It was a busy week in USL, and it started off Monday with the first of two Cascadia clashes when the Portland Timbers 2 played host to Seattle Sounders FC 2.
The visitors ended up triumphant with Seattle posting a 2-0 victory at Merlo Field on goals from Pablo Rossi and Sam Garza. It was Sounders 2’s fourth victory in four games over their rivals to the south.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2 then played host to Sounders 2 in a Fourth of July clash, with the home team posting a big 3-1 win.
The league’s match of the week was played between Eastern Conference pace setters Rochester Rhinos and Charleston Battery, with neither finding separation in a scoreless draw Friday at Charleston’s Blackbaud Stadium. With the point, keeping Rochester unbeaten in 15 matches, the Rhinos maintain their league-leading standing with 33 points, five clear of Charleston. The Battery also pushed their home unbeaten streak to 19 games.
"It's a lot like playing chess," Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser told the USL website. "You see why they're very good. They pressure very well. You have to be very careful with the ball and not make any mistakes, and unfortunately we couldn't make that final pass tonight. They probably got the result that they wanted. Zero-zero is a good point for them." (USL RECAP | WATCH FULL GAME)
In Monday’s Cascadia clash, Garza opened the scoring for the visitors right before halftime, and Rossi added on the capper in the 85th minute for his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Charlie Lyon, on loan from the Sounders’ first team, recorded five saves for his second consecutive clean sheet and the teams’ fifth of the season (TIMBERS RECAP | SOUNDERS RECAP | HIGHLIGHTS).
In the week’s other Cascadia match – the only other match between two MLS operated clubs – the Sounders 2 weren’t quite as successful.
Victor Blasco scored two second-half goals after on-loan 'Cap Christian Dean opened the scoring for his first goal of the season to give Vancouver their fifth win of the season to move them into ninth place in the Western Conference. Seattle, meanwhile, missed out on a chance to move into first in the West and now sit in a tie for third place with 29 points from 17 games (WHITECAPS RECAP | SOUNDERS RECAP | HIGHLIGHTS).
Marco Carducci, on loan from Vancouver’s first team, posted four saves in the victory.
The LA Galaxy II also missed an opportunity to jump into the lead in the West after their 1-1 draw Sunday with OKC Energy FC at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. OKC forward Danni Konig and LA midfielder Andre Auras traded first-half goals in the draw. Galaxy II did move into a tie in the standings with Sounders 2 in the West, one point off the pace set by co-leaders Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and Sacramento Republic FC.
This week’s games:
Wed., July 8 – Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Charleston Battery, 7 pm ET
Wed., July 8 – Rochester Rhinos vs. FC Montreal, 7:05 pm ET
Wed., July 8 – Toronto FC II vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 8 pm ET
Thu., July 9 – Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Orange County Blues FC, 8:30 pm ET
Fri., July 10 – Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Portland Timbers 2, 10 pm ET
Sat., July 11 – Toronto FC II vs. Rochester Rhinos, 3 pm ET
Sat., July 11 – Louisville City FC vs. Charlotte Independence, 7:30 pm ET
Sat., July 11 – OKC Energy FC vs. Orange County Blues FC, 8 pm ET
Sat., July 11 – Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, 8:30 pm ET
Sat., July 11 – Saint Louis FC vs. Richmond Kickers, 8:30 pm ET
Sat., July 11 – Real Monarchs SLC vs. Austin Aztex, 9 pm ET
Sat., July 11 – Sacramento Republic FC vs. LA Galaxy II, 11 pm ET
Sun., July 12 – FC Montreal vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 4 pm ET
Sun., July 12 – New York Red Bulls II vs. Harrisburg City Islanders, 5 pm ET
Sun., July 12 – Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Arizona United SC, 8 pm ET
Every game of the 2015 USL season will be streamed live on team YouTube channels. For highlights, visit the USL's official YouTube channel.