It was an interesting week in the USL. NYRB inched closer to taking over first in the East with a thrashing of Harrisburg (although they have a game in hand on us). There’s a bit of a shakeup in the middle of the table in the East, seeing Richmond up to as high as fourth. There’s a 3 point gap between NYRBII and FCC for 2nd and 3rd, and another 3 point disparity between FCC and the streaking Kickers.
Rochester Rhinos 0, Richmond Kickers 1
Rochester manufactured 12 shots on the night last Wednesday from Sahlen’s, and half of them forced Kickers goal minder Matt Turner into action. Despite the six shots, none of them were really trouble for Turner- symptomatic of the close but no cigar offense that Rochester has been known for in the past. The opener nearly came in the 14th minute when a Dos Santos cross for Rochester found the head of Michael Garzi, and subsequently the Kickers’ crossbar. The rebound fell to another Rhinos player who tried to bike it, but put it just over the goal.
The game was pretty back and forth from then on, with both teams getting some odd looks at goal, but it mainly stayed in the midfield. The Kickers got their winner in the 75th minute when Yudai Imura put a free kick from 20 yards out into the net. The result sees Richmond into 4th place, a point above Charleston and 3 adrift of FC Cincy in 3rd.
Charleston Battery 1, Charlotte Independence 1
Charleston broke the ice early, and in pretty impressive fashion when a clever series of passes found Romario Willliams on the edge of Charlotte’s box, where he slotted it home with a tasty sidefooted finish. Charleston continued to have most of the possession, putting pressure on the Independence goal but not snagging a second.
Charlotte came out of the intermission looking a new team altogether, immediately pushing for an equalizer. They got one in the 65th minute when a traffic jam in the box lead to Caleb Calvert getting a foot on a loose ball. The Indies nearly took the lead in the 69th minute when Brian Brown was played through on goal, and around Odisnel Cooper (who we’ve established isn’t a real Cooper) in goal and shot it toward the goal, only to be cleared off the line. Charleston got back into the game after that, garnering some time on the ball but failing to get a winner. Charleston are 5th at 37 points, Charlotte are 7th at 32 points.
Arizona United SC 3, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 2
Vancouver scored at the best times in the game- just before and after the intermission- and were leading by 2 goals to none into the last hour of the game, and let in a pair of goals to Arizona United forward Luke Rooney. United scored the winner courtesy of Chris Cortez in injury time to down Western Conference leaders in VWFC2.
Sacramento Republic FC 1, San Antonio FC 1
SRFC were looking to drop their 7th game of the year up until the point when Octavio Guzman converted a stoppage time pen to salvage a point for the 4th placed Western Conference side. San Antonio took the lead in the first quarter hour when Cesar Elizondo poached a rebound off of the SRFC keeper to take the lead in front of 11 thousand odd Republic faithful. The goal came somewhat against the run of play, and was the result of a lapse in the concentration of the Sacramento Defense.
The Republic struck back with some solid possession of their own, but as has been the case with the Californian side, they failed to put the finishing touches on their trips into the oppositions third.
Portland managed a pair of great results over top 3 teams the last week, a draw against Colorado Springs on Wednesday and downing LA Galaxy II in the City of Angels on Saturday by a 4-3 scoreline. That being said, theyre still second bottom but may have something more to say in how the West will be won.