photo courtesy of Orlando City SC
By MIKE GRAMAJO
Orlando City SC is at it again.
Orlando City continued its unbeaten start in the USL Pro, defeating the Charleston Battery 1-0 on Saturday. The result also catapulted the Lions back into first place in the standings.
Adrian Heath’s men were able to get the upper-hand this time after both sides played to a 1-1 draw during opening weekend at Blackbaud Stadium. It was midfielder Brian “Cobi” Span, on-loan from FC Dallas, who made the difference for the Lions, scoring the winner in the 75th minute after a low-cross from Adama Mbengue.
Saturday’s victory was Orlando’s second consecutive, and the club will now embark on a two-game road trip to FC Dallas Reserves and Oklahoma City Energy. Meanwhile, the Battery return to Blackbaud Stadium on Friday when they host the New York Red Bulls Reserves.
Here’s a closer look at the rest week four action in the USL Pro:
SAC REPUBLIC DROP ONE, BOUNCE BACK NEXT DAY
Despite suffering a 2-1 defeat to the Orange County Blues on Saturday, courtesy of Stephen Okai’s 70th minute strike, the Sacramento Republic were able to bounce back the following day with a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy II.
After Mickey Daly and Max Alvarez were able to give the Republic a firm 2-0 lead before halftime, second-half substitute forward Dakota Collins sealed the victory in the 75th minute when he capitalized on a failed Los Dos clearance from close range.
OKC ENERGY THRASH ARIZONA UNITED’S DEBUT
Arizona United SC were hoping for a dream debut at the Peoria Sports Complex, but the Oklahoma City Energy FC had different plans on the agenda.
Oklahoma City claimed a 4-0 victory, with Steven Perry and Kyle Greig giving the Energy the lead in the first five minutes of the second half. That was followed by Kyle Miller’s 65th-minute strike after Nate Shiffman found the defender on a cross.
Adda Djeziri then added another for Jimmy Nielsen’s side when Michael Thomas found the Danish midfielder to stamp the 4-0 win.
HAMMERHEADS EDGE RIVERHOUNDS IN SEVEN GOAL THRILLER
The Wilmington Hammerheads played spoilers in the Pittsburgh Riverhounds home-opener, holding off the home side to a 4-3 victory at Highmark Stadium on Saturday.
After holding a 2-0 lead at halftime, Jose Angulo cut the deficit for the Riverhounds when he scored in the 52nd minute after he headed in a ball from close range. Samuel Ochoa’s header minutes later gave Wilmington the comfortable 3-2 lead, however.
The goal frenzy continued when Collins John pulled one back for Pittsburgh in the 67th minute, but it was Ochoa again who countered back for Wilmington. The forward bagged his brace in the 72nd minute when he scored on a penalty kick to make it 4-2 despite. Kevin Kerr scored a late goal for the Riverhounds, but it wasn’t enough for the sell-out crowd of 3,902.
EAGLES RALLY AND SCORE LATE, TO DEFEAT KICKERS
It took a second-half rally and a late-game winner from Jorge Herrera for three points for the Charlotte Eagles, who defeated the Richmond Kickers, 2-1, at the Queens Sports Complex on Saturday.
Kickers forward Michael Seaton gave the visitors the lead in the 32nd minute when he was able to beat goalkeeper Doug Herrick on a close-range rebound. The Eagles rallied back in the second half when Drew Yates found midfielder Juan Guzman, who hit a left-footed shot from close range.
Herrera’s late strike came when Yates found the forward, who nestled in a left-footed effort to claim the three points.
DUTCH LIONS SCORE STOPPAGE-TIME EQUALIZER VS. RHINOS
The Dayton Dutch Lions were able to salvage one point after Joe Broekhuizen’s stoppage-time equalizer forced the Rochester Rhinos to a 1-1 draw at Beavercreek Stadium on Friday.
Samuel Patrone put the Rhinos on the scoreboard in the 28th minute when he converted on a cross from Colin Rolfe. Broekhuizen responded, however, by delivering the game-tying goal five minutes into stoppage time when was able to beat Rochester goalkeeper Luis Soffner from close range.
What did you think of Week 4? Surprised to see Los Dos loss their first match? Do you like seeing Orlando City in first place? What do you think of OKC’s start of the season? Which team do you see shocking the league in the coming weeks?
Share your thoughts below.