By MIKE GRAMAJO
Sacramento Republic FC weren’t going to allow their rivals from Southern California spoil another sold-out party.
The Sacramento Republic defeated the LA Galaxy II, 2-1, on Saturday night in front of a sell-out crowd of 20,231 at Hughes Stadium.
Thomas Stewart put the Republic on the scoreboard in the seventh minute when his strike from long-range curled into the net, beating goalkeeper Cody Laurendi along the way. Los Dos found the equalizer nine minutes later when Andre Auras delivered a cross towards the box, finding Kyle Venter for a headed finish past Jacob Gleeson.
After a scuffle between Galaxy and Republic players, Los Dos were reduced to 10 men in the 52nd minute. Rodrigo Lopez then hit a 69th-minute free kick that found the back of the net and clinched the victory for the Republic.
Sacramento is now riding a three-game winning streak while also sitting fifth in the standings with 13 points. Los Dos earned their second defeat of the season, and look to regroup when they welcome the OKC Energy to the StubHub Center on Sunday.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of the Week 9 action in the USL Pro:
ORLANDO CITY EXTEND UNBEATEN STREAK TO 10-GAMES
It wasn’t pretty, but Orlando City SC were able to hold on to a 1-0 victory over Arizona United SC at the Peoria Sports Complex on Saturday night courtesy of an own goal by Tyler Ruthven.
The Lions were able to get on the scoreboard in the eighth minute after Adama Mbengue whipped the ball towards the Arizona box. Ruthven failed to clear the ball, accidentally sending the ball over goalkeeper Evan Newton for the score.
Arizona fought back for the equalizer, breaking the Orlando City back line continuously, but goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo made five saves to hold on for his third cleansheet of the season.
The Lions are now riding a 10-game unbeaten streak, which leaves them as the only USL Pro side to remain undefeated.
KICKERS THRASH OKC ENERGY, DRAW FIRE RESERVES
There’s no stopping the red-hot Richmond Kickers. They cruised to a 4-1 victory of the Oklahoma City Energy on Friday night at Pribil Stadium.
Mathew Delicate gave the Kickers the lead in the opening minutes, and William Yomby and Alex Lee then added to it to give Richmond a 3-0 advantage before halftime. Kyle Greig’s goal in the 80th minute looked like it might spark a comeback for the Energy, but Michael Seaton’s strike minutes later killed any thought of that.
After winning on Friday, the Kickers played to a scoreless draw at Toyota Park vs. the Chicago Fire Reserves. Richmond is now unbeaten in its last six games.
CITY ISLANDERS EDGE DUTCH LIONS IN EIGHT-GOAL CONTEST
Clesio Bauque and Morgan Langley each bagged a brace, as the Harrisburg City Islanders edged the Dayton Dutch Lions to a 5-3 win at the Skyline Sports Complex.
After going down 1-0 in the opening minute after Aaron Schoenfeld scored, Bauque found the equalizer for the City Islanders in the 19th minute when he was able to beat Matt Williams to an open net. Bauque would score again in the 23rd minute to give Harrisburg the 2-1 lead.
Dayton looked to have sparked a comeback after Schoenfeld and Thomas Garner each tallied three minutes apart in the second half, but Langley put the game to bed in the final minutes when he netted in the 83rd and 90th minutes to give Harrisburg a secure 5-3 lead.
RHINOS TOP WINLESS RIVERHOUNDS, EXTEND UNBEATEN RUN
Alex Dixon’s first-half goal was all the Rochester Rhinos needed to defeat the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 1-0, at Highmark Stadium on Saturday night. The triumph extended Rochester’s unbeaten streak to five-games.
Dixon scored the game-winner in the 41st minute after a failed clearance from Pittsburgh allowed the forward to execute on the loose ball from close range.
The Riverhounds remain winless in their first seven games, and that also has them in last place in the USL Pro standings with three points.
HAMMERHEADS CLAIM VICTORY OVER BATTERY
The Wilmington Hammerheads got back to winning ways after a 1-0 win over the Charleston Battery at Legion Stadium on Saturday night.
Jordan Hamilton scored the lone goal, which came in the 65th minute after Steven Miller found the on-loan striker from Toronto FC. Hamilton was then able to break through the Battery defense and strike the ball past Odisnel Cooper.
The victory was also the Hammerheads’ second straight over the Battery after playing to a 1-0 win at Blackbaud Stadium the week before.
SOUNDERS RESERVES SCORE LATE IN WIN OVER OC BLUES
Playing in their first inter-league match, the Orange County Blues were dealt with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Sounders Reserves on Sunday afternoon.
After a scoreless first half, Cam Weaver pushed the Sounders ahead with his game-winning goal in the 73rd minute after Sean Okoli delivered a pass.
What did you think of Week 9? Do you think Sacramento can continue to sell out matches? Can Orlando City ever be tamed? What do you make of the LA Galaxy II losing?
Share your thoughts below.