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USL Pro: A Look Back at Week 2

Orlando-Wilmington1

Photo by Orlando City SC


By FRANCO PANIZO

Orlando City SC returned to the Citrus Bowl for their first official match since winning the USL Pro Championship this past weekend, and they gave their fans something to cheer about.

Former New York Red Bulls midfielder John Rooney stole the show, scoring two goals and assisting on another to set the tone for the Lions' 4-1 rout of the Wilmington Hammerheads at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday.

Rooney converted a penalty kick early in the match, and he doubled Orlando's lead just before halftime in front of a regular-season, club-record crowd of 8,421. Rooney then assisted on the first-place Lions' third goal before Bryce Taylor prevented a shutout with a 56th-minute finish. Substitute Dennis Chin capped the scoring with his second goal of the season to improve Orlando City to 2-0 on the season.

Here's a look back at all the Week 2 action in USL Pro:

ROCHESTOR RHINOS 1, LOS ANGELES BLUES 0

Tyler Rosenlund led the Rhinos to a 1-0 win over the Blues, scoring in the first half of the Saturday match. Rosenlund broke the deadlock at Cal State Fullerton Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif. in the 22nd minute, and the hosts never found an equalizer in front of the 2,432 fans in attendance. Former New York Red Bulls midfielder Irving Garcia almost assisted on the tying goal late in the first half, but striker Israel Sesay wasted one of the Blues' best opportunities to pull level.

RICHMOND KICKERS 2, CHARLESTON BATTERY 1

The Kickers picked up their first three points of the season, but it took a last-gasp goal from defender Sascha Gorres to complete their comeback effort. Gorres scored in the 90th minute to give the Kickers a 2-1 road victory over the Battery when his 30-yard effort deflected off a defender before beating goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, who is on loan from D.C. United. The Battery had gone into halftime with the lead courtesy of a Nicki Paterson goal, but Richmond was able to begin its comeback with a penalty kick strike from Stanley Nyazamba in front of 4,729 supporters at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.

DAYTON DUTCH LIONS 0, CHARLOTTE EAGLES 0

Friday the 13th lived up to its name in terms of the Dutch Lions and the Eagles' ability to create goal-scoring chances, as the two teams played to a scoreless draw in the first match of Week 2. Neither side had many opportunities, with starting goalkeepers Eric Reed (Eagles) and Matthew Williams (Dutch Lions) combining for just four saves in the match played in front of a crowd of 554 at Charlotte Latin Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. 

USL Pro Standings

1. Orlando City (2-0-0, 6 points, +5 GD)

2. Antigua Barracuda FC (1-1-0, 3 points, +1 GD)

3. Rochester Rhino (1-0, 3 points, +1 GD)

4. Charleston Battery (1-1-0, 3 points, 0 GD)

5. Richmond Kickers (1-1-0, 3 points, 0 GD)

6. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1-1-0, 3 points, -1 GD)

7. Dayton Dutch Lions (0-0-1, 1 point, 0 GD)

8. Charlotte Eagles (0-1-1, 1 point, -2 GD)

9. Harrisburg City Islanders (0-0-0, 0 points, 0 GD)

10. Los Angeles Blues (0-1-0, 0 points, -1 GD)

11. Wilmington Hammerheads (0-1-0, 0 points, -3 GD)

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What do you think of these results? Impressed with Orlando's win? Surprised Richmond mounted a comeback against the Battery?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. NASL and USL Pro are only 1 years old. Wait. I know USL overall is older but I think USL Pro can get stable as well.

    Also pro/rel… NOT GOING TO HAPPEN EVER

    Reply
  2. I agree totally. The so called 2 and 3 division soccer, NASL and USL have horrible systems. Supposedly USSF did step in and give guide lines to NASL and USL Pro. One of the requirements, if I remember correctly for NASL is that each owner of the clubs has to invest a minimum of million dollars and some other lose fitting guide lines. Traffic Sports was supposedly involved in the reorganization of some of the NASL clubs, but the guide lines don’t seem to be well defined. USL Pro guidelines, I don’t necessarily remember their requirements, but again loosely defined criteria it seems. USSF needs to really use a better organization model to ensure success of 2 and 3 division soccer in America. It’s awful.

    Reply
  3. While one big get together would be lovely, has nobody ever considered the reality of USL and NASL? Both are independent businesses who apply for sanctioning with US Soccer. Also, both do no like each other. US Soccer cannot make them get together more then the FDIC can force two banks together. Also there will never, ever, ever be any promotion/relegation between the 1st, 2nd or 3rd division in US Soccer. These teams pay money to join a certain league. They join for specific reasons, such as fees, costs, travel etc. Not only cannot most of these teams make jumps up without increased financial investment, they probably don’t want to because of the cost involved. When teams have moved up or down between divisions in the past its because they either received more money from investors to swing it or were losing too much money to stay at a certain level.

    Reply
  4. Can the USSF just set up a standardized 2nd and 3rd division? USL and NASL have shown that they cant work together for the betterment of US Soccer..i.e that mess with the USSF second division last year.

    1. For one year combine NASL and USL. At the end, top half of table goes to NASL, bottom half to USL.

    2. Relegation and promotion between the two. Builds fan bases, increased competition, and gives the MLS an idea about who can carry a franchise. Also, Eventually give USL-Pro (4th division) teams a chance to move up

    3. Move teams or put teams in some areas that would actually support them…Dayton…no. How bout St Louis, Baltimore, Arizona, New Mexico, Ottawa, San Francisco?

    Rel/Prom is never going to happen in MLS, unless its 50-75 years from now when everyone of these teams has stadiums, sponsorships and good supporters…so might as well use it in the lower divisions, whats it going to hurt when most of these teams has similar attendance rates?

    But then when I see Dayton had 554 fans at a game…might as well put top half in attendance in NASL and bottom half in USL.

    USSF needs to step in a fix this mess. Bunch of unorganized crap with these teams switching leagues every other year.

    Reply
  5. Orlando & Rochester should be in NASL. If that happened, I could see NASL becoming a very very strong 2nd division league, and with attendances frequently higher then some mls teams (crew, quakes, chivasusa)

    Reply

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