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Beasts of the East: USL Conference Recap, Week 3

Week 3 provided goals and derbies to watch! Here's a recap of them all.

Steve Aibel/LittleOrcaSports.com

This past weekend provided much exciting soccer. The home sides won five out of six matches, and here is a recap of what went down.

Scoreboard

HOME AWAY
Richmond Kickers 1-0 Rochester Rhinos
2-1
Charleston Battery 2-1 Wilmington Hammerheads FC
Lousiville City FC 4-1 Orlando City B
1-2 Toronto FC II
New York Red Bulls II 4-0 Bethlehem Steel FC


Three Stories

FC Cincinnati opens at home with a victory

In front of a crowd of 14,658, goals from Sean Okoli and Austin Berry were enough for FC Cincinnati to seal the 2-1 victory over Charlotte Independence in their first match at Nippert Stadium. Sitting in fifth place on the Eastern Conference table, FC Cincinnati has found a groove within their offense after a disappointing 1-0 loss to the Charleston Battery in their opening match. They will be looking to ride this momentum when Louisville City comes to town in the first-ever River Cities Cup.

Louisville City finds its offense

Louisville City's offense had some early question marks with the departure of Matt Fondy, but those questions were quickly answered after a three-goal second half gave Louisville the 4-1 victory over its old MLS affiliate's 'B' team. Louisville's five goals is the second most in the Eastern Conference, but its offense will be put to the real test next week against FC Cincinnati in City's first trip up the Ohio River to Nippert Stadium.

New York Red Bulls II pile on the goals

After an own goal within the first 15 seconds of the match, Bethlehem Steel FC had a long day ahead, losing 4-0 to the New York Red Bulls II. Derrick Etienne's goal and assist gave Red Bulls II the advantage for the match. NYRBII is the East's hottest club right now, leading the conference in goals and sitting atop the table with seven points. The Red Bulls II's next match versus the defending champs, Rochester Rhinos, will tell if they are the club to beat in the East.

Standings

Club GP PTS
New York Red Bulls II 3 7
Richmond Kickers 3 7
Charleston Battery 3 7
Louisville City FC 3 6
FC Cincinnati 3 6
Toronto FC II 2 4
Wilmington Hammerheads FC 3 4
Rochester Rhinos 2 3
Charlotte Independence 3 3
Bethlehem Steel FC 3 3
Orlando City B 3 1
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1 0
FC Montreal 2 0
Harrisburg City Islanders 2 0

Pittsburgh's postponed derby with Harrisburg leaves those two clubs in the bottom three with FC Montreal. New York Red Bulls II's top spot is on a goal difference of six, despite being level with Richmond and Charleston with seven points. Louisville and Cincinnati both have six points providing a more intriguing match-up heading into Saturday's derby. It is still early in the season as no club has been able to truly separate from the pack, with the top seven all within three points.

What stood out to you this weekend? What stories are you most interested in and what stories did we miss? Which club will be able to separate themselves from the rest? Let us know in the comments below.