MLS on Loan: DC United trio helps Richmond Kickers capture USL PRO regular-season title

The USL PRO’s regular season came to a climactic end this past week, with the top two teams going head to head to decide the champion.

MLS affiliates Richmond and Orlando City met last Wednesday in Virginia in what amounted to an epic finish to a record-breaking season. The Kickers employed four MLS players on their way to a 2-0 victory over visiting Orlando to clinch the title. D.C. United’s Conor Shanosky, Andrew Dykstra and Houston forward Brian Ownby played 90 minutes and Michael Seaton made a seven-minute cameo to close out the match. 

While Ownby picked up an assist in the match, it was Dykstra (above) who stole the show in goal. Posting five saves and commanding the box, his clean sheet assured the Kickers homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

Richmond followed up that performance by picking up a draw with Pittsburgh on the final day of the season on Saturday to solidify their hold on the title. The Kickers only lost once in 26 games, good enough for 55 points and one greater than Orlando City with 54.

Harrisburg gave up third place in the final week, allowing the Charleston Battery to surpass them in points with a win over Antigua Barracuda. Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Bryce Alderson started and played the entire first half for the Battery en route to the 3-0 win. The City Islanders, meanwhile, fell to the Dayton Dutch Lions, with only two Union players making appearances. Jimmy Mclaughlin and Don Anding both came on in the second half, but were unable to turn the tides in a 3-1 loss.

The USL PRO playoffs kick off this coming Saturday.

In the second division, several NASL teams made use of their MLS arsenal. Real Salt Lake midfielder Enzo Martinez came on for Carolina in the final 13 minutes to help them complete a 3-0 victory over the New York Cosmos. The win put the RailHawks into sole possession of first place.

Minnesota started both of their Montreal Impact players in a 1-1 draw with Tampa Bay. Sinisa Ubiparipovic started and went 81 minutes while Calum Mallace went the distance. Fort Lauderdale again started FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez and Bradlee Baladez in a 2-1 win over San Antonio.

On Sunday, Corey Hertzog started and went the distance for FC Edmonton when they hosted spring champions Atlanta to a 1-1 draw. Fire forward Kellen Gulley made a rare substitute appearance for Atlanta, but was unable to help the Silverbacks find a winner.

See below for the complete list of MLS players in action while on loan this past week

NASL:

Carolina RailHawks 3, New York Cosmos 0; Saturday, Aug 17
M Enzo Martinez (Real Salt Lake) - substitute, played 13 minutes

Minnesota United 1, Tampa Bay Rowdies 1; Saturday, Aug 17
M Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Montreal Impact) - Started, played 81 minutes
M Calum Mallace (Montreal Impact) - Started, played 90 minutes

Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2, San Antonio Scorpions 1; Saturday, Aug 17
F Bradlee Baladez (FC Dallas) - Started, played 73 minutes
GK Richard Sanchez (FC Dallas) - Started, played 90 minutes

FC Edmonton 1, Atlanta Silverbacks 1; Sunday, Aug 18
F Corey Hertzog, Edmonton (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Started, played 90 minutes
F Kellen Gulley, Atlanta (Chicago Fire) - Substitute, played 32 minutes

USL PRO:

Richmond Kickers 2, Orlando City SC 0; Wednesday, Aug 14
F Michael Seaton, Richmond (D.C. United) - Substitute, played 7 minutes
M Conor Shanosky, Richmond (D.C. United) - Started, played 90 minutes
GK Andrew Dykstra, Richmond (D.C. United) - Started, played 90 minutes
F Brian Ownby, Richmond (Houston Dynamo) - Started, played 90, one assist
M Christian Duke, Orlando (Sporting Kansas City) - Substitute, played 45 minutes
D Kevin Ellis, Orlando (Sporting Kansas City) - Substitute, played 1 minute

Charleston Battery 3, Antigua Barracuda FC 0; Thursday, Aug 15
M Bryce Alderson (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Started, played 45 minutes

Rochester Rhinos 4, Phoenix FC Wolves 3; Friday, Aug 16
D Bilal Duckett (New England Revolution) - Started, played 90 minutes
F Matt Horth (New England Revolution) - Started, played 59 minutes, one assist
D Tyler Polak (New England Revolution) - Started, played 90 minutes

Richmond Kickers 1, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1; Saturday, Aug 17
F Michael Seaton (D.C. United) - Started, played 72 minutes
M Conor Shanosky (D.C. United) - Started, played 90 minutes
GK Andrew Dykstra (D.C. United) - Started, played 90 minutes

Harrisburg City Islanders 3, Dayton Dutch Lions 1; Saturday, Aug 17
M Jimmy McLaughlin (Philadelphia Union) - Substitute, played 24 minutes
M Don Anding (Philadelphia Union) - Substitute, played 14 minutes

Orlando City SC 1, Charlotte Eagles 0; Saturday, Aug 17
M Christian Duke (Sporting Kansas City) - Started, played 90 minutes
D Kevin Ellis (Sporting Kansas City) - Substitute, played 13 minutes

Rochester Rhinos 2, LA Blues 1; Saturday, Aug 17
D Bilal Duckett (New England Revolution) - Started, played 90 minutes
D Tyler Polak (New England Revolution) - Started, played 90 minutes