By MIKE GRAMAJO
Sacramento Republic FC’s unbeaten start may have ended last weekend, but it was the way they responded the following day that displayed they’re a team to be reckoned with.
With one more road game left before their home opener, the Republic will travel to the Peoria Sports Complex to face off against expansion side Arizona United SC on Saturday.
Arizona, which made its USL Pro debut last week, suffered a grueling 4-0 defeat to the Oklahoma City Energy FC.
Sacramento is entering this weekend after having played two matches in a span of 24 hours last weekend. Although they encountered their first defeat of the season against the Orange County Blues FC, they posted an emphatic 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy II the following day.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of Week 5 action in USL Pro:
CHARLESTON BATTERY VS. NY RED BULLS RESERVES (Friday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET WATCH HERE)
After suffering their first defeat of the season against Orlando City SC, Michael Anhaeuser and his Charleston Battery host the New York Red Bulls Reserves on Friday during USL Pro inter-league play at Blackbaud Stadium.
It was a heart-wrenching loss last week for The Battery after losing 1-0 when midfielder Cobi Span scored the late-winner for the Lions. The Battery will look to have the upper-hand on the Red Bulls Reserves, after reports surfaced that forward Omar Salgado (on-loan from Vancouver Whitecaps) was seen practicing with the team after picking up a leg injury earlier in the season.
RICHMOND KICKERS VS. PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS (Saturday, April 19 at 5:00 p.m. ET WATCH HERE)
The Richmond Kickers fell to a late-game winner last week, but look to rebound in the comforts of their home when the Pittsburgh Riverhounds visit City Stadium.
Both sides were unlucky last week, absorbing defeats towards the latter-parts of the match. Pittsburgh endured a 4-3 defeat last week against Wilmington in front of a sell-out crowd Highmark Stadium. However, the Kickers saw late-game drama as wellwhen they allowed the Charlotte Eagles to score before the final whistle after Jorge Herrera struck from close range.
LA GALAXY II VS. ORANGE COUNTY BLUES (Saturday, April 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET WATCH HERE)
Meeting for the second time this season, the Orange County Blues FC will travel the StubHub Center to take on the LA Galaxy II on Saturday.
Los Dos sit in third place with seven points in the standings despite enduring a 3-0 defeat to the Sacramento Republic last week. The Blues, meanwhile, claimed their first victory of the season, rallying to finish 2-1 over the Republic at Anteater Stadium.
HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS VS. DAYTON DUTCH LIONS (Saturday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m. ET WATCH HERE)
The Harrisburg City Islanders kick off their home season when they welcome the Dayton Dutch Lions to the Skyline Sports Complex.
Despite only having played one match this season, the City Islanders will also look to snap Dayton’s two-game unbeaten streak. However, they have a tough task in hand after the Dutch Lions announced on Wednesday that they signed Jesjua Angoy-Cruyff, grandson of Barcelona icon Johan Cruyff, to bolster their attack in the final third.
CHICAGO FIRE RESERVES VS. ROCHESTER RHINOS (Monday, April 21 at 12:00 p.m. ET WATCH HERE)
The Rochester Rhinos’ search for their first victory will take them to Toyota Park when they visit the Chicago Fire Reserves on Monday.
The Rhinos have opened up their 2014 campaign having lost and tied one while conceding four times and scoring twice. Rochester will look to improve on maintaining their leads after having taken the lead against Dayton last week, only to squander it in the dying minutes of the game.
FC DALLAS RESERVES VS. ORLANDO CITY (Tuesday, April 22 at 8:00 p.m. ET WATCH HERE)
After a home stretch, Orlando City SC are back on the road when they visit the FC Dallas Reserves on Tuesday at Toyota Stadium.
It will be a conflict-of-interest type match after midfielder Brian “Cobi” Span, on-loan for FC Dallas, scored the winner in last week’s Orlando City victory. However, Span was recalled back to Dallas’ Reserve squad earlier in the week where he helped set up the game-winning goal against the Oklahoma City Energy.
Orlando head coach Adrian Heath told SBI last week that he doesn’t think FC Dallas would prevent Span from playing against his parent squad.
What do you think of Week 5’s slate? Who do you think will post victories? Do you think Sac Republic can reach first place? What do you think about the LA Galaxy II’s chances? Can Dayton continue their unbeaten streak? Can Orlando City hold onto the top spot?
Share your thoughts below.