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Beasts of the East: USL Conference Recap, Week 2

Week 2 was just as exciting as the first, and we take a look at the main stories.

Kyle Mahnke

The Eastern Conference in Week 2 provided an exciting slate of matches, and here's a recap of the weekend!

Scoreboard

HOME AWAY
Wilmington Hammerheads 0-0 Richmond Kickers
0-0
Louisville City FC 0-2 New York Red Bulls II
Charlotte Independence 2-1 Harrisburg City Islanders
0-1 Rochester Rhinos
Bethlehem Steel FC 1-2 FC Cincinnati

Three Stories

The Defending Champs Begin their Season

After starting its 2016 campaign with an off-week, Rochester began its season on high note with a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium. In a rematch of both clubs' opening match of last season, a goal by Christian Volesky in the early stages of the match was enough for the Rhinos to hold on to victory. Volesky led the team in goals last season with nine. Rochester was also able to get the clean sheet despite losing USL 2015 Goalkeeper of the Year Brandon Miller in the off-season, with Adam Grinwis in goal for the Rhinos.

New York Red Bulls II post a win over Louisville City

New York Red Bulls II continues to carry the momentum of their first match, by spoiling the home opener for Louisville City with a 2-0 victory. Louisville has only scored once this season, with Matt Fondy's departure already having a strong impact on the club's offensive production. Louisville also lost contests with NYRBII in 2015, including another 2-0 victory for the Red Bulls II. Homegrown player, Brandon Allen scored his third goal of the season to put Red Bulls 2 up 2-0 at the 71st. Red Bulls II currently have the most goals in the Eastern Conference with four.

Friday Night Draws

Four of the Eastern Conference's southern clubs were in action Friday night, and the two matches each ended in a 0-0 draw. Richmond and Wilmington played to a hard-fought point in the Port City with each team having quality chances to score, but the match ended with each club's first clean sheet of the season. Down in Florida, Orlando City B faced Charleston Battery, with a rain delay for the second straight week occurring just prior to kickoff. Both clubs walked away with a point after a 45-minute rain delay. Orlando B will be looking for its first win (and first match without a rain delay) as it takes on Louisville City next week.

STANDINGS

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

Toronto FC II and FC Montreal were off this week. The top four in the table right now all sit level in points, with Red Bulls II and Richmond having the slight advantage on goal difference (both at +2 right now). Wilmington - which has already doubled its points total from last season's first two matches - and Charleston round out the rest of the top four. But with the clubs all having an uneven number of games played, it is still too early to make any hasty conclusions on the standings.

What stood out this week out to you now that every club has played at least once? What stories did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!