Monday, April 22, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 3

The two top stories on the week were the Harrisburg City Islanders claiming the first USL Pro victory over an MLS Reserve side in interleague play and the Atlanta Silverbacks coming out on top in a wild 4-3 road win against reigning champion Tampa Bay.

North American Soccer League

Edmonton’s road show continued in Minnesota Saturday, but a penalty at the half-hour mark gave the new-look United their first goal of the campaign while the visitors argued the call. Minnesota locked up the victory via Lucas Rodriguez in the 74th as he buried from close range following a header by Aaron Pitchkolan that was directed across the six from the back post off a long ball from midfield.

Carolina also picked up a somewhat comfortable win at home, though they had to come from behind to defeat Fort Lauderdale, who took the initial lead 11 minutes in courtesy of Jemal Johnson. A pair of penalties converted by Floyd Franks and Brian Shriver put Carolina back in front before the break and Shriver added a second goal in the 58th as the RailHawks grabbed the win.

Atlanta wrapped the night up Saturday with a stunning second half comeback after trailing 3-1 at the break. Luke Mulholland set up Evans Frimpong eight minutes in and the Silverbacks equalized through Ruben Luna in the 22nd.
But two minutes later Mulholland restored the advantage and then added his second of the match two minutes before intermission on a free kick. The second half, though, was all Atlanta. Pedro Mendes pulled the visitors back within one nine minutes in when he caught the keeper out of goal from long range and Luna added his second in the 63rd to even terms. Mendes became the third player to tally a brace on the night with his winner in the 70th.

Scoring Summaries / Ejections

Edmonton 0 :: 2 Minnesota 
MIN: Simone Bracalello (pen) 31, Lucas Rodriguez (Aaron Pitchkolan) 74

Fort Lauderdale 1 :: 3 Carolina
FTL: Jemal Johnson (Pecka) 11
CAR: Floyd Franks (pen) 27, Brian Shriver (pen) 35, Brian Shriver 58

Atlanta 4 :: 3 Tampa Bay 
TB: Evans Frimpong (Luke Mulholland) 8, Luke Mulholland (Georgi Hristov) 24, Luke Mulholland 43
ATL: Ruben Luna (Borfor Carr) 22, Pedro Mendes (Richie Menjivar) 54, Ruben Lena 63, Pedro Mendes (Milton Blanco) 70


The road continues to be pure hell for the Rochester Rhinos, though they found some light Friday evening by playing to a scoreless draw in Charlotte. The fortune appeared to be continuing Saturday when Matt Luzunaris gave them the lead three minutes in at Richmond, but a late equalizer by Mike Callahan in first-half stoppage time negated the advantage before dread took over in the second half with the fresher Kickers pulling away on goals from Joseph Ngwenya, Jason Yeisley and Stanley Nyazamba.

Equally tortured, goalless Antigua continued their full season on the road after picking up a few players midweek, but came up empty handed with a 2-0 loss in Wilmington and a 4-0 blanking in Charleston.

Previously among the league leaders, the LA Blues were brought back down to earth a bit in Florida via a pair of close-fought contests. On Friday Orlando City avenged its road loss to LA, but it took a little work. The match went scoreless into the second half before Jamie Watson scored the opener and set up Yann Songo’o in a five-minute span. LA answered back, but Watson converted from the spot to restore the two-goal lead with what proved to be the winner as the Blues picked up a penalty of their own in the final few minutes. Two days later the Blues were in another dramatic affair, not including the rain delay, when George Davis IV gave them the initial lead in the 24th minute at Tampa Bay. The hosts, however, answered back four minutes later through Shawn Chin and took the lead eight minutes into the second half via Sean Reynolds. Davis pulled the Blues even on the hour mark, but they could not hold on for the point with Andriy Budnyy finding a winner 14 minutes later.

In addition to Wilmington playing their season opener, the Dayton Dutch Lions also kicked off their campaign, picking up a 2-1 win against Pittsburgh in dramatic fashion as Remco Klaase tallied in stoppage time for the win in a game of dramatics. The first half came to a close with Gibson Bardsley putting the hosts on top in the 44th minute, but the visiting Pittsburgh Riverhounds tied it up in stoppage time before the break.

The late game Saturday proved to be the lone win by a road club on the weekend in USL as the City Islanders rode loanees Christhian Hernandez and Greg Jordan to the league’s first win in interleague play. Hernandez stunned Colorado two minutes into the second game of the doubleheader in which the Seattle Sounders won 1-0 just prior. Dillon Serna evened terms 10 minutes into the second half, but Hernandez connected with his Philadelphia Union teammate for the winner in the 64th, giving Harrisburg their second dramatic road win in as many outings after spoiling the opening of Pittsburgh’s new stadium last week.

Scoring Summaries / Ejections

Rochester 0 :: 0 Charlotte 

LA 2 :: 3 Orlando 
ORL: Jamie Watson (Long Tan) 56, Yann Songo'o (Jamie Watson) 61, Jamie Watson (pen) 72
LA: Conor Hearn 69, Rodrigo Lopez (pen) 88

Antigua 0 :: 2 Wilmington 
WIL: Kyle Greig (Shawn Nicklaw) 49, Paul Nicholson 69

Rochester 1 :: 4 Richmond 
ROC: Matt Luzunaris 3
RIC: Mike Callahan (Nate Robinson) 45, Joseph Ngwenya 51, Jason Yeisley (Nate Robinson) 66, Stanley Nyazamba (Luke Vercollone) 84

Antigua 0 :: 4 Charleston
CHB: Haviel Cordoves (Ben Fisk) 21, Ben Fisk 23, Dane Kelly (Zach Prince) 75, Zach Prince 85

Pittsburgh 1 :: 2 Dayton
DAY: Gibson Bardsley 44, Remco Klaasse (Joe Broekhuizen, Eric Kissinger) 90+
PIT: Jose Angulo (Alfonso Motagalvan) 45+

Harrisburg 2 :: 1 Rapids Reserves 
HAR: Christhian Hernandez 2, Greg Jordan (Christhian Hernandez) 64
COL: Dillon Serna (Jamie Smith) 55

Los Angeles 2 :: 3 Tampa Bay
LA: George Davis IV 24, George Davis IV 60
TB: Shawn Chin 28, Sean Reynolds (Tony Donatelli) 53, Andriy Budnyy 74

MLS Reserve League   (MLS affiliate / loan watch)

It was a big week out west for MLS Reserve action. On Monday the Vancouver Whitcaps snared a 2-0 victory against RSL with a late goal in each half from Jordan Harvey and Erik Hurtado, respectively. Then on Tuesday, the Sounders saw a seventh minute strike from Eriq Zavaleta on the road cancelled out by a penalty just before the half-hour mark in a 1-1 draw against LA while their rival Portland grabbed a 2-1 road win in San Jose off a standout performance by Michael Nanchoff, who scored both goals and had a goal line save.

On Wednesday, the Texas foes squared off with Warren Creavalle giving the Dynamo the lead in the 33rd minute. A pair of penalties for each side left the match at 2-1 for the hosts.

Real Salt Lake 0 : 2 Vancouver Whitecaps
VAN: Jordan Harvey 44, Erik Hurtado 85

Los Angeles 1 :: 1 Seattle
SEA: Eriq Zavaleta 7, LA: Hector Jimenez (pen) 29

Portland 2 :: 1 San Jose
POR: Michael Nanchoff 14, Michael Nanchoff 50
SJ: Walter Martinez (Mike Fucito) 24

Dallas 1 :: 2 Houston
HOU: Warren Creavalle 33, Jason Johnson (pen) 87
DAL: Fabian Castillo (pen) 42


Harrisburg 2 :: 1 Rapids Reserves 
HAR: Christhian Hernandez 2, Greg Jordan (Christhian Hernandez) 64
COL: Dillon Serna (Jamie Smith) 55

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