5:46 am - Sunday August 20, 2017

USL Week 4: Seattle, Arizona Jump Up Out West‏

The top four teams in the USL’s Western Conference faced off Saturday night, and when the dust settled Seattle Sounders FC 2 and Arizona United SC were left alone at the top of the standings as the early-season race to the top began in earnest.

 

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FEATURED GAMES
Seattle Sounders FC 2 2, Portland Timbers 2 1
The first clash between the Cascadia rivals in the USL since 2008 proved to be a classic, as S2 rallied to take a late victory at Starfire Stadium. T2 took the lead at the half-hour mark as Harrison Delbridge headed home a free kick, but S2 got back on level terms early in the second half when Andy Craven was brought down in the penalty area, and Pablo Rossi converted from the spot. Craven was involved again in the winner three minutes from full time, as his clever, flicked pass found the run of Giuliano Frano, who lifted a volley past the advancing goalkeeper to claim all three points.

Arizona United SC 1, Austin Aztex 0
For a second consecutive contest, Long Tan scored the winner as Arizona continued its strong road trip to start the season. The goal arrived four minutes into the second half, as Brad Stisser’s low cross found Tan for a first-time finish into the top-left corner of the net. Arizona’s defense limited the Aztex attack to just one shot on goal as center backs Rob Valentino and Tyler Ruthven shone in the side’s first shutout of the season.

Sacramento Republic FC 3, LA Galaxy II 1
Rodrigo Lopez continued to hold a spell over the LA Galaxy II as he recorded another goal and assist to lead his side to victory in front of a sellout crowd of 10,096 fans at the newly expanded Bonney Field. Lopez opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, and then provided the assist on a header by David Estrada for Sacramento’s third, while Emrah Klimenta scored in between. Ariel Lassiter tucked away a finish from Raul Mendiola’s third assist this season for LA in the second half, but Sacramento held on comfortably for the victory.

Saint Louis FC 1, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1
Saint Louis native Brandon Barklage scored the first goal at World Wide Technology Soccer Park on Saturday night, but the Pittsburgh Riverhounds rallied back to earn a point in front of a sellout crowd of 5,280 on Saturday night. Saint Louis took the lead as Barklage scored from close range off a corner just before halftime, but Pittsburgh’s Ryan Thompson made a number of key saves to keep his side in the contest, and the Riverhounds’ fightback in the second half was rewarded with 19 minutes to go as Vini Dantas scored after Stephen Okai’s cross was deflected.

QUOTABLE
“I can’t really say why [we’re so successful against the Galaxy], but it’s a rivalry. Every time we come out and play against them we always have a hard battle with them. We always find a way to win.” – Sacramento Republic FC’s Rodrigo Lopez after his side’s 3-1 win against LA Galaxy II

“The team is getting better every game, and with a new team that’s going to take some time. What the team worked on in training this week was done to perfection. This is another step forward and will continue week-by-week.” – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC coach Steve Trittschuh after his side claimed its first victory in club history with a 1-0 win against Real Monarchs SLC

“It was incredible. We’ve been talking about this Cascadia rivalry for a while now, and just getting out there and playing with the atmosphere and the fans and the weight of the match, we were just excited to come out there. It felt like a big game, it felt like a big win.” Sounders FC 2 forward Andy Craven after his side earned a 2-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2

“When you don’t finish and make a few mistakes and things don’t go your way you’re going to get punished. When the game’s that open, good teams will punish you and we weren’t able to punish back.” – New York Red Bulls II coach John Wolyniec after his side fell 3-0 against Wilmington Hammerheads FC on Sunday afternoon

BY THE NUMBERS
10
– Wilmington Hammerheads FC goalkeeper Andre Rawls recorded a 10-save shutout on Sunday to help his side earn its first victory of the season as it defeated the New York Red Bulls II. Rawls was particularly strong before the halftime break, as he denied a pair of good chances for Chris Tsonis.

6 – Since the clubs first met last season, Rodrigo Lopez has now scored six goals for Sacramento Republic FC against the LA Galaxy II, including two in two games this season.

150 – Nick Zimmerman’s first goal for Wilmington Hammerheads FC against New York Red Bulls II on Sunday was the 150th regular-season goal in the club’s USL history.

1 – 2014 USL Goalkeeper and Rookie of the Year John McCarthy (Rochester Rhinos) earned his first win in MLS on Saturday, as he recorded three saves in the Philadelphia Union’s 2-1 win against New York City FC.

RESULTS
Wednesday, April 8
Real Monarchs SLC 1, Portland Timbers 2 1

Friday, April 10
Richmond Kickers 3, Wilmington Hammerheads FC 0

Saturday, April 11
Rochester Rhinos 3, FC Montreal 0
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1, Real Monarchs SLC 0
Saint Louis FC 1, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1
Arizona United SC 1, Austin Aztex 0
Sacramento Republic 3, LA Galaxy II 1
Seattle Sounders FC 2 2, Portland Timbers 2 1

Sunday, April 12
Wilmington Hammerheads FC 3, New York Red Bulls II 0
Orange County Blues FC 2, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 0

SCHEDULE
Wednesday, April 15
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, 10:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, April 16
Louisville City FC vs. Rochester Rhinos, 7:30 p.m. ET
Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2, 8 p.m. ET

Friday, April 17
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC, 9 p.m. ET

Saturday, April 18
Richmond Kickers vs. Charlotte Independence, 7 p.m. ET
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. FC Montreal, 7 p.m. ET
Charleston Battery vs. New York Red Bulls II, 7:30 p.m. ET
OKC Energy FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2, 8 p.m. ET
Saint Louis FC vs. Rochester Rhinos, 8:30 p.m. ET
Orange County Blues FC vs. Arizona United SC, 10 p.m. ET
Sacramento Republic FC 2 vs. Portland Timbers 2, 10:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, April 20
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Louisville City FC, 3 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Toronto FC II, 6 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy II vs. Austin Aztex, 8 p.m. ET

HOW TO FOLLOW
Every game of the 2015 USL season can be seen live, free and in HD on YouTube (www.Youtube.com/USL), with updates from across the league also available via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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