Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 17

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The story at the moment continues to be the unbeaten Richmond Kickers, who wrapped up their most difficult test of the year, an eight-game road swing through Florida, the northeast and the west coast. And they came back to Richmond Sunday and made it 21 games without a loss Sunday with a final five games to go over the next three weeks.


Locked in what looks like is now a two-team race for the regular season title, the unbeaten Kickers now hold a three-point lead while Orlando City has a game in hand. The next tier appears to be a group of four with Harrisburg, Charleston, Charlotte and Los Angeles separated by four points. Charleston and Harrisburg appear to be making a statement as the postseason nears, posting big wins on the week Charlotte and Los Angeles, meanwhile, are beginning to struggle.

The trio of Dayton, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh are vying for what would be the final two spots and are in good position compared to trailers Phoenix, Rochester and Wilmington, who are at least six back of the Riverhounds, the first club outside the bubble, and nine back of the two bubble clubs tied for seventh.

Scoring Summaries / Ejections

TUESDAY, July 23
Richmond 2 :: 1 Whitecaps Reserves  (MLSR)
The eight-game road series came to a conclusion in resounding form as the Kickers put up a goal in each half against the Whitecaps Reserves and were moments away from a shutout when standout Kekuta Manneh finally broke through for the hosts.
RIC: Matthew Delic√Ęte (Sascha Gorres) 15, Conor Shanosky (Nate Robinson) 63
VAN: Kekuta Manneh 90

Antigua 1 :: 3 FC Dallas Reserves  (MLSR)
Ramon Nunez wasted no time for FC Dallas, scoring twice in the first 25 minutes to push the game out of reach for the Barracudas. Tamorley Thomas, meanwhile, scored his third of the year to spoil Chris Seitz’s shutout in the 88th.
DAL: Ramon Nunez 4, Ramon Nunez (Fabian Castillo) 25, Victor Ulloa 60
ANT: Tamorley Thomas 88

Dayton 1 :: 5 Harrisburg 
For the first time since June, the City Islanders were able to more than two on the board as they pulled away from an early 1-1 contest. Jason Pelletier, who set up the Lucky Mkosana opener eight minutes in found Stephen Basso just before the break for what stood as the winner. In the second half Mkosana put the game out of the reach, completing a hat-trick with the first two strikes in the 46th and 61st with Jimmy McLaughlin wrapping things up.
HAR: Lucky Mkosana (Jason Pelletier) 8, Stephen Basso (Jason Pelletier) 45, Lucky Mkosana (Matt Bahner) 46, Lucky Mkosana (Morgan Langley) 61, Jimmy McLaughlin (Aaron Wheeler) 86
DAY: Tjeerd Westdijk (Shintaro Harada) 20

Phoenix 1 :: 5 Charleston 
The Battery found a bit of a scoring touch, posting more than two goals for only the third time this season and first since early June. Dane Kelly extended the early lead established by Colin Falvey with two strikes in the second half to put the game well out of reach.
CHB: Colin Falvey 30, Dane Kelly (Jose Cuevas) 59, Dane Kelly 64, Phoenix Own Goal 78, Amadou Sanyang 88
PHO: Scott Morrison 71

Los Angeles 3 :: 3 Charlotte 
Postponed from the night before due to weather, the game proved to be quite the thriller as the two clubs exchanged goals. It looked like the visiting Blues were going to take a two goal lead to the break courtesy of an own goal, but Jorge Herrera, who scored in the 33rd, found Stephen Okai to keep it within one. A scoreless stalemate looked like that that would ultimately be the result, but in stoppage time Herrera proved the hero again, finding Drew Yates for the dramatic equalizer.
LA: Shay Spitz (Rodrigo Lopez) 21, Chris Cortez 34, Charlotte Own Goal 41
CHE: Jorge Herrera 33, Stephen Okai (Jorge Herrera) 45+, Drew Yates (Jorge Herrera) 90+

FRIDAY, July 26
Antigua 1 :: 3 Dayton 
Tamorley Thomas netted his fourth of the year to put the visiting Barracudas in the lead 15 minutes in, but it did not last long as Brandon Swartzendruber scored the first of two in the 28th to pull the Dutch Lions even. He added his second for the win with 18 minutes left and Gibson Bardsley capped victory.
ANT: Tamorley Thomas 15
DAY: Brandon Swartzendruber (Gibson Bardsley) 28, Brandon Swartzendruber (Joey Madigan) 72, Gibson Bardsley 87

VSI Tampa Bay 2 :: 1 Wilmington
It was a rough day for the Hammerheads as they found out they had received a one-point deduction earlier in the day for using an ineligible player the weekend prior against Pittsburgh. Things looked up a bit when Shawn Nicklaw put them in the lead at home, but Josh Rife and Chad Burt scored in a five minute span later in the first half to put the visitors in the lead. The second half proved to be a stalemate, but concluded with more bad news as Will Heaney was sent off in the 90th for Wilmington.
WIL: Shawn Nicklaw (Paul Nicholson) 23
TB: Josh Rife (Darren Toby) 34, Chad Burt 39
~ WIL: Will Heaney (ejection) 90

Pittsburgh 1 :: 0 Toronto FC Reserves  (MLSR)
The Riverhounds handed Toronto their first loss of the reserve campaign courtesy of a Jose ANgulo strike in the 41st, his 11th of the year. The tally puts him in a tie for second in the league this season with Sainey Touray of Harrisburg behind Dom Dwyer’s 15 for Orlando City.
PIT: Jose Angulo 41
~ TOR: Manuel Aparicio (ejection) 74

Phoenix 4 :: 0 Charlotte 

The Wolves proved they may not be doormats for everyone except Antigua. Despite a big loss earlier in the week in Charleston, the club pulled things together for a surprising performance in Charlotte with Robert Paul leading a three-goal first half with the opening strike and the third tally.
PHO: Robert Paul 18, Donald Toia (Scott Morrison) 24, Robert Paul (Thomas Ramos) 32, Cameron Vickers 83

Los Angeles 0 :: 3 Charleston 
After a heartbreaking loss in Charlotte, the Blues were unable to rebound on their trip south. Dane Kelly added his third of the week for the Battery as they rolled to the shutout victory.
CHB: Nicki Paterson (Emanuel Adjetay) 24, Dane Kelly (Quinton Griffith) 54, Haviel Cordoves (Ben Fisk) 89

SUNDAY, July 28
Antigua 0 :: 1 Rochester 
Yet again the Barracudas were so close to getting a point only to see Danny Earls score with two minutes left in regulation. It was the fourth time this season a draw was snatched from Antigua's grasp in the final five minutes, the second time to Rochester, having fallen 2-1 June 21 on a Tyler Rosenlund strike in the same minute.
ROC: Danny Earls 88

VSI Tampa Bay 0 :: 0 Richmond
The scoreless stalemate was not much to celebrate unless you were the Kickers, who were enjoying their first game at home in quite some time and only one within an 11-game stretch that has them on the road for 10.

MLS Reserve League

It was not a good week for the home clubs as they went a combined 2-4-0. The lone winners were FC Dallas, who defeated the pointless Antigua Barracuda USL Pro side, and Earthquakes Reserves, who narrowly slipped by Portland.  Two of the four losses at home were to USL Pro opposition, spoiling the Reserve League’s recent run to closing the gap, but USL Pro still holds the lead in the head-to-head record between the leagues at 10-6-9.

Scoring Summaries / Ejections

MONDAY, July 22
Galaxy Reserves 4 :: 1 Chivas USA Reserves
LA: Laurent Courtois (Chandler Hoffman) 6, Chandler Hoffman 9, Chandler Hoffman 53, Jack McBean (pen) 69LA:
CHV: Bryan de la Fuente (Jose Manuel Rivera) 10

TUESDAY, July 23
(USL) Richmond 2 :: 1 Whitecaps Reserves  - see above

(USL) Antigua 1 :: 3 FC Dallas Reserves  - see above

(USL) Pittsburgh 1 :: 0 Toronto FC Reserves  - see above

SUNDAY, July 28
Galaxy Reserves 1 :: 0 Rapids Reserves 
LA: Chandler Hoffman (Kenney Walker) 24

Timbers Reserves 1 :: 0 Earthquakes Reserves 
POR: Jose Valencia (Kalif Alhassan, Sal Zizzo) 56

North American Soccer League

With the league on break the only action was in a selection of international friendlies. Minnesota headed north to face the eventual USL PDL regular season champion Thunder Bay Chill, who were preparing for the postseason, while the New York Cosmos were making their playing debut, splitting a pair of contests in England. The Silverbacks were the lone side at home, downing Guatemala’s Xelaju.

TUESDAY, July 23
FRIENDLY - Minnesota 4 :: 0 Thunder Bay (USL PDL)
MIN: Michael Reed, Travis Wall, Nate Polak, Sean De Silva (Times not available - all second half)

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY - New York 1 :: 2 Leyton Orient (England)
LO: David Mooney 23, Kevin Lisbie (pen) 59
NY: Sebastian Guenzatti 74

FRIDAY, July 26
INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY - New York 1 :: 1 Gillingham FC (England) 
NY: Stefan Dimitrov 20
GIL: Adam Birchall 90

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY – Xelaju (Guatemala) 2 :: 3 Atlanta 
ATL: Danny Barrera 7, Danny Barrera 53, Alex Caceres 72
XEL: Julio Estacuy 70, Israel Silva (pen) 77

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