The weekend of action in USL was headlined by quite a few lopsided results. Out of 10 games, six were won by two goals or more. The other four resulted in two draws and a pair of 1-0 wins. Three teams were able to win by three or more goals as the playoff contenders began to establish themselves.
The biggest clashes of the weekend came from the Western Conference. Orange County SC and LA Galaxy II squared off in the I-405 Derby and the Cascadia Cup rivalry between Seattle Sounders 2 and Portland Timbers 2 was renewed.
Here’s a quick look at the weekend’s USL action:
Swope Park Rangers 3, Vancouver Whitecaps 2 1
Swope Park Rangers got on the board early on Friday thanks to a strike from Nansel Selbol in the eighth minute. Selbol collected a pass from Kevin Oliveira and coolly slotted it home to give his side the advantage. It wouldn’t take long for Swope Park Rangers to double their lead with a goal in the 28th-minute by Lebo Moloto. Ten minutes later, Moloto became the provider on Kharlton Belmar’s goal.
With a 3-0 lead heading into halftime, Swope Park Rangers wouldn’t look back. Vancouver was able to notch a consolation goal via Ben McKendry’s 86th-minute penalty. The victory broke the two-game losing streak that Swope Park Rangers took into the weekend and it also moved them into fourth in the Western Conference.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks 3, Tulsa Roughnecks 0
A brace from Mastanabal Kacher powered the Switchbacks to a resounding win. Kacher scored his first in the second minute then followed it up with a 69th-minute strike. The goals were Kacher’s first two of the season. In between Kacher’s pair of tallies, Shane Malcolm also notched a goal which was assisted by Josh Suggs.
Seattle Sounders 2 2, Portland Timbers 2 0
The inconsistent Sounders 2 were able to put together a comprehensive performance to down Timbers 2. Following the trend of some of the earlier games, Sounders 2 were able to get off to a quick start behind a penalty in the sixth minute, which was slotted home by Irvin Parra. Parra was far from done as he caught Timbers 2 keeper Kendall McIntosh off of his line in the 52nd minute to double the lead.
Ottawa Fury 0, Tampa Bay Rowdies 0
Coming off of a big win in the Canadian Championship, Ottawa couldn’t keep up its momentum against the Rowdies. Both teams were stifled in this defensive war of attrition only putting two shots on target apiece. The draw dropped the Rowdies out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
New York Red Bulls 2 3, Harrisburg City Islanders 1
Red Bulls 2 continued their home dominance to move to 3-0 at MSU Soccer Park. Brandon Allen opened the scoring in the 26th minute via a penalty kick goal. Allen drew the penalty on a collision with Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble in the box. It looked like the Islanders would put up a fight as Aaron Wheeler scored the equalizer just before halftime, heading home a corner kick. That hope didn’t last long as Zeiko Lewis drew a penalty kick in the 56th minute. Allen stepped up and slotted home his second of the contest. In his Red Bulls 2 debut, forward Douglas Martinez put the finishing touches on the match, scoring in the 79th minute.
Richmond Kickers 1, FC Cincinnati 1
Richmond opened the scoring in the 7th minute through Fred Owusu Sekyere. It seemed like the Kickers’ advantage would last through the night as FC Cincinnati couldn’t get anything going without dynamic midfielder Kenny Walker. But after beautiful interplay, Jimmy McLaughlin rescued a point for Cincinnati in the 70th minute. The tie keeps Cincinnati in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference while the Kickers are on the outside looking in.
Charleston Battery 1, Bethlehem Steel 0
The Charleston Battery used a strong defensive effort to down Bethlehem by the narrowest of margins. Ataulla Guerra’s strike in the first half was the difference, keeping the Battery at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Orange County SC 4, Los Angles Galaxy 2 0
Orange County SC opened their home slate in style on Saturday. All it took was six minutes for the hosts to put the game out of reach for Los Dos. A handball in the box was called on Ryo Fujii in the 26th minute and Jerry Van Ewijk stepped up to slot it home for Orange County. Van Ewijk doubled his tally three minutes later, pouncing on a bad clearance from Los Dos keeper Eric Lopez and slotting it into an empty net. Alex Juarez didn’t help Los Dos’ cause after he deflected a cross into his own net to put Orange County up 3-0 at the half. Wuilito Fernandez scored the fourth for Orange County SC in the 57th minute to hand LA its biggest loss of the season.
San Antonio FC 1, Sacramento Republic FC 0
San Antonio kept its unbeaten run going behind Rafael Castillo’s penalty in the 64th minute. Sacramento was unable to recover from the questionable call in the closing 26 minutes of the contest. The victory kept San Antonio on top of the Western Conference.
Reno 1868 4, Phoenix Rising FC 0
Dan Kelly and Lindo Mfeka were the stars for Reno 1868 in their blowout of Phoenix Rising. Kelly notched a hat-trick, headlined by a pair of goals in the first six minutes of the match, while Mfeka added a pair of assists. Kelly completed the hat trick on Mfeka’s first assist in the 66th minute. Mfeka then found Chris Whelan in the 76th minute to bring Reno’s final tally to four. The win was the first of the season for Reno.