photo courtesy of Orlando City SC
By FRANCO PANIZO
Orlando City SC were forced to settle for a pair of somewhat disappointing draws in their two games in two days this weekend, but the way in which they grabbed a result in the second match was testament to the team's character.
Having failed to beat the lowly Dayton Dutch Lions on Friday, Orlando City could have rolled over and accepted that things were just not going to go their way when former New York Red Bulls midfielder Matt Kassel put the Pittsburgh Riverhounds ahead with a goal in the 82nd minute. But Orlando clawed back and found an equalizer in stoppage time through Kevin Molino to grab a 1-1 draw on the road on Saturday. Molino's goal not only rescued the Lions from defeat, it also extended their unbeaten streak to five games.
The league leaders also resorted to grabbing just one point the night before, but under different and more discouraging circumstances. Matt Luzunaris and Anthony Pulis gave Orlando two separate leads, but the Dutch Lions pulled level both times to secure a 2-2 draw at home.
Here's a look back at all the Week 13 action in USL Pro:
HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS 2, ROCHESTER RHINOS 1
Lucky Mkosana was the Harrisburg City Islanders' lucky charm on Saturday. Mkosana scored a goal and delivered an assist to help lead the City Islanders to a 2-1 victory over the Rochester Rhinos. Mkosana scored shortly after the intermission before turning to provider on a Drew Yates goal in the 83rd minute. Rochester pulled one back in the 89th through a finish from JC Banks, but the damage had already been done and Harrisburg came out victorious.
WILMINGTON HAMMERHEADS 4, LOS ANGELES BLUES 2
Corey Hertzog bagged a brace and that helped the Wilmington Hammerheads top the Los Angeles Blues, 2-0, on Saturday. Hertzog, on loan from the New York Red Bulls, scored his first of the match in the fifth minute and he added an insurance goal in the second half when the score was 3-2. Blues striker Bright Dike, on loan from the Portland Timbers, also found the back of the net in the six-goal affair.
CHARLESTON BATTERY 2, ANTIGUA BARRACUDA FC 0
Two goals in the final 15 minutes paved the way for the Charleston Battery to pick up a 2-0 victory over Antigua Barracuda FC in their first of two weekend matches on Friday. Jose Cuevas netted the winner in the 75th minute, and JC Mack added an insurance goal in stoppage time.
ANTIGUA BARRACUDA FC 1, CHARLESTON BATTERY 0
Revenge must have been sweet for Antigua Barracuda FC. The Barracudas got payback for their Friday loss to the Charleston Battery by beating them, 1-0, on Sunday. Peter Byers scored the winner two minutes after halftime to give Antigua its first win in nine games and third overall this season.
USL PRO STANDINGS
1. Orlando City (10-1-4, 34 points, +15 GD)
2. Charleston Battery (10-4, 30 points, +16 GD)
3. Rochester Rhinos (7-4-4, 25 points, +4 GD)
4. Wilmington Hammerheads (6-5-4, 22 points, 0 GD)
5. Harrisburg City Islanders (5-4-4, 19 points, 0 GD)
6. Los Angeles Blues (5-5-2, 17 points, 0 GD)
7. Richmond Kickers (4-5-5, 17 points, -3 GD)
8. Charlotte Eagles (4-8-2, 14 points, -4 GD)
9. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (3-6-5, 14 points, -6 GD)
10. Antigua Barracuda FC (3-9, 9 points, -15 GD)
11. Dayton Dutch Lions (1-7-6, 9 points, -7 GD)
What do you think of these results? Surprised Orlando City had to settle for two draws? Impressed by Mkosana's performance? Think the Red Bulls could use Hertzog?
Share your thoughts below.