Monday, August 12, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 19

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With one week left, seven of the eight USL Pro playoff berths have been decided, leaving three teams battling for the final spot. Meanwhile, the NASL Fall season only two weeks has no clear front-runner as of yet and it was a quiet week in MLS Reserve League play aside from the Seattle Sounders Reserves traveling to Orlando for the final interleague match with USL Pro for the year.

For the second time this year, Orlando City blanked the Sounders Reserves 2-0, joining the Carolinas trio of Charleston, Charlotte and Wilmington as the only USL Pro sides to sweep their MLS counterparts as the third division league went 11-6-9 versus MLS Reserve competition this year as written about in more detail here.

North American Soccer League

The San Antonio Scorpions were the hottest team at the end of the Spring season, but the break seems to have killed that momentum. After taking a three-goal lead against Tampa Bay last week, it has all gone horribly wrong. First they saw the Rowdies rally for a 7-4 road win and in the second match of the season the Scorpions failed to score on the road in a 1-0 loss to FC Edmonton with the lone tally coming from new loan acquisition Corey Hertzog from the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The showdown of Carolina and Atlanta, who were vying for the title the final weekend, saw the two finish even at 1-1 again while Tampa Bay and the Cosmos also finished deadlocked, but at zeros.

SATURDAY, August 10

Carolina 1 :: 1 Atlanta 
ATL: Pedro Mendes (Borfor Carr) 27
CAR: Kupono Low (Ty Shipalane) 72

New York 0 :: 0 Tampa Bay 
~ TB: Luke Mulholland (ejection) 93+

Minnesota 3 :: 1 Fort Lauderdale 
MIN: Max Griffin (Miguel Ibarra) 73, Ft Lauderdale Own goal (Rafael Alves) 76, Pablo Campos (Miguel Ibarra) 93+
FTL: Martin Nunez (Toni Stahl) 80

SUNDAY, August 11

San Antonio 0 :: 1 Edmonton  
EDM: Corey Hertzog (Neil Hlavaty) 16


There are two significant things to watch as the USL Pro campaign heads into the final week.

First is the competition for the final playoff berth as Charlotte, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh joined the playoff field this week. Dayton has the inside track with a three point lead of VSI Tampa Bay with both sides having one game left.  Wilmington is lurking four points back with two games available, including their finale against Antigua, which heads into the final week of play looking for their first points of the season with games against the playoff-bound Battery and the Hammerheads.

The other item on the watchlist for the week is the showdown for the regular season title. The reigning two-time Commissioner’s Cup winning Orlando City is looking to make it three consecutive, but standing in their way are the Richmond Kickers. Tied at 51 points, the two square off head-to-head Wednesday with the 14-1-9 Kickers playing host to the 15-3-6 Lions. After that the Kickers head to Pittsburgh and Orlando City plays host to Charlotte on Saturday, the final evening of the USL Pro regular season.

As for last week, Charlotte picked up a pair of big wins, rallying for a 2-1 victory on the road Wednesday against Harrisburg, which had been hot of late, and then returning home to throttle Antigua 5-0 with a two goal performance from Jorge Herrera accompanied by Drew Yates’ goal and two assists.

Orlando City also picked up a pair of wins to pull even with Richmond, but the biggest story may have been the case of missed chances by playoff hopeful Tampa Bay which lost three times on the road in Orlando, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, losing control of their own destiny.


Charlotte 2 :: 1 Harrisburg
HAR: Christhian Hernandez (Sainey Touray) 6
CHE: Christian Ramirez (Nick Courtney) 27, Jorge Herrera (Christian Ramirez) 38

VSI Tampa Bay 2 :: 3 Orlando
VSI: Chad Burt 26, Shawn Chin 69
ORL: Renan Boufleur (Freddie Braun) 32, TB Own Goal (Cheyne Roberts) 51, Rob Valentino (Freddie Braun) 80

THURSDAY, August 8

Charleston 1 :: 2 Los Angeles
LA: Matt Fondy (Rodrigo Lopez) 33, Matt Fondy 37
CHB: Dane Kelly (Zach Prince) 80

FRIDAY, August 9

Dayton 1 :: 2 Wilmington 
WIL: Mickael Oliveira (Daniel Steres) 31, Cody Arnoux 90
DAY: Joseph Madigan 68

Pittsburgh 0 :: 1 Rochester 
ROC:  Thomas Kelly McManus  90

SATURDAY, August 10

Antigua 0 :: 5 Charlotte 
CHE: Jorge Herrera (Christian Ramirez) 12, Stephen Okai (Drew Yates) 20, Drew Yates (Christian Ramirez) 38, Jorge Herrera (Drew Yates) 55, Paul Islas 88

VSI Tampa Bay 1 :: 3 Harrisburg
HAR: Lucky Mkosana (Don Anding) 40, Lucky Mkosana (Matthew Bahner) 67, Lucky Mkosana (Stephen Basso) 83
TB: Mauricio Salles (Tony Donatelli) 61

Dayton 2 :: 5 Richmond
RIC: Matthew Delicate (Henry Kalungi) 6, Brian Ownby (Sascha Goerres) 37, Matthew Delicate (Sascha Goerres) 39, Nate Robinson (Alex Lee) 47, Brian Ownby (Nate Robinson) 67
DAY: Thomas Garner (Irakli Khutsidze) 38, Richmond Own Goal (Henry Kalungi) 64

Charleston 1 :: 0 Phoenix 
CHB: Phoenix Own Goal (Darren Mackie) 11

SUNDAY, August 11

VSI Tampa Bay 2 :: 3 Pittsburgh 
PIT: Jose Angulo (PK) 53, Robert Vincent (Alfonso Motagalvan) 60, Darren Amoo (Jose Angulo) 68
TB: Chad Burt 70, Andriy Budnyy (Mauricio Salles) 85

(MLSR) Sounders Reserves 0 :: 2 Orlando 
ORL: Kevin Molino 1, Rob Valentino (Anthony Pulis) 30

MLS Reserve League

Aside from Seattle’s second loss to Orlando, the only contest for the week saw the Fire Reserves rally for a 2-1 home victory thanks to a pair of goals from Quincy Amarika.

SUNDAY, August 11

Montreal 1 :: 2 Chicago 
MTL: Blake Smith (Felipe Martins) 30
CHI: Quincy Amarikwa (Michael Videira, Hunter Jumper) 34, Quincy Amarikwa (Maicon Santos) 59

Sounders Reserves 0 :: 2 Orlando (USL Pro)
ORL: Kevin Molino 1, Rob Valentino (Anthony Pulis) 30

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