We have reached the halfway point of the 2016 USL season and as we gear up for the second half, here is everything that went down over the past week.
|New York Red Bulls II||0-0||Rochester Rhinos|
|FC Cincinnati||1-0||Bethlehem Steel FC|
|Orlando City B||1-1||Charlotte Independence|
|Wilmington Hammerheads||3-0||Toronto FC II|
|Colorado Springs||1-0||Real Monarchs SLC|
|Tulsa Roughnecks FC||3-2||Arizona United SC|
|OKC Energy FC||0-0||RGVFC Toros|
|Real Monarchs SLC||1-2||Whitecaps 2|
|Swope Park Rangers||1-0||Saint Louis FC|
|LA Galaxy II||2-1||Orange County Blues|
|Sacramento Republic FC||2-1||Sounders 2|
|Tulsa Roughnecks FC||1-2||San Antonio FC|
Statement Win in the Port City
Looking to avenge week 14's 4-0 shutout at the hands of New York Red Bulls II, Wilmington faced Toronto FC II on Saturday night. The Hammerheads made up for their lack of offensive potency against NYRB II in spades by scoring three goals on TFC II. Stefan Defregger assisted all three goals on his way to a Man of the Match performance. This win moves Wilmington back into a playoff spot with 20 points. As they start the second half of the season, two of the next three matches see the Hammerheads facing clubs in the top five.
Republic Stretch Unbeaten Streak
Sacramento's unbeaten streak reached nine straight after a 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders 2. The win was the Republic's fifth straight win over the club from Tukwila and the third in this season alone. After a Sounders 2 goal in the 37th minute erased Harry Williams' goal, a headed goal from Mike da Fonte in the 78th minute gave the Republic the lead again and proved to be the winner. Republic sit in third place of the Western Conference with the second half of the season starting this Wednesday.
FC Cincinnati Victory at Nippert Stadium
Having not lost since April, FC Cincinnati extended their own unbeaten streak to 11 straight matches with a 1-0 win over Bethlehem. A goal from Jimmy McLaughlin sent another huge Cincinnati crowd home happy with a win. FCC remain in third place for another week, sitting four points off leaders, Louisville City. With two road matches before a crucial home stand against the rest of the top four clubs, FC Cincinnati could start their push for the playoffs here.
Battery Reach 30 Points
Charleston has been one of the East's most consistent clubs and sit in the top four at the halfway point of the season with 30 points. A 2-0 result over now former top-half club, Richmond Kickers, made this the Battery's fourth win in their last five matches. Charleston is also one of two clubs in the East who have yet to drop below 1100 in our weekly Power Rankings. The rest of July will be a true litmus test for the South Carolina club, who face four top-half clubs in their next five league matches and host an international friendly against Scottish club, Rangers, this Wednesday.
San Antonio Prepare for Second Half Push
After an up and down first half of the season, San Antonio look to make a push for the playoffs with a good second half. Sitting only a point outside the top eight, SAFC will look to carry the momentum from their road win over Tulsa on Sunday night forward into their future contests. With two of their next three matches hosting clubs from the top three -- Vancouver Whitecaps 2 and LA Galaxy II -- we will see how San Antonio stacks up against the heavyweights of the Western Conference.
|Louisville City FC||16||35|
|New York Red Bulls II||15||32|
|Orlando City B||16||22|
|Wilmington Hammerheads FC||15||20|
|Bethlehem Steel FC||15||18|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||16||13|
|Toronto FC II||17||13|
As we reach the halfway point of the season, the top four clubs all sit with at least 30 points. Wilmington moves back into a playoff spot after a statement win over Toronto FC II. Richmond falls out of the top half of the table with a tough loss to Charleston. The bottom of the table remains unchanged as each club continues to fall further behind the rest of the East. Will we see any change in the table for the second half of the season?
|LA Galaxy II||17||29|
|Sacramento Republic FC||15||28|
|COS Switchbacks FC||14||26|
|Rio Grande Valley FC||17||24|
|Saint Louis FC||16||22|
|Orange County Blues||16||21|
|OKC Energy FC||13||21|
|Swope Park Rangers||15||20|
|San Antonio FC||15||20|
|Real Monarchs SLC||18||19|
|Arizona United SC||15||17|
|Tulsa Roughnecks FC||16||11|
A win for each of the top four clibs means that the top of the table remains unchanged from a week ago. Whitecaps 2 still sit atop the table, clear of Los Dos by only three points. As of right now, 21 points is the minimum for a playoff spot in the west, meaning that right now Orange County and OKC Energy are the last two in and Swope Park Rangers the first club out. San Antonio moved up with a win Sunday night and now sit in striking distance of a playoff spot. With Tulsa's win on Friday night, each club in the West has reached double digits in points. Which club do you think could have a breakout second half?
What are your thoughts on the recent week? What stories did we miss? What are you looking forward to in the second half of the season? Let us know in the comments below!