Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lower Division Power Rankings - July 30

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Most of the movement once again came outside of the top 10, including Antigua dropping one more spot. That is the result of the biggest change this week as the New York Cosmos were added to the list following their match debut abroad in friendlies against fellow season-prepping sides over the past week and the upcoming NASL Fall campaign set to kick off this weekend.

The Cosmos results were decent enough to warrant a mid-table entry above the pack of woeful clubs that have been at the bottom of the list for most of the season. From there, they will have to prove it in league play to move up.

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.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lower Division Five Stars - Week Sixteen

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A weekly list of the top five players or performances of each round in NASL, USL Pro and MLS Reserves in all competitions…

ROUND SIXTEEN (July 15-21)

Player – Club (5 Star Selections)

Jean Alexandre - Orlando City
Scored the opening two goals in a 3-1 victory against visiting Harrisburg Saturday.

Lower Division Power Rankings - July 24

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Most of the movement this week came in the lower portions of the list as Rochester and Pittsburgh posted positive results in comparison to those around them.

This Week (Last Week) Club (League) :: W-L-D :: Notes [through July 21]

1 (1) Richmond Kickers (USL Pro) :: 11-0-8 :: Rallied from two down to tie Phoenix 2-2 on Friday and scored two in the final 14 minutes to rally past the Galaxy Reserves Sunday.

2 (2) Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) :: 6-3-3 :: Idle

3 (3) San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) :: 6-4-2 :: Fell 2-1 in an international friendly against Mexican second tier side Dorados de Sinaloa.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 16

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The race for the regular season title in USL Pro is on. Separated by a point, league leaders Orlando City and close contender Richmond both posted a draw and a victory on the week to keep pace with one another.

Friday, July 19, 2013

AC Seattle heads to Western Regionals for shot at WPSL Final Four

Celebrating NW championship | Wilson Tsoi / goalWA
It was quite a good year for AC Seattle, the newcomers among the Washington contingent in the WPSL northwest. Whether planned or by stroke of luck, the team’s slowly-scheduled start to the season allowed the side heavily comprised of Italian imports to feel out the competition before battling through a difficult final two-week span in which they played five of their 10 games, three of them in a four day stretch in the final week.

The end result was a 7-2-1 record good for third overall in the conference while going 4-1-1 against their in-state counterparts to capture the Evergreen Cup derby title.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

RESULTS UPDATE - Northwest clubs kick off 2013 national youth title campaigns

[UPDATES: Scroll below for northwest team results] 

With US Club Soccer's National Cup XII and National Premier Leagues Champions Cup events in beginning Thursday, it marks the start of a two-week period that concludes in Overland Park, Kansas with the US Youth Soccer National Championships. During the 'Champions Week' 13 teams in the INWsoccernews region (WA/OR east of Cascades and into ID & MT) will by vying for national titles as part of a larger group of 39 teams from the northwest participating in the three events.

One club making headlines is Boise Nationals FC, which is sending a team from Idaho to the US Youth Soccer Championships for the first time in state history as its 15G side advanced as a regional finalist. The accomplishment by the girls team at regionals was matched by the 18B side, marking the first time two teams from the state reached championship games at regionals in the same year.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lower Division Five Stars: Round Fifteen

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A weekly list of the top five players or performances of each round in NASL, USL Pro and MLS Reserves in all competitions…


Player – Club (5 Star Selections)

Sallieu Bundu - VSI Tampa Bay
Set up the second goal and scored the fourth in a 4-2 victory over visiting Charleston.

Lower Division Power Rankings - July 17

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The top seven in the table went unchanged this week as the results were not earth-shattering enough from Orlando City or Charlotte to warrant leaps over the idle NASL clubs ahead of them. Top-ranked Richmond's results, meanwhile, were decent enough on the road to keep them from sliding below their idle NASL counterparts.

The middle portion of the rankings, however, was completely different as Charleston, Wilmington and Harrisburg all had disastrous weeks, allowing VSI Tampa Bay and the LA Blues to jump up into the picture. The bottom, well, remains the bottom.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lower Division Recap: Round 15

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The gap is gone. After months of having a strong hold of the top position in the table, Orlando City saw the lead completely disappear as the Richmond Kickers kept their unbeaten season going with a draw and win on a difficult road trip. A wild 3-3 tie on Sunday was the only thing that kept the Lions on the top of the table at the close of the weekend.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

INWsoccernews player honors unveiled for WPSL NW 2013

What a difference a year makes. Last year defense was one of the major themes for the WPSL Northwest. It was almost a complete reversal this year with scoring being one of the headline-making elements of the season as the Northwest grew to eight teams.

One of the aspects, however, that will likely forever remain in the WPSL Northwest is the role youth players have. A number of teenage players had an impact this season and showed promise for the future.

To that end, INWsoccernews has put together a list of not only the WPSL Northwest's top players for the 2013 regular season, but also a list of the some of the younger prospects for the future.

Not surprisingly, the regular season champion Tualatin Hills United SC Diamonds and the three greater-Seattle clubs dominated the Best XI for the season as they finished as the top four teams in the Northwest, suffering only six combined losses between them. A reserve group of players rounds out the Best XI, recognizing some of the other top players, including at least one from each club.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

WPSL NW Playoff Preview: Regular season champs THUSC face tough test in Seattle

Four clubs set to square off in Northwest Playoffs this weekend | Photos: Gerald Barnhart (unless noted)
Six weeks of soccer in Oregon and Washington has reduced the field from eight teams to four as the top two clubs from each state head into the Northwest playoffs this weekend in the greater-Seattle area looking to advance to the WPSL Regional Tournament next weekend. Oregon's Tualatin Hills United SC Diamonds and Eugene Metro Azul head north Saturday to face AC Seattle and the Seattle Reign Reserves presented by Issaquah SC (SRR Issaquah) in the semifinals, respectively, with the winners to meet on Sunday.

They say defense wins championships, but the one thing in common among AC Seattle, Eugene Metro Azul, SRR Issaquah SC and the THUSC Diamonds heading into the postseason in the WPSL Northwest is that they were the four clubs that were never shutout this season, scoring in every game played.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lower Division Power Rankings - July 10

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The NASL Spring campaign closed with Atlanta number two in the mixed rankings, trailing only the unbeaten Richmond Kickers. However, don't be surprised to see San Antonio quickly move up the list from their number-three position as they are arguably the hottest Lower Division team right now having beaten every team in the NASL over the past seven games except Atlanta as they went on an amazing season turnaround of 6-0-1 to go from the bottom of the table to a title contender that came up one goal (the 1-0 loss in Atlanta during the run) shy of the championship.

Lower Division Five Stars: Round Fourteen

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A weekly list of the top five players or performances of each round in NASL, USL Pro and MLS Reserves in all competitions…


Player – Club (5 Star Selections)

Sam Adekugbe - Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves
Scored the second goal on a clean finish in a 4-0 thumping of rival Sounders Reserves and added what should be two assists (only credited with one), combining twice with fellow Whitecaps U18 Residency player Marco Bustos to set up Tommy Heinemann, including working with Yassin Essa to create the turnover that led to the final goal.

Monday, July 8, 2013

WPSL NW Three Stars - Week Six

A weekly list of the top three players or performances each week in the WPSL Northwest Division.

WEEK SIX (July 2-7)

Slawson (R) | Wilson Tsoi / goalWA
Romina Pinna - AC Seattle (2) 
Finding themselves trailing again, Pinna struck for three goals in the final 30 minutes for a 4-1 victory on the road against Westside. She tallied the equalizer on the hour mark and added her second, the winner, in the 70th, completing the hat-trick with seven minutes left to cap the game.

Arica Slawson - AC Seattle
Slawson scored her first of three on the week at Westside, tallying the team's third goal in a 4-1 road win. On Friday she played the pivotal role against Emerald City, scoring in the 22nd and 42nd minutes for a two-goal lead en route to a 2-1 victory that clinched the Evergreen Cup derby title and a playoff spot.

Jen Stoltenberg - THUSC Diamonds (3)
The Northwest's leading scorer pushed her tally to nine with the opening goal in the first minute and the equalizer later in the 38th. She added an assist on Shanna Lechelt's game-winner three minutes before the break as they posted a 4-2 home win against AC Seattle, getting a pair of goals from Madison Hairston, who is heading into her sophomore year at Grant High School next fall.

Others considered: Madison Hairston (THUSC); Jillian Nicks (AC Seattle)

Note: Players listed alphabetically

Previous Weeks:

One: Taylor Boyer (Eugene Metro); Kennya Cordner (SRR Issaquah); Jaclyn Softli (SRR Issaquah)
Two: Brandi Dawson (THUSC); Marina Nesic (Emerald City); Amanda Perez (Issaquah)
Three: Kate Bennett (Emerald City); Valentina Giacinti (AC Seattle); Jen Stoltenberg (THUSC)
Four: Alia Guagni (AC Seattle); Jen Stoltenberg 2 (THUSC); Erin Vaughan (SRR Issaquah)
Five: Marina Galaz (Emerald City); Alia Guagni (AC Seattle); Romina Pinna (AC Seattle)


WPSL NW Recap - Week 6: Playoff field set; AC Seattle wins Evergreen Cup derby

AC Seattle celebrates after clinching Evergreen Cup and playoff spot Friday night | Photo: Wilson Tsoi / goalWA
With the Tualatin Hills United SC Diamonds coming into the final week of the regular season as the only team to have clinched a playoff spot, Week Six was all about the three teams in Seattle chasing the two Washington berths while Eugene Metro Azul and Westside Timbers battled for the remaining slot from Oregon. Meanwhile, the Evergreen Cup was also on the line for bragging rights in Washington.

With three games in four days, AC Seattle's results in the the first three contests of the week would have a great impact on how things played out as they would visit Oregon playoff hopeful Westside and square off against Emerald City in a game that could decide the Evergreen Cup.

Final Evergreen Cup standings
In the end, winning two of three was enough for the first-year side as AC Seattle clinched the derby competition and a playoff spot (based on three-way tiebreaker) with the win Friday evening on the road against Emerald City, who were unable to find a win in their finale to advance by the same tiebreaker, allowing Issaquah to move onto the postseason with the draw between the two. Seattle's win at Westside left too big of a hole for the Timbers to make up as their road draw allowed host Eugene to join THUSC in the playoffs.

Jen Stoltenberg had another big week, but her odds of finishing as the leading goal scorer were diminished midweek with AC Seattle's Romina Pinna pulling even. The THUSC striker, however, pulled away once more Sunday and has one more game Tuesday to add even more… if she even plays with the postseason on the horizon.

Lower Division Recap: Round 14

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It came down to three teams playing in two games on Independence Day that would decide the 2013 NASL Spring championship. In the end, league-leading Carolina fell in San Antonio to the Scorpions, allowing the Atlanta Silverbacks to claim the crown with a win in Minnesota. Meanwhile in USL Pro, the Richmond Kickers kept their unbeaten status going with a comeback win in Dayton.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lower Division Five Stars: Round Thirteen

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A weekly list of the top five players or performances of each round in NASL, USL Pro and MLS Reserves in all competitions…


Player – Club (5 Star Selections)

Andrew Dykstra - Richmond Kickers
The keeper shut out league-leading Orlando City in a bit 2-0 victory on Saturday and then posted another clean sheet the following night in a scoreless draw at Tampa Bay.

Jorge Herrera - Charlotte Eagles (2)
Set up the opening goal in the 22nd minute and scored the other go-ahead goal in the 62nd minute in a 2-2 draw at Dayton.

WPSL NW Three Stars - Week Five

A weekly list of the top three players or performances each week in the WPSL Northwest Division.

Marina Galaz (right) | NW Sports Pics
WEEK FIVE (June 24-30)

Marina Galaz - Emerald City
The Iowa Western freshman had a huge weekend in Oregon, scoring the first three goals in Emerald City's 4-0 win in Bend Saturday and then scoring the game-winner in the 19th minute of a 2-1 victory at Eugene Sunday. Galaz came to the club along with Iowa Western assistant coach Karley Nelson, whom EC head coach Niki Taylor met at the NSCAA Convention earlier this year. She also brought players Indira Ilic and Marina Nesic.

Alia Guagni - AC Seattle
In the big showdown with division-leading Issaqauh, Guagni scored twice in an eight minute span in the second half to guide the team to a big 3-1 victory to make the playoff race tight among the three area teams.

Romina Pinna - AC Seattle
Scored the equalizer in the 15th minute and clinched the win with a second goal in stoppage time for 4-2 win. She went on to also score the equalizer at home in a showdown with division leader Issaquah Sunday as the team won 3-1.

Others considered: Nikia Evans (THUSC), Taylor Luty (THUSC), Liz Ruiz (Emerald City)

Note: Players listed alphabetically

Previous Weeks:

One: Taylor Boyer (Eugene Metro); Kennya Cordner (SRR Issaquah); Jaclyn Softli (SRR Issaquah)
Two: Brandi Dawson (THUSC); Marina Nesic (Emerald City); Amanda Perez (Issaquah)
Three: Kate Bennett (Emerald City); Valentina Giacinti (AC Seattle); Jen Stoltenberg (THUSC)
Four: Alia Guagni (AC Seattle); Jen Stoltenberg 2 (THUSC); Erin Vaughan (SRR Issaquah)


Monday, July 1, 2013

WPSL NW Recap – Week 5: THUSC Diamonds first to clinch playoff spot heading into final week; Spokane Shine expelled

Two wins for AC Seattle this week
The Tualatin Hills United SC Diamonds have run away from the pack among the Oregon teams and clinched one of the state’s two berths in the WPSL Northwest Division playoffs with a 2-0 victory Saturday in a closely-fought contest against regional rival Westside Timbers.

The other big news of the week broke Monday afternoon with the division and league announcing that the Spokane Shine have been expelled and their final home game against SRR Issaquah will be considered a forfeit victory for the Seattle-area club.

“We are following the by-laws and expelling the Spokane Shine from the WPSL effective immediately,” said Northwest Commissioner Niki Taylor of Emerald City FC upon receiving official notice from the WPSL. “It’s not fair for Issaquah to have to spend the time and money to travel to Spokane when the Shine refused to travel last weekend.”

Lower Division Power Rankings - July 1

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The end of June proved to be a threshold week as several clubs that I have been keeping in the shadows of the rankings finally proved themselves and were moved up quite a bit. Atlanta showed they are true contenders with the 1-1 draw in Carolina against the RailHawks, whose only loss came in Atlanta earlier in the season, and San Antonio appears for real with yet another win to put themselves in the title picture.

In USL Pro, Richmond has lingered among the top few teams, but the win in Orlando City coupled with their unbeaten record was the golden ticket for the top spot. Orlando City, meanwhile, tumbles all the way down to four with the loss being coupled with the team losing key players.

Lower Division Recap: Round 13

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It was a monumental week that, however, ended up, arguably falling a little flat. Well, that is if you were the two league leaders in the NASL and USL Pro. Both were facing marquee US Open Cup moments and had key league clashes the following weekend and both the Carolina RailHawks and Orlando City saw everything virtually go up in flames.

US Open Cup Quarterfinals

With a chance to clinch the NASL Spring title on Saturday against visiting Atlanta, the RailHawks took a page out of the MLS playbook and sat a number of their key players on the road against Real Salt Lake and were promptly eliminated, 3-0, Wednesday night. Orlando City, on the other hand, gave the Chicago Fire quite a fight only to see things completely unravel in the second half as they were knocked out to the tune of a 5-1 defeat in which they finished with nine players. Full coverage at TheCup.us [+]