3:41 pm - Wednesday August 16, 2017

USL Week 6: Blues Spring Bonney Surprise‏

 

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Sacramento Republic FC entered Friday’s contest with Orange County Blues FC on a three-game winning streak, and had suffered just one defeat all-time at Bonney Field. That apparently meant little to the Blues, who took a 2-1 victory despite being reduced to 10 men for the final half hour, and allowed the top six teams in the Western Conference to be separated by three points after six weeks of the season.

FEATURED GAMES
Orange County Blues FC 2, Sacramento Republic FC 1
Everything appeared to be going according to plan for Sacramento early, as Justin Braun scored his second goal of the season in the seventh minute. The Blues were able to get a foothold, however, and got back on level terms when Didier Crettenand’s perfectly directed pass bisected the Republic FC defense and played in Denzel Slager, who finished well just before halftime. Crettenand added his second goal of the season 27 seconds into the second half as his low shot from the top of the penalty area found the right corner of the net. OC was forced to play the final half-hour with 10 men after Luka Petricevic was sent off, but Pepe Miranda’s three saves proved enough to earn all three points for the visitors.

Saint Louis FC 2, OKC Energy FC 1
Saint Louis rallied from an early deficit to hand Energy FC its first defeat of the season, as goals by Jamiel Hardware and Mike Ambersley earned victory at Taft Stadium. OKC opened the game strongly, and took the lead in the 13th minute through Chuy Sanchez. Saint Louis needed a big half from goalkeeper Mark Pais to keep the deficit from getting bigger in the opening half hour, but then Hardware skipped into the penalty area from the right and put home a fine individual effort that appeared to tilt the game in his side’s favor. Ambersley’s first goal of the season, on a rebound after Oskar Gasecki’s  fierce shot had hit the post, made it 2-1 before halftime, and Dale Schilly’s side put in a solid second-half performance to take home the victory.

Portland Timbers 2 2, Arizona United SC 0
A club-record crowd of 6,108 came out to see Arizona’s home opener at Scottsdale Stadium, but T2 and Kharlton Belmar spoiled the festivities with a pair of excellent finishes. Portland’s speed in attack was evident throughout the contest as Rundell Winchester got in behind United’s defense in the 19th minute to center for Belmar to put away a close-range finish. Belmar then scored a Goal of the Month candidate, as he outpaced the United defense to a ball down the left, cut inside toward the top corner of the penalty area, and then curled a shot into the top-right corner. Arizona pushed strongly for a way back into the game after the break, but T2’s defense held firm to snap a three-game winless streak.

Rochester Rhinos 2, New York Red Bulls II 0
The Rochester Rhinos’ 20th home opener was a successful one, as Bob Lilley’s side extended its undefeated streak to six games to start the season in front of 6,184 fans at Sahlen’s Stadium. Alex Dixon continued his strong start to the season as he was in the right place at the right time to turn home a rebound from Tyler Rudy’s initial shot in the 40th minute, and Johnny Mendoza added a second with a good finish from the left side of the penalty area midway through the second half to keep the Rhinos level on points with Richmond at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

QUOTABLE

“I have to thank all the supporters, because the atmosphere tonight was immense. They were willing to stand with us in the lashing rain and the hail. It was absolutely incredible. They were nice and loud and noisy and boisterous. Even when the Anthem finished, it gave us a lift.” – Louisville City FC coach James O’Connor, whose side withstood a hailstorm and Tulsa Roughnecks FC to earn a 2-0 victory

“It wasn’t the best. We have to keep the ball more, have control of the game more but we got the three points. That’s what matters right now and to get [the win] in front of our crowd is a great feeling.” – Rochester Rhinos midfielder Johnny Mendoza following his side’s 2-0 win against New York Red Bulls II

“I think the first 20 minutes, we played absolutely brilliant. Created a lot of opportunity. I don’t think anyone would have said a word if we were up 3-0. And we got a mental breakdown. Saint Louis fought their way back in the game and made it very difficult for us and we stopped playing the way we talked about.” – OKC Energy FC coach Jimmy Nielsen following his side’s loss to Saint Louis FC

“It’s something we work on, week in and week out. The manager wants us to be a high pressing team and make them make mistakes in the last third [of the field]. That’s where we’re going to score goals, and it’s tough to do for 90 minutes. But Kevin [Kerr], Robbie [Vincent] and [Mike Green] were fantastic tonight. When we make them give up the ball there, good things are going to happen for us.” – Pittsburgh Riverhounds midfielder Danny Earls following his side’s 5-1 win against Toronto FC II

BY THE NUMBERS

200 – Matthew Delicâte’s goal against FC Montreal provided his 200th point as a member of the Richmond Kickers.

150 – Denzel Slager’s goal for Orange County Blues FC against Sacramento Republic FC was the 150th in the club’s history.

7 – Bradford Jamieson IV scored seven goals for the LA Galaxy II in the USL before recording his first in Major League Soccer on Sunday evening against the New York Red Bulls.

2 – The Portland Timbers 2’s Kharlton Belmar and Pittsburgh Riverhounds’ Rob Vincent became the first players in the USL this season to record their second multi-goal games.

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Team GP W GF GA Pts
Richmond Kickers 6 4 0 2 11 3 14
Rochester Rhinos 6 4 0 2 9 2 14
Charleston Battery 5 4 0 1 11 6 13
Louisville City FC 5 2 0 3 7 3 9
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 5 2 1 2 13 7 8
Saint Louis FC 5 2 2 1 5 5 7
Wilmington Hammerheads FC 5 1 2 2 7 8 5
New York Red Bulls II 5 1 3 2 5 8 5
Harrisburg City Islanders 4 1 2 1 5 9 4
Toronto FC II 5 1 3 1 7 13 4
Charlotte Independence 4 0 2 2 4 8 2
FC Montreal 4 0 4 0 1 8 0

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Team GP W GF GA Pts
Sacramento Republic FC 7 4 3 0 15 11 12
Seattle Sounders FC 2 6 3 2 1 15 10 10
Portland Timbers 2 6 3 2 1 9 8 10
Orange County Blues FC 4 3 1 0 8 3 9
Austin Aztex 6 3 3 0 6 6 9
Arizona United SC 5 3 2 0 5 7 9
OKC Energy FC 4 2 1 1 6 5 7
LA Galaxy II 6 2 3 1 7 9 7
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 5 2 3 0 7 7 6
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 6 1 3 2 5 10 5
Tulsa Roughnecks FC 5 1 3 1 5 10 4
Real Monarchs SLC 6 0 4 2 4 11 2

RESULTS
Wednesday, April 22
Richmond Kickers 1, New York Red Bulls II 0

Friday, April 24
Charlotte Independence 1, Harrisburg City Islanders 1
Orange County Blues FC 2, Sacramento Republic FC 1

Saturday, April 25
Richmond Kickers 1, FC Montreal 0
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 5, Toronto FC II 1
Louisville City FC 2, Tulsa Roughnecks FC 0
Saint Louis FC 2, OKC Energy FC 1
Austin Aztex 1, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 0
LA Galaxy II 1, Real Monarchs SLC 0
Portland Timbers 2 2, Arizona United SC 0

Sunday, April 26
Rochester Rhinos 2, New York Red Bulls II 0
Charleston Battery 2, Wilmington Hammerheads FC 1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 1, Seattle Sounders FC 2 1

SCHEDULE
Wednesday, April 29
Real Monarchs SLC vs. Sacramento Republic FC, 9 p.m. ET

Friday, May 1
Austin Aztex vs. OKC Energy FC, 9 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Orange County Blues FC, 10:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, May 2
FC Montreal vs. Rochester Rhinos, 4 p.m. ET
Richmond Kickers vs. Charleston Battery, 7 p.m.
Wilmington Hammerheads FC vs. Harrisburg City Islanders, 7 p.m. ET
Charlotte Independence vs. Louisville City FC, 7 p.m. ET
Arizona United SC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 3
New York Red Bulls II vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 2 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy II vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, 8 p.m. ET
Portland Timbers 2 vs. Orange County Blues FC, 9 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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