Soccer News: Austin, Harrisburg, Rochester Grab Important Wins Late
Late game-winners featured prominently in Week 8 in the USL, as teams made moves up the standings – or in the case of the Rochester Rhinos, maintained the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Saint Louis and Charlotte also took impressive wins, as the two expansion sides made their cases as playoff contenders later this season.
Charlotte Independence 3, Richmond Kickers 0
The Charlotte Independence got a goal and an assist from both Marlon Hairston and Ryan Finley as they cruised to victory against the previously undefeated Richmond Kickers. Finley opened the scoring from Hairston’s assist, as the full back pushed up to win possession in midfield and slid Finley in on the right side of the penalty area. Finley’s shot was inch-perfect, as it found the top-left corner of the net. Richmond was reduced to 10 men just before the halftime break when Alex Lee was sent off, and Charlotte took complete control early in the second half when Patrick Slogic scored his second goal in as many games from a corner kick. Hairston completed the victory with a curled finish on a breakaway down the left, as the Independence put together their best performance of the season so far.
“I had Marlon, I think it was in the Harrisburg game, with one, and we were all busting his chops about his lack of finishing. I think he made up with that one, so I was pretty pumped for him. I don’t know how he scored from the left side of the field playing right back, but we’ll take it.” -Charlotte Independence’s Ryan Finley on teammate Marlon Hairston
Austin Aztex 3, Real Monarchs SLC 2The Austin Aztex scored twice in the closing minutes as they wrested victory at House Park away from Real Monarchs SLC, which entered looking for a second consecutive win. The Aztex took an early lead through Kris Tyrpak, but the Monarchs gained the upper hand with goals at either side of halftime. Max Rauhofer converted from the penalty spot for his third goal for Real, which took the lead through Lucas Baldin. Austin’s second-half substitutions proved vital, however, as Mozzi Gyorio first set up Kalen Ryden for the equalizer in the 88th minute, and then found Trevin Caeser for the winner in stoppage time as the Monarchs were unable to withstand the late pressure.
Brazilian forward Steevan dos Santos, nicknamed Duba, had the decisive goal as Rochester pulled out the victory in stoppage time against TFC II at Sahlen’s Stadium. Onua Obasi began the move as he found Kenardo Forbes on the right. After a quick passing combination with Pat McMahon, Forbes’ cross found Duba seven yards out for a powerful header past Alex Bono. Both sides had chances before a lightning delay that began in the 40th minute, but Toronto almost grabbed the opening goal with just more than 15 minutes to go when Edwin Rivas was denied by Brandon Miller. Rochester’s late finish proved decisive, however, as the Rhinos extended their undefeated start to eight games.
Rodrigo Lopez had a goal and an assist as the defending champions moved back to the top of the USL’s Western Conference with a victory at a sold out Bonney Field. Entering on a two-game losing streak, Sacramento took control of the contest early when Lopez found Nemanja Vukovic with a free kick that the defender headed home. Lopez added his sixth goal of the season in the 63rd minute off a give and go with Max Alvarez, and two minutes later S2 was reduced to 10 men as Giuliano Frano was sent off after a second yellow card. Adnan Gabeljic rounded out the scoring with his first goal for Sacramento, which jumped back past S2 as the visitors remained winless on the road.
“A great win that we really needed. But we can’t just play well against these type of teams. We’ve got to punish every team, and not just at home. Last week [against Real Monarchs] we had a horrible game, probably the worst game we’ve had in Sacramento history. To bounce back from that to this just shows a lot of character by the guys.” -Sacramento Republic FC’s Rodrigo Lopez
BY THE NUMBERS
1,694 – Saint Louis FC’s victory against Wilmington was the first home win for a St. Louis-based outdoor professional soccer club in 1,694 days.
40 – The Richmond Kickers’ three-goal loss to Charlotte was their first by such a margin since August 3, 2013 when they fell 5-2 to the Charleston Battery, a span of 40 regular-season contests.
100 – Rochester’s winning goal against Toronto FC II came on the Rhinos’ 100th shot of the season. Only Sacramento has registered more shots this year in the USL.
7 – The Charleston Battery’s Maikel Chang has already surpassed his point total for his first two seasons with the club, with a goal and five assists in seven contests this year.
Friday, May 8
Charlotte Independence 3, Richmond Kickers 0
Saturday, May 9
Harrisburg City Islanders 2, New York Red Bulls II 1
Rochester Rhinos 1, Toronto FC II 0
Charleston Battery 3, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1
OKC Energy FC vs. LA Galaxy II, Ppd.
Saint Louis FC 1, Wilmington Hammerheads FC 0
Austin Aztex 3, Real Monarchs SLC 2
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. Portland Timbers 2, Ppd.
Sacramento Republic FC 3, Seattle Sounders FC 2 0
Arizona United SC 1, Tulsa Roughnecks FC 1
Tuesday, May 12
Louisville City FC vs. Wilmington Hammerheads FC, 7:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, May 13
Orange County Blues FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, 10:30 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy II vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 10:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, May 14
FC Montreal vs. Charleston Battery, 4 p.m. ET
Saint Louis FC vs. Toronto FC II, 8 p.m.
Friday, May 15
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. OKC Energy FC, 10:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, May 16
Wilmington Hammerheads FC vs. Rochester Rhinos, 7 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Richmond Kickers, 7 p.m. ET
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Charlotte Independence, 7 p.m. ET
Louisville City FC vs. Toronto FC II, 7:30 p.m. ET
Real Monarchs SLC vs. Portland Timbers 2, 9 p.m. ET
Orange County Blues FC vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 10 p.m. ET
Arizona United SC vs. Austin Aztex, 10:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 17
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. OKC Energy FC, 5 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls II vs. Charleston Battery, 7 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy II vs. Sacramento Republic FC, 7:15 p.m. ET
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