It hasn’t taken long for the partnership between Major League Soccer and USL Pro to pay dividends, especially for those third-tier clubs featuring top-tier talent in their starting lineups.
Perhaps no team has been better represented thus far than D.C. United, and forward Casey Townsend led the charge this weekend with two goals for the Richmond Kickers. The Kickers notched a convincing 4-1 victory against the Charleston Battery, leaning on the services of on-loan defender Taylor Kemp as well as Townsend’s nose for goal. Former D.C. forward Joseph Ngwenya also scored for the Kickers.
Houston's Brian Ownby, also on loan with the Kickers, picked up an assist on Townsend's first goal.
Meanwhile, Sporting Kansas City affiliate Orlando City took on the Rochester Rhinos in a match ripe with MLS connections. Long Tan, who played previously with the Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United, got Orlando on the board first before Dom Dwyer, on loan from Sporting, put away the second.
Former Real Salt Lake forward Jamie Watson scored the third to seal the deal for the Lions, as the only blemish on SKC Homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin’s night was former D.C. and New England striker Blake Brettschneider’s chipped goal.
Elsewhere in USL Pro, a sparkling new soccer stadium hosted its inaugural game. The Pittsburgh Riverhounds played host to Philadelphia Union affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders at Highmark Stadium.
Union midfielder Christhian Hernandez sent in a left-footed cross to help set up the winning goal for the Islanders. Harrisburg remain on the road, traveling to face the Colorado Rapids reserves next Saturday.
Richmond Kickers (USL Pro)
D Taylor Kemp (DC) – Started, played 90 minutes
F Michael Seaton (DC) – Did not play
M Conor Shanosky (DC) – Started, played 90 mintues
F Casey Townsend (DC) – Started, played 90 minutes, 2 goals
M/F Brian Ownby (HOU) - Started, played 74 minutes, 1 assist
Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro)
Saturday at VSI Tampa:
D Bilal Duckett (NE) – Started
F Matt Horth (NE) – Did not play
M Gabe Latigue (NE) – Started
D Tyler Polak (NE) – Started
Sunday at Orlando City:
D Bilal Duckett (NE) – Started, yellow card
F Matt Horth (NE) – Played 44 minutes off the bench
M Gabe Latigue (NE) – Started, played 37 minutes
D Tyler Polak (NE) – Played 25 minutes off the bench
Orlando City SC (USL Pro)
GK Jon Kempin (SKC) – Started, played 90 minutes
M Christian Duke (SKC) – Started, played 90 minutes
D Yann Songo’o (SKC) – Started, played 90 minutes
F Dom Dwyer (SKC) – Started, played 90 minutes, one goal
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro)
M Jimmy McLaughlin (PHI) – Second half sub, played 30 minutes
M Greg Jordan (PHI) – Started, played 90 minutes
F Christhian Hernandez (PHI) – Started, played 90 minutes
FC Edmonton (NASL)
D Carlyle Mitchell (VAN) – Started, played 90 minutes
Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)
F Kellen Gulley (CHI) – Did not play