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USSF D-2: A Look Back at Week 18



For the first time since April 10, the Carolina Railhawks won a game at home.

Carolina defeated the Montreal Impact 2-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park in North Carolina, beginning a stretch of playing three games out of the next four at home. Goals from Cory Elenio and Josh Gardner were enough to secure the victory.

The win closed Carolina's gap on conference leaders Vancouver, as the Whitecaps tied in St. Louis. The Railhawks sit seven points behind the Whitecaps, but have four games in hand on their Canadian counterpart. Montreal sits tied for the last playoff spot, mired on 24 points and enduring what has been a difficult season.

Here's a look at the rest of this weekend's action:


NASL Conference leaders Vancouver were flawless again defensively, but lacked the cutting edge in the final third, tying A.C. St. Louis 0-0 at Anheuser Busch Soccer Park. The tie favored the Whitecaps — with Vancouver extending an unbeaten streak to eight games — far more than it did St. Louis, a team desperately in need of three points to close the gap in the D2 playoff race.

Still, Vancouver's goal-scoring shortcomings could prove to undermine them once the postseason comes around.


Austin played host to a wild and entertaining match, out-shooting a determined FC Tampa Bay side in a 4-2 win. The riveting first half saw six goals scored, two from Austin defender Jay Needham. Austin jumped out to a 2-0 lead just under 20 minutes in, but saw Tampa Bay tie the game with two goals in just under five minutes.

Needham's second came in controversial circumstances, heading the ball just over the line — at least according to the sideline judge. Maxwell Griffin's first, Austin's fourth provided insurance before the break.


So much for a CONCACAF Champions League boost. Playing host to low-lying Miami FC, the Puerto Rico Islanders couldn't take advantage of a weak opponent, tying 1-1. Jonathan Faña scored from a corner kick to open things for the Islanders, but they couldn't build on the lead. Miami punished them with an Abe Thompson goal in the second half, and Puerto Rico couldn't hit back — this despite finishing the game up a man after Miami's Chris Gbandi picked up a second yellow card.


  1. I loved how Austin spent the last 45 minutes of the game against Tampa playing keep away with the ball. Austin has steadily improved the depth and quality of the team over the season and is light years away from what they were last year.

  2. They (Austin) learned to finish. I can’t tell you how many goals they gave up after the 80th minute to give away points. Certainly strengthened and stabilized the defense.

  3. Nice win for Carolina.

    Tampa Bay looked like the “truth” at the beginning of the season. Now they are just a question mark. You just don’t know what kind of perfomrmance they are going to give (like Puerto RIco).

    Austin keeps rolling along. Nice to see Ex-Islander Needham showing what he can offer on both sides of the field.

  4. Jonathan Faña got his first goal for Islanders. Happy to see the Dominican do his thing.

    Really disappointed with not taken three points from Miami. We were playing at the JRL. That is a must win game. Take the three points!


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