By JOHN BOSCHINI
After a month without a win, the Richmond Kickers are back on track and breathing down Orlando's neck.
Richmond scored twice in the final minutes of the first half for a 2-0 victory over FC New York. It was Richmond's first victory since May 7, and the Kickers are within four points of Orlando City with two games in hand. FC New York on the other hand, has only 13 points from 12 games but is only five points adrift in the National Division thanks to a 3-0 thrashing of Dayton on Friday.
The Wilmington Hammerheads had a mixed weekend, following up a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds with a 3-0 loss to last-place Charlotte. Wilmington started off brightly, winning four of its first five games, but has hit a rough patch since.
Antigua Barracuda FC is in a similar fall but may have gone some ways to stopping the bleeding with a 2-1 victory over first-place Orlando in front of crowd of nearly 6,000 in Florida in a game marred by four ejections and two yellow cards.
Here is a look back at all the action in USL Pro over the weekend:
FC New York 3, Dayton Dutch Lions 0: Dayton gave up its league-leading 22nd goal of the season with its third multi-goal loss of the season. A third-minute goal from Troy Cole gave New York an early lead, and the advantage was doubled in the 29th with a strike from Jhonny Arteaga. Dayton never threatened to spring a comeback, and the victory was assured 18 minutes from time with a Gary Boughton goal.
FC New York extended its unbeaten run to five games and the expansion side improves to fourth-place in the National Division.
Wilmington Hammerheads 3, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1: Matthew Fondy scored first to put Pittsburgh ahead early, but the lead didn't last long. Andiry Bundy equalized in the 28th minute and second-half goals from Chris Banks and Luke Mullholland gave Wilmington the victory.
Antigua Barracuda FC 2, Orlando City 1: A scoreless first half gave way to a flurry of activity with four red cards, three goals and two yellow cards. Stefan Smith jumped on a rebounded Quinton Griffith shot to break the deadlock in the 48th minute. The lead was extended when Randolph Burton scored seven minutes later.
Max Griffin got one back for Orlando just before the hour mark but a tempers flared when a fight erupted in the 70th minute, resulting in the ejection of two Antigua bench players, and both teams ended the match with 10 men.
Rochester Rhinos 1, Harrisburg City Islanders 0: A lone Kendall Jagdeosingh goal midway through the second half was enough for Rochester to secure victory.
Charlotte Eagles 3, Wilmington Hammerheads 0: Watson Roberts netted an early double, and Diego Martins scored late to take advantage of a sluggish Wilmington side. Eric Reed came up big for Charlotte, making six saves in the shutout.
Richmond Kickers 2, FC New York 0: Matthew Delicate and Edson Elcook scored just before halftime, and Richmond survived New York's offensive pressure in the second half for the victory.
What did you think of the weekend's results? Impressed with Richmond's victory? Are you focusing more on Wilmington's win or blowout loss? Can Antigua return as a legitimate contender?
Share your thoughts below.