Monday, June 3, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 9

The most definitive week of the year for all the Lower Division clubs in the United States took place in Round 9 with the entry of Major League Soccer teams in the US Open Cup for the Third Round. A dozen match-ups on Tuesday and Wednesday provided the so-called minnows an opportunity to eat the big fish and, as usual, a handful of upsets were dealt by the NASL and USL Pro.

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In fact, four teams, two from each league advanced and the Richmond Kickers nearly made it five, taking DC United to penalties after 120 scoreless minutes Tuesday. Both of the USL Pro clubs delivered their blows on Tuesday with the Charleston Battery knocking out the San Jose Earthquakes and league-leading Orlando City trumping the Colorado Rapids 3-1. On Wednesday it was the NASL’s turn with the Carolina RailHawks eliminated the LA Galaxy for the second straight year 2-0 and the league champion Tampa Bay Rowdies slipping by, 1-0, the four-time US Open Cup finalist and three-time champion Seattle Sounders, ending the MLS club’s 22-game unbeaten streak in the tournament. Recaps & more available at [+]

Bragging Declaration: All five of the previously mentioned successful teams in the US Open Cup were the top five in the LD Soccer News’ weekly power rankings announced the Monday prior to the Open Cup Third Round.  

North American Soccer League

With last place San Antonio picking up the only victory on the week, everything remains log-jammed with the top four separated by two points and league-leader Atlanta now only five points in front of the Scorpions and Fort Lauderdale at the rear. After starting the year off winless in their first five matches, San Antonio now has two wins in the last three outings.

Open Cup winners Carolina and Tampa Bay both went on the road and played to draws. The RailHawks picked up an equalizer with nine minutes left against Fort Lauderdale and the Rowdies snared a scoreless draw on the other side of the continent in Edmonton.

Scoring Summaries / Ejections

Carolina 1 :: 1 Fort Lauderdale 
FTL: Scott Gordon (Manny Gonzalez) 37
CAR: Brian Shriver (Ty Shipalane) 81
Ejections: FTL: Carlos Salazar 59; CAR: Kevin Rutkiewicz 65

Minnesota 0 :: 2 San Antonio 
SA: Blake Wagner 1, Walter Ramirez 76

Tampa Bay 0 :: 0 Edmonton


After a loss in the previous round of the US Open Cup, a loss to Richmond and being forced to watch their counterparts enjoy big nights on Tuesday, Harrisburg came out this week and sent a message. They posted a 2-1 victory in Charleston and blanked Charlotte 4-0, handing both their first home losses of the year. The results put Harrisburg into second in the table at 7-2-1.

Richmond kept pace with a narrow 1-0 win at home against Phoenix and Los Angeles kept themselves in the picture with a pair of road draws, playing to a 2-2 draw in Rochester despite leading twice and going scoreless at Dayton.
The thriller of the week was an inter-league matchup in which VSI Tampa Bay were up 4-1 on the Timbers Reserves courtesy, in part, to a pair of goals from Andriy Budnyy, but the visiting MLS reserve side rallied with three goals in the second half for a draw.

Scoring Summaries / Ejections

Phoenix 0 :: 1 Richmond
RIC: Nate Robinson (Juan Arbelaez) 30

Harrisburg 2 :: 1 Charleston 
CHB: Ben Fisk (Mike Azira) 36
HAR: Sainey Touray 38, Stephen Basso 53

Los Angeles 2 :: 2 Rochester 
LA: Chris Cortez (Gabriel Gonzalez) 40, George Davis IV (Chris Cortez) 82
ROC: Blake Brettschneider (Tyler Rosenlund) 51, Tam McManus (Blake Brettschneider) 88

Rochester 0 :: 3 Pittsburgh 
PIT: Jose Angulo (Matt Dallman) 42, Jhonny Arteaga (Jose Angulo) 63, Ryan Kinne (Kevin Kerr) 88

(MLSR) Timbers Reserves 4 :: 4 VSI Tampa Bay 
TB: Andriy Budnyy 2, Andriy Budnyy 15, Shawn Chin 18, Douglas Dos Santos 45
POR: Michael Nanchoff 5, Sebastian Rincon 47, Jose Valencia 56, Sal Zizzo (pen) 68

Phoenix 1 :: 2 Wilmington 
WIL: Jemal Wallace (Uriah Bentick) 6, Daniel Roberts 45
PHO: Donny Toia 41

Harrisburg 4 :: 0 Charlotte 
HAR: Cris Hernandez 6, Aaron Wheeler (Yann Ekra) 18, Aaron Wheeler (pen) 22, Jimmy McLaughlin (Sainey Touray) 89

Los Angeles 0 :: 0 Dayton

MLS Reserve League

The Timbers Reserves scored three in the second half to make a stunning comeback in a 4-4 draw on the road against USL Pro VSI Tampa Bay Saturday. Sunday was a busy day with three matches, two of them won by the visitors. Houston claimed a 1-0 win in Columbus with Alex Dixon setting Brian Ownby – both of whom have been loaned to LD sides most of the year – for the winner.

California clubs were winners in the other two matches as Chivas USA found some consolation with a win against the Sounders and San Jose did the same on the road against Real Salt Lake.

Scoring Summaries / Ejections

Timbers Reserves 4 :: 4 VSI Tampa Bay (USL) 
TB: Andriy Budnyy 2, Andriy Budnyy 15, Shawn Chin 18, Douglas Dos Santos 45
POR: Michael Nanchoff 5, Sebastian Rincon 47, Jose Valencia 56, Sal Zizzo (pen) 68

Houston 1 :: 0 Columbus 
HOU: Brian Ownby (Alex Dixon) 29

Seattle 1 :: 2 Chivas USA 
CHV: Caleb Calvert (Jose Manuel Rivera) 69, Tristan Bowen (Josue Soto) 76
SEA: CHV own goal (Steven Purdy) 77

San Jose 2 :: 1 RSL
RSL: Sebastian Velasquez (Yordany Alvarez, Luis Gil) 55
SJ: Cordell Cato (Jorge Molino) 61, Rafael Baca 84

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