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USL Championship set as Rhinos to host Galaxy II

Los Dos - USL website

Photo by LA Galaxy II/USL


Victories for the Rochester Rhinos and the Los Angeles Galaxy II have set up the 2015 USL Championship match for Friday.

The Eastern Conference representative, the Rhinos, defeated a strong-willed expansion side in Louisville City FC by a scoreline of 1-0 in the semifinals. The Rhinos finished the regular season as the top overall team by a long shot, ending with 61 points to separate themselves from the nearest competitor by 13 points.

On the other side of the country, the Galaxy II, who held the penultimate playoff spot in the Western Conference, rode an early lead to a 2-1 victory over Oklahoma City Energy FC.

The Rhinos advance to the final off of a Vassilios Apostolopoulos goal in the 21st minute. Steevan dos Santos put a header on frame, but the ball bounced back out for Apostolopoulos to tap home for his first goal for the team.

The Rhinos were particularly impressive in defense during the match, holding the highest scoring regular season team in Louisville City to only three shots. A late sending off for dos Santos wouldn’t matter to the Rhinos, as the stout defensive side held onto the result and will reap the reward.

Los Dos found fluidity in their attack early on Sunday night, scoring twice in a span of 20 minutes to drain all of the energy out of Oklahoma City.

Ariel Lassiter scored his third goal in two playoff games to get things started in just the seventh minute. The son of former U.S. international Roy Lassiter took advantage of a poor clearance, putting the final touch on a Galaxy free kick from deep.

Los Dos doubled the lead in the 23rd minute in another set piece situation. This ball needed no tapping in, though, as Andre Auras struck a magnificent dipping shot over the wall from 25 yards out.

Dominance from the home team continued for the first half, but the Energy came out with a point to prove late in the match. Coady Andrews headed home a Sebastian Dalgaard corner kick to halve the Galaxy’s lead, but the home side did not allow for a late equalizer.

The Galaxy rode into the semifinals after playoff victories over Sacramento Republic and the Orange County Blues. The Rhinos only needed a win over New York Red Bulls II, bypassing the first round of the playoffs as the top seed in the East.


  1. I just want to take this time to say that this erudite USL soccer crap just spewed by bcaps is the real deal. Thank you for the knowledge. I agree with you on the Rhinos. For a bit it was them and the Sounders

  2. What is interesting is that Rochester has been a lower division powerhouse for years, even before the advent of the MLS. They had to beat the NYRB II on the way to the finals. It was RB2 that defeated Chelsea 4-2 this summer with the assistance of the RB academy players. This seemed like a big deal until Chelsea started losing to everybody. But as the Chelsea game was broadcast all over the UK, it made me think that the rest of the Premier League Managers may a have seen this defeat as an indicator that Chelsea has some major weaknesses to exploit, and apparently that’s correct. But you need to celebrate the Rochester Rhino’s excellence all these years.

    Now the Los Dos is the new incarnation of the USL’s agreement with the MLS. The Galaxy have built up a great lineup of foreign and domestic players.What is interesting to note, that besides Jack McBean, a contracted MLS player whom the Galaxy loaned to Los Dos on a season long loan, The Galaxy loaned on a short term, Maganto, Walker, Meyers and Mendiola, all Galaxy MLS players with MLS experience, and all part of the CCL league team the Galaxy have fielded. And as the season ends for the USL, some of these players will be able to play in the MLS playoffs as they were on the roster before the roster freeze. By the way, the roster freeze does not apply to CCL, so the Galaxy can use any players that have under contract as a pro, or even as an amatuer. So the Galaxy can essentiall use any player from it’s MLS, USL or even academy teams.

    It should be a good game. The Rhinos being the USL League play season champions enjoyed an early bye and have played all their games at home and are un-scored upon at home in the playoffs. The Galaxy have been the road warriors, being the 5th seed having to play all their games on the road (technically) and having only one goal scored on them while producing 5. The Galaxy got a small break in the WC semi’s when the OC Blues could not use their local field/stadium for their playoff game as it needed some emergency repairs, so the Galaxy offered up the Stub Hub center as an alternative.

    Looking forward to it.

    • It certainly is interesting seeing the USL+MLS partnership being used to it’s fullest. More teams should be doing this, getting guys minutes in USL when they aren’t playing regularly for the MLS side. As long as both are playing similar systems, they’ll step right into the MLS side when needed, and theoretically without the rust of training-only form.

  3. Has Lassiter officially committed to Costa Rica? Fast, two footed wings/forwards aren’t exactly in abundance in our pool right now.

  4. Congrats to Los Dos! Second season in USL and now they find themselves in the final.

    I don’t follow USL, but I watched about 20 minutes of OKC vs. LAG2, and I was impressed by the crowd: Over 8,000 fans in Kansas City. It’s heartening to see the lower divisions of soccer growing in size and fan interest. I hope the Rhinos have a big turnout for the final, as they will be hosting LAG2.


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