The opening weekend of the 2016 USL season is in the books, and mercy, that was a lot of soccer. There's plenty to talk about in the Western Conference alone, so let's see what went down.
|Seattle Sounders 2||0-1||Sacramento Republic|
|OKC Energy||1-2||COS Switchbacks|
|Tulsa Roughnecks||2-0||Rio Grande Valley|
|Swope Park Rangers||2-1||Portland Timbers 2|
|Real Monarchs||1-0||Saint Louis FC|
|Orange County Blues||0-1||Vancouver Whitecaps 2|
|LA Galaxy II||2-0||Arizona United|
Three Stories from the Week
Two new "2's" made their debuts
Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo each saw their entry into the USL take the field Saturday, with very different results. Dynamo's hybrid affiliate Rio Grande Valley - the Toros - could not get on the front foot in Tulsa and the Roughnecks handed the Edinburg, Texas outfit a 2-0 defeat at ONEOK Field. The Swope Park Rangers, on the other hand, played in front of a nice crowd at Children's Mercy Park, home of its parent club, and defeated visiting Timbers 2 by a score of 2-1.
Ariel Lassiter is still on fire
LA Galaxy II kicked off their season with a 2-0 win against Arizona United SC at StubHub Center, with both goals scored by the man they call "The Goal Puppy," Ariel Lassiter. Including LA’s last three playoff games in 2015, Lassiter has now scored six goals in four games. At the beginning of March, LA signed him to a first team contract, but if he plays a majority of the season on loan with Los Dos, he could very well top his 14-goal mark from last season.
The Switchbacks exact some revenge
USL fans should recall the 4-3 shootout victory for OKC Energy FC over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the playoffs last season. The league cleverly scheduled the rematch for opening weekend back at Taft Stadium, and the boys from "The Springs" got a little revenge with a 2-1 win. The Switchbacks’ defense held off some late rallies from OKC, and keeping Danni König off the scoresheet is no small feat. This big win for Colorado Springs adds to a developing rivalry between these two clubs.
Standings after Week 1
|LA Galaxy II||1||3|
|Swope Park Rangers||1||3|
|Colorado Springs Switchbacks||1||3|
|Vancouver Whitecaps 2||1||3|
|San Antonio FC||0||0|
|Portland Timbers 2||1||0|
|OKC Energy FC||1||0|
|Orange County Blues||1||0|
|Saint Louis FC||1||0|
|Seattle Sounders 2||1||0|
|Rio Grande Valley||1||0|
Here’s how the dust settled in the standings after Week 1. It’s probably too early to look at any patterns, especially since one team, San Antonio FC, has yet to make their debut, but one thing does stand out. Four of the six MLS-owned clubs won their first match. In 2015, two out of the five MLS-owned teams won their first match.
So, what are your big takeaways from Week 1? Let us know in the comments.