The final third of the season stands to be an exciting run towards the postseason. Here is everything that went down in the recent week of the USL!
|Harrisburg City Islanders||0-5||New York Red Bulls II|
|FC Montreal||0-2||FC Cincinnati|
|Charleston Battery||1-1||Charlotte Independence|
|Rochester Rhinos||0-1||Richmond Kickers|
|Louisville City FC||2-1||Pittsburgh Riverhounds|
|FC Montreal||1-2||Richmond Kickers|
|Rochester Rhinos||2-0||Wilmington Hammerheads|
|Orlando City B||2-1||Toronto FC II|
|Bethlehem Steel FC||2-2||Charlotte Independence|
|Sounders 2||4-1||Real Monarchs SLC|
|OKC Energy FC||0-1||Sacramento Republic FC|
|Arizona United SC||3-2||Whitecaps 2|
|Saint Louis FC||1-1||Swope Park Rangers|
|Timbers 2||1-1||Colorado Springs|
|Tulsa Roughnecks FC||1-2||Orange County Blues FC|
|Whitecaps 2||1-1||Sounders 2|
|Tulsa Roughnecks FC||PP||Swope Park Rangers|
|RGVFC Toros||0-0||OKC Energy FC|
|LA Galaxy II||3-4||Timbers 2|
|Sacramento Republic FC||1-1||San Antonio FC|
|Orange County Blues FC||1-3||Arizona United SC|
Baby Bulls Blank Harrisburg
After losing two straight, New York Red Bulls II traveled to Harrisburg this past Tuesday and won big. The Baby Bulls offense was firing on all cylinders as they shut out the home side 5-0. Anatole Abang opened the scoring in the 28th minute, but the floodgates opened as NYRBII scored four goals in the second half. Vincent Bezecourt scored a brace to put the match out of reach. Only a point behind Eastern Conference leaders, Louisville, NYRBII has a match in hand entering the final third of the season. Mark your calendars for August 19, when Louisville visits Red Bull Arena and the two clubs face off for the final time this season.
Comeback for Timbers 2
Timbers 2 started the night off on the wrong foot, putting the ball in their own net. Los Dos then scored two more goals to put them up three goals at the break. The second half was a much different story. Blake Bodily found the opening goal for Timbers 2 in the 62nd minute. After a red card was shown to Los Dos forward Adonis Amaya, Timbers 2 put in three goals in the final 20 minutes, including the winning goal in stoppage time, leading to a 4-3 win. It was only the fourth time all season that Timbers 2 scored multiple goals.
Arizona United Win the Week
Led by a pair of goals from Luke Rooney and a stoppage-time winner from Chris Cortez, Arizona made a furious second-half comeback to record a 3-2 victory over Western Conference leaders Vancouver Whitecaps 2.
Later in the week, Arizona posted another big road win, defeating fellow playoff bubble club, Orange County Blues. After the Blues opened the scoring in the 28th minute, Arizona rallied back behind a trio of goals from Long Tan, Chris Cortez, and Tyler Blackwood to win 3-1 and take three points from the fixture. Arizona also extended their scoring streak to 14 straight matches and sit only one point out of the final playoff spot.
Kickers Post Big Wins
Richmond has gone on a hot streak recently and have won six straight matches, outscoring opponents 13-2 during that time. After posting two wins this week over Rochester and Montreal, the Kickers find themselves in the top 4 of the Eastern Conference, only three points off perennial top 3 club, FC Cincinnati. Richmond's Yudai Imura has put on a scoring showcase in recent weeks and has scored a goal in each of the Kickers' last five matches. This Saturday will prove to be the litmus test, as Richmond welcomes third-place FC Cincinnati to City Stadium.
Orlando City B Stoppage Time Winner
On the Space Coast, the Baby Lions stretched their unbeaten streak to nine straight with a win over Toronto FC II. Michael Cox scored his seventh goal of the year to bring home all three points for Orlando City B. After starting the season losing three of their first four, Orlando City B has gone an impressive run, during which they have defeated top clubs, Louisville and Charleston. Holding onto the final playoff spot in the East, Orlando City B travel to New Jersey this week to face the Baby Bulls.
|Louisville City FC||22||45|
|New York Red Bulls II||21||44|
|Orlando City B||21||31|
|Bethlehem Steel FC||22||26|
|Wilmington Hammerheads FC||21||24|
|Toronto FC II||24||23|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||23||21|
The top three hold tight for another week with only five points separating them. Richmond make an appearance in the top four after their recent run of success. The top eight has started to pull away from the rest of the East, as Orlando City B in eighth place holds a five point advantage over ninth place club, Bethlehem. With the final third of the season to play, the East's playoff teams may already be set.
|Vancouver Whitecaps 2||22||37|
|LA Galaxy II||21||35|
|Sacramento Republic FC||22||34|
|COS Switchbacks FC||21||33|
|OKC Energy FC||20||33|
|Rio Grande Valley FC||21||30|
|Swope Park Rangers||21||29|
|Orange County Blues FC||22||28|
|Saint Louis FC||22||28|
|Arizona United SC||21||27|
|Seattle Sounders 2||22||27|
|San Antonio FC||20||25|
|Portland Timbers 2||21||22|
|Real Monarchs SLC||21||22|
|Tulsa Roughnecks FC||21||18|
Another chance to take the top spot wasted by Los Dos, who remain behind Whitecaps 2 for another week. Republic move into the top three, now only three points off the lead. The race for West's remaining playoff spots heats up, as spots 6-11 are now only separated by three points. As we reach this key period of the season, which clubs will take those final spots in the postseason?
What are your thoughts on this past week of USL action? What stories did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!