The midweek slate of games for the sixth week of matches in USL offered late fireworks and a new leader in the west.
The Western Conference has a new leader with Sacramento Republic staying unbeaten through six matches, and compresses the top of the table with Orange County SC and Real Monarchs SLC all looking strong in the early goings.
Let’s take a look at all the midweek action:
Toronto FC II 0-0 North Carolina FC
While it wasn’t pretty, TFC II’s first point of the season should be enough for now. After being picked apart last weekend by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, TFC II had a much calmer display on the backline against NCFC.
By extension, holding a clean sheet kept TFC II from becoming toothless in the attack as the match went on. NCFC had the fair share of possession throughout, but TFC II had the better of the chances on the night.
The best chance of the match came in the final minute of the match. NCFC’s Marios Lomis sent a powerful shot off the crossbar, summing up the futility both teams displayed in front of net on the night. TFC II move to 0-3-1 while NCFC improve to 1-3-1.
Fresno FC 2-2 Tulsa Roughnecks FC
The Roughnecks stole a point late thanks to Jon Bakero, splitting the spoils with the Foxes.
Pedro Ribeiro opened the scoring for the Foxes in the 27th minute, hitting the top corner of the net from outside of the penalty area. For Ribeiro, it was his first shot of the season.
The Roughnecks equalized in the 55th minute when Paris Gee headed home a cross from Jon Bakero.
Rony Argueta looked to have won the match for the Foxes in the 77th minute after he ran onto a rebound, turning it into the net just five minutes into his appearance.
Deep into stoppage time, Bakero ripped the win from the Foxes clutches, finishing a one-on-one against Foxes goalkeeper Kyle Reynish in the 90+5 minute.
The Roughnecks improve to 0-3-2 with their second straight draw while newcomers Fresno FC go to 2-1-3.
Portland Timbers 2 3-2 Rio Grande Valley FC
Six matches into the season, the Timbers 2 have equalled their total number of wins in 2017, coming from behind to defeat a struggling Toros side struggling to find their feet in 2018.
Things seemed to click for the Toros in the first half, jumping out to a lead in the 30th minute. Omar Ontiveros pounced on a redirected header from Conor Donovan on a corner kick, out jumping the Timbers 2 defense to give the Toros the lead. The Toros held the lead into the break.
The Timbers 2 wasted no time in responding, adding three goals in the opening 25 minutes of the second half. First it was Jeremy Ebobisse in the 56th minute on a half volley from the center of the 18-yard box. Then Jack Barmby gave the home side the lead from the penalty spot in the 61st minute. Seven minutes later, Foster Langsdorf scored after beating the goalkeeper to a header in the six-yard box.
Todd Wharten pulled one more back for the Toros in the 81st minute from the penalty spot, but the damage was already done.
The Timbers 2 improve to 3-2-1 on the year while the Toros fall to 0-3-2.
Sacramento Republic FC 2-1 Colorado Springs Switchbacks
Sac Republic looked like they were on their way to their first loss in 2018 before mounting a second half comeback to beat the Switchbacks.
The Switchbacks opened the scoring in the 28th minute from a set piece. Shane Malcolm headed home the corner from Josh Suggs, pushing the Switchbacks into the lead and shocking the home crowd.
Sac Republic pushed for an equalizer, and found it in the 64th minute. Cameron Iwasa ran onto a through ball from Carlos Rodriguez, striking a first-time finish from just inside the penalty area.
Iwasa proved to be the pivotal piece for Sac Republic, adding an assist just nine minutes later on Vilyan Bijev’s game winning goal. Bijev received the pass from Iwasa before using some smart footwork to get free in the box and finish from a tight angle.
Sac Republic jump to the top of the western conference with the win and move to 4-0-2 on the season while the Switchbacks drop to 3-4-0.