several displays of offensive power over the past week in the USL that may have lacked in quality matchups but made up in terms of sheer goals. Seven games yielded 3 or more goals!
Charlotte Independence 4, Orlando City B 0
In an up-and-down season, OCB hit a decidedly low note last Wednesday night in Ramblewood outside of Charlotte. The Independence opener came inside 4 minutes when Patrick Slogic converted a Lewis Hilton assist. Slogic was the one dishing out the dime when he laid off Brian Brown in the 6th minute to almost decide the game before it had really started. Things started to level off after that. OCB tried to get into it, but failed to manufacture any serious threat on John Berner’s net. Enzo Martinez scored an unassisted effort in the 64th minute to seal it up, and David Estrada became the 5th Independence player to be involved in a goal when he assisted Brown on the 4th goal in the 71st minute.
Rochester Rhinos 3, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0
Rochester blew by the basement dwellers Pittsburgh last Wednesday thanks to a first half brace from Frenchman Sofiane Tergou. Former Freiburg and US Youth Soccer standout player Zack Steffen saw his Riverhounds career fall to 1-1-0 as he spends time away from the Columbus Crew on loan.
Charleston Battery 1, Wilmington Hammerheads 1
The Battery saw their playoff bona fides take a small hit when they could only manage a draw against the Hammerheads. The visiting Wilmington outfit went up in the 35th minute when a Michael Binns free kick took a deflection off of the wall and trickled into the net. Charleston equalized in first half injury time thanks to O’Brian Woodbine’s long distance strike. The Battery’s slide in form as well as late season runs by Charleston and Richmond sees the Charleston squad nearing bubble status as they’re just a spot above OCB in 8th, but they do have an 8 point advantage. Three teams above them are all just a point ahead of the Battery, so home field advantage in the first round is still a possibility.
Orange County Blues FC 2, LA Galaxy II 0
No more fitting a display of the tumultuous, competitive animal that is the Western Conference could be found than the LA Galaxy II. They were tied atop the West last weekend, and now after losing a single match they are in 6th, 5 points from being out of the playoffs altogether. Former Doncaster Rovers man Richard Chaplow marked his Blues appearance with a goal on his only shot in the game, coming in the closing stages of the first half. Mats Bjurman notched another 15 minutes from the final whistle to secure all three points for the Blues to see them improve to 7th in the West. San Antonio are hot hot on their heels, though, with 2 games in hand and just 3 points behind.
Sacramento Republic FC 4, Portland Timbers 2 0
Sacramento temporarily banished all doubts of their offensive firepower when they sprayed 4 by the visiting Timbers reserve side. The Republic started early and didn’t let up, seeing 6 players involved in goals in the 4th minute, and again right before the intermission. The visiting Timbers registered 16 shots in all, outnumbering the Republic’s 12, but only turning 4 of them onto frame versus the hosts’ 9. Sacramento notched another one just 3 minutes into the second half and again 9 minutes from the final whistle.