Monday, August 26, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 21

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The opening round of the USL Pro playoffs went pretty much as expected with the only quarterfinal upset coming in the five-v-four match Top seed Richmond, however, only slipped by Dayton after suffering just one loss this season. In the NASL, don't look now but Fort Lauderdale has won two straight with a win over the Spring champs while New York is now two-for-two at home.


The Dayton Dutch Lions were the only team to score more than once multiple times against regular season champion Richmond this season; though the final aggregate was 8-4. When it came to their quarterfinal contest it , however, it proved to be a tight affair and Joseph Ngwenya’s tally in the 66th was the deciding factor. Third-seeded Charleston also posted a narrow victory, 2-1, against visiting Los Angeles.

After seeing their two-year run as the regular season champions come to an end, the Lions of Orlando City sent a message Saturday night with a 5-0 blasting of Pittsburgh that began with a pair of goals in the first five minutes.

The not-so-surprising upset of the night saw fifth-seeded Charlotte come move on in a thrilling finish that saw three goals in the final eight minutes. Standout Jorge Herrera provided the indirect free kick tap on Christian Ramirez’ six-yard rip for the opener seven minutes into the second half after a back pass handball, and he went on to double the lead with eight minutes left on a free kick from just outside the left of the area after Stephen Basso was sent off for a second caution. Despite being down a man, Lucky Mkosana made a great individual play by stealing the ball and beating the keeper to cut the deficit to one three minutes later. But the night belonged to Herrera though as he secured the win by finding Samuel Asante for a tap-in in stoppage time.

SATURDAY, August 24 

(5) Charlotte 3 :: 1 Harrisburg (4) 
CHE: Christian Ramirez (Jorge Herrera) 52, Jorge Herrera 82, Samuel Asante (Jorge Herrea) 90+
HAR: Luckymore Mkosana 85
~HAR: Stephen Basso (ejection) 81

(8) Dayton 0 :: 1 Richmond (1)
RIC: Joseph Ngwenya 66

(6) Los Angeles 1 :: 2 Charleston (3)
CHB: Dane Kelly 24, Mike Azira (Quinton Griffith) 71
LAB: Mohammad Rokinpour 84

(7) Pittsburgh 0 :: 5 Orlando (2) 
ORL: Long Tan (Luke Boden) 3, Renan Boufleur 5, Long Tan (Dennis Chin) 48, Dennis Chin (Long Tan) 68, Anthony Pulis (pen) 80


FRIDAY, August 30
USL Playoff - Charleston @ Orlando 7:30
SATURDAY, August 31
USL Playoff - Charlotte @ Richmond 7:00

North American Soccer League

The Carolina RailHawks are continuing to prove they are arguably the best team in the NASL this year, particularly at home with an 8-0-1 record in 2013. Brian Shriver scored his fourth goal in his last three home games, providing the lone tally in the win against Minnesota. Also looking like he’s on a hot streak, Chris Nurse scored for the second consecutive game for FC Edmonton after going the entire Spring campaign without a goal. The first half stoppage-time equalizer gave the Eddies a 1-1 draw in Florida against the Rowdies.

After going winless and without a goal in the last two games on the road, the Cosmos returned home for the first time since their opener and picked up a 2-1 victory, getting the winner two minutes into stoppage time against San Antonio, just as they had done against Fort Lauderdale.

Speaking of the Strikers, the once cellar-dwelling side seems to finally be finding their stride under their new head coach, posting a second consecutive victory this week after netting just two total in the Spring campaign. The string comes after seven games without a win, but the two wins in the Spring also came close together within a three-week span in May.

SATURDAY, August 24

Minnesota 0 :: 1 Carolina 
CAR: Brian Shriver (Cesar Elizondo) 52

San Antonio 1 :: 2 New York
NY: Diomar Diaz 42, Henry Lopez 92+
SA: Tomasz Zahorski (Lyle Martin) 64

Fort Lauderdale 1 :: 0 Atlanta 
FTL: Bradlee Baladez (Ivan Guerrero) 34

FC Edmonton 1 :: 1 Tampa Bay 
TB: Luke Mulholland 38
EDM: Chris Nurse 45+

MLS Reserve League

All the Reserve League teams were idle, but return to action with four games Monday and Tuesday of Week 22.

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