The third week of the USL season is in the books, and it’s time to recap the action from the wild, wild, Western Conference.
|Timbers 2||0-2||RGVFC Toros|
|LAG II||1-1||Orange County|
|COS Switchbacks||2-0||Arizona United|
|Tulsa Roughnecks||0-1||Real Monarchs|
|OKC Energy||2-2||Saint Louis FC|
|San Antonio FC||1-1||Swope Park Rangers|
|Whitecaps 2||0-0||Sacramento Republic|
Three Stories of the Week
With four draws in seven matches, one would be tempted to lament a dull and pedestrian weekend. Examination of the matches tells a different story. A mid-strength Los Dos squad was held scoreless for 67 minutes by previously-pointless Orange County, and the Blues subsequently stole a share of the points courtesy of Didier Crettenand, talisman of OC's 2015 season. Swope Park Rangers spoiled the party in San Antonio (more on that in a moment) when Daniel Sallói scored off a poorly-defended corner kick just 71 seconds into the match. And in Vancouver, treat yourself to a smile with the way in which Sacramento Republic goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek keeps a final hopeful ball out of his net (about 93:13 on the game clock).
RGV Gets in the Win Column
This story is really two-fold, because it seems that all that is needed for a Western Conference club to get its first (and sometimes only) win of the young season is to get T2 or S2 on the schedule, and that's just what happened for the Toros on Saturday. RGV, victims of a 2-0 loss in Tulsa in week 1, visited Merlo Field where the imploding Timbers 2 obligingly allowed the guests a 2-0 halftime lead, and final score. Rio Grande Valley looks to make it two in a row when they visit Seattle on Tuesday.
San Antonio Packs the House
Riding high after a 3-0 demolition of Sounders 2 in its first-ever match, San Antonio FC announced last week that standing-room-only tickets were all that remained for the Saturday home opener. Packing north of 8,000 fans into Toyota Field, SAFC had its work cut out for it in front of the home faithful against Swope Park. In the end, a 1-1 draw sent the throngs home feeling better than they did in the second minute, and hopefully convinced that the party-like atmosphere was worth another 15+ visits this season. Time will tell, but San Antonio's first audition for MLS went off pretty well.
|LA Galaxy II||4||8|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2||3||7|
|Real Monarchs SLC||3||7|
|Swope Park Rangers||3||7|
|Sacramento Republic FC||3||7|
|San Antonio FC||2||4|
|Saint Louis FC||4||4|
|Rio Grande Valley FC||2||3|
|Arizona United SC||4||3|
|OKC Energy FC||2||1|
|Orange County Blues||3||1|
|Portland Timbers 2||3||0|
|Seattle Sounders FC 2||3||0|
Things are starting to shake out a smidge. Seven undefeated teams remain, with Galaxy II leading the charge and seeming quite capable of beating any team in the league, given a first-choice XI. The next three teams in the table also share ownership with an MLS club (I'll wait for you to get your tinfoil hat on...got it?), but so do both teams at the bottom (you were so close).
The lack of balance in the schedule is a major factor at this early stage, evidenced by the fact that some teams have played four games and some have played two, and that Arizona and RGV have yet to play at home (though we're waiting patiently for the April 30 opening of RGV's new stadium).
What’s your biggest takeaway from Week 3? Let us know in the comments!