Monday, August 5, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 18

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Round 18 of the domestic calendar marked the kick off of the NASL Fall campaign and another re-launch of the New York Cosmos. The spotlight may have been stolen by two other contests, however. In the NASL, there was an amazing 11-goal contest in which the Tampa Bay Rowdies rallied back from three down on the road for a 7-4 victory in San Antonio. In USL Pro, it was the end of the Richmond Kickers’ unbeaten season as they were finally felled in game number 23 by the Charleston Battery.

North American Soccer League

The Cosmos took advantage of a home contest against a Spring-worst side Fort Lauderdale Strikers side looking for a fresh start with a new coach and some additional players on loan from MLS, posting a 2-1 victory in front of a crowd just shy of 12,000. The Spring’s top sides Atlanta and Carolina netted narrow victories, Carolina after a lengthy storm delay, while  the Rowdies and Scorpions decided to play with no defense in Texas.

SATURDAY, August 3

Edmonton 0 :: 1 Carolina
There were more storm-related stoppages than goals in this contest as the lightning-delayed contest was delayed nearly two hours and eventually after playing six minutes was halted again for a power outage. When things got rolling, however, just after the half-hour mark when Brian Shriver netted his ninth of the year.
CAR: Brian Shriver (Brian Ackley) 31

Fort Lauderdale 1 :: 2 New York
After all the hoopla subsided, the contest was a close affair that ultimately was decided in stoppage time by a glancing header put away by Alessandro Noselli three three minutes past regulation. The opening goal came late in the first half with Peri Marosevic finishing off the remnants of a corner in the 44th minute. Walter Restrepo intercepted a back-pass header to equalize in the 73rd for Fort Lauderdale.
NY: Peri Marosevic 44, Alessandro Noselli 93+
FTL: Walter Restrepo 73

Atlanta 1 :: 0 Minnesota
New season, but essentially the same result for Minnesota as they were unable to find the back of the net, allowing a goal from defender Mike Randolph on a corner to serve as the deciding tally.
ATL: Mike Randolph 22

Tampa Bay 7 :: 4 San Antonio
Hans Denissen scored twice in the first 16 minutes and Javier Saavedra picked up second assist in the 18th as San Antonio jumped out to a three-goal advantage. Shockingly, they would ultimately lose by a three goal margin as the visiting Rowdies rattled off five consecutive goals to turn the match on its head.
SA: Hans Denissen (Javier Saavedra) 3, Hans Denissen (Kevin Harmse) 16, Tomasz Zahorski (Javier Saavedra) 18, Tomasz Zahorski (Fabrice Noel) 79
TB: Luke Mulholland (Evans Frimpong) 25, Keith Savage (Amani Walker) 32, Evans Frimpong (Keith Savage) 42, Amani Walker (Luke Mulholland) 45, Georgi Hristov (Frankie Sanfilippo) 67, Etienne Barbara (Georgi Hristov) 85, Georgi Hristov (pen) 90


With just a few weeks left in the regular season, clubs are beginning to secure spots in the postseason with the top three – Richmond, Orlando City and Harrisburg – making it official. The top story was the end of Richmond’s unbeaten status, but Orlando City was unable to fully capitalize on the missed step to pull even at the top. Meanwhile further down the table the Wilmington Hammerheads and Pittsburgh Riverhounds posted a pair of wins to keep themselves in the hunt for the postseason, particularly the Riverhounds, who used a pair of impressive road wins in Florida to remain on the bubble.


Harrisburg 3 :: 1 Phoenix
Lucky Mkosana kept his hot streak going with the winning strike midway through the second half, knocking Phoenix out of contention for the postseason.
HAR: Mathew Bahner 24, Luckymore Mkosana (Morgan Langley) 67, Jamiel Hardware 90
PHO: Donny Toia (David Paul) 50

FRIDAY, August 2

Richmond 1 :: 0 Charlotte
Back on the road again, the Kickers snared the narrow victory to take their unbeaten streak to 22 league games and move six points ahead of Orlando City in the table.
RIC: Joseph Ngwenya (Nate Robinson) 72

Pittsburgh 2 :: 1 VSI Tampa Bay
A pair of second half goals propelled the Riverhounds to a surprising road victory in a key contest against another club battling with them at the playoff bubble.
TB: Tony Donatelli 36
PIT: Robert Vincent 54, Rich Costanzo 58

Charleston 1 :: 2 Wilmington
The struggling Hammerheads posted a surprising victory with a goal in each half against regional rival Charleston.
WIL: Kyle Greig (Tom Parratt) 39, Mickael Oliveira (Shawn Nicklaw) 74
CHB: Heviel Cordoves 90
~ CHB: Quinton Griffith (ejection) 58

Dayton 3 :: 1 Rochester
Mid-table delivered the final blow, rallying from a goal down with a five-minute blitz to eliminate the Rhinos from postseason contention for the first time in the club’s prestigious history.
ROC: JC Banks 43
DAY: Greg Preciado 60, Brandon Swartzendruber (Eli Garner) 62, Gibson Bardsley 65

SATURDAY, August 3

Richmond 2 :: 5 Charleston
Two quick goals from the Battery midway through the first half set the tone of the contest as the unbeaten Kickers fought back mightily, reducing the margin to one goal on two occasions and nearly equalized on several others. In the end, however, Mike Azira’s second goal with six minutes left to restore the two-goal margin was key with Haviel Cordoves capping the match in stoppage time to make the score unrepresentative of the close nature of the contest. The result ended Richmond’s unbeaten campaign at 13-0-9.
CHB: Colin Falvey (Bryce Alderson) 23, Mike Azira (Jose Cuevas) 25, Dane Kelly (Jose Cuevas) 48, Mike Azira 84, Haviel Cordoves (Amadou Sanyang) 90+
RIC: Alex Lee (Sasha Gorres) 45+, Matt Delicate 72

Pittsburgh 1 :: 0 Orlando
The road trip to Florida reached stunning heights with the Riverhounds winning their second contest in as many nights, downing regular season title contenders Orlando City with an early second half goal from Ryan Kinne.
PIT: Ryan Kinne (Stefan Lundberg) 52

Harrisburg 2 :: 2 Los Angeles
They gave up a two-goal lead on the road, but the one point was enough to ensure the City Islanders a return to the postseason.
HAR: Lucky Mkosana 38, Stephen Basso (pen) 49
LA: George Davis (Ryan O'Leary) 55, Matt Fondy (Maykel Galindo) 85

SUNDAY, August 4

Wilmington 1 :: 0 Dayton
After a terrible week last round, the Hammerheads made the most of this week to keep themselves mathematically, though unlikely, alive for the playoffs, using a second half strike on the road to edge mid-table Dayton.
WIL: Kyle Greig (Daniel Roberts) 57

Orlando 3 :: 0 VSI Tampa Bay
Although they could have been even with Richmond coming out of the weekend, the Lions used a relatively easy victory against state rival Tampa Bay to keep the Kickers within three points while also still holding a game in hand.
ORL: Christian Duke (CJ Sapong) 15, Rob Valentino (Luke Boden) 45+, Freddie Braun 53

MLS Reserve League

For the second consecutive week, it was a rough week for home clubs as they went 1-2-1 in league play. On Monday, the Sounders Reserves made a fantastic comeback at home against Chivas USA while the New York Red Bulls used a late strike to finish even with FC Dallas. On Sunday, Columbus blanked host Houston with a pair of second half goals and Vancouver used a pair of goals from Tommy Heinemann, one a penalty, to win at Cascadia rival Portland.

MONDAY, July 29

Chivas USA Reserves 2 :: 3 Sounders Reserves
Sounders Reserves rallied from two down at home against Chivas USA, who were led by a Jose Manuel Rivera brace, to snare a victory thanks to a brace from Eriq Zavaleta, who was accompanied by quality outings from David Estrada and Servando Carrasco.
CHV: Jose Manuel Rivera (David Izazola) 34, Jose Manuel Rivera 37
SEA: Eriq Zavaleta (David Estrada, Servando Carrasco) 44, Servando Carrasco (penalty) 63, Eriq Zavaleta (David Estrada) 81

Red Bulls Reserves 1 :: 1 FC Dallas Reserves
In a showdown of struggling Reserve League sides, it looked like FC Dallas was going to pick up its second win when Red Bulls newcomer Bradley Wright-Phillips scored with four minutes left to leave things in a stalemate.
DAL: Danny Garcia (Kellyn Acosta, Ramon Nunez) 69
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips (Arun Bosuljevic) 86

SUNDAY, August 4

Columbus 2 :: 0 Houston
Reversing the previous night’s results, the Crew Reserves used a pair of second half goals to pick up their fourth win.
CLB: Omar Mohamed (Ethan Finlay) 60, Drew Beckie (Ben Speas) 82

Vancouver 3 :: 2 Portland
Two of the top sides in the Reserve League, the Whitecaps rallied to take the lead with a pair of goals in a four-minute span immediately after Portland’s opener. The Timbers, though, answered back only to see a penalty give the visiting rivals the win.
POR: Jose Valencia (pen) 52, Rauwshan McKenzie (Sal Zizzo) 81
VAN: Tommy Heinemann (Kianz Froeze) 53, Erik Hurtado 56, Tommy Heinemann (pen) 86

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