Seattle Sounders 2 celebrate Pablo Rossi free kick goal in first USL game
Charis Wilson / Seattle Sounders

USL: Sounders 2 can join Galaxy II, Red Bulls II in playoffs with positive result on Thursday

Only 15 games, all played over the next seven days, remain in the United Soccer League's regular season, and three playoff spots and the top seed in the Western Conference remain up for grabs.

Among MLS-operated teams, New York Red Bulls II and LA Galaxy II have already clinched playoff spots, while Seattle Sounders 2 can reach the postseason in their first year with a win or tie at home against the 11th-place Austin Aztex Thursday night at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Washington.

The Galaxy II play twice this week, home against the Portland Timbers 2 on Wednesday and at the Colorado Springs Switchbacks on Saturday, and wins in both games could give them the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, depending on the results of games involving the Orange County Blues and Sacramento Republic, who square off Wednesday before each playing a separate finale on the weekend.

The Red Bulls II, currently fourth in the Eastern Conference, are on the road against the regular-season champion Rochester Rhinos, and New York need a win to be sure of a home playoff game.

Last week, the Real Monarchs were the only MLS-operated team to post a win, beating Arizona United in front of 7,705 fans to finish the season on a five-game winning streak that will still leave them last in the Western Conference. On-loan Homegrown goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez posted his fourth shutout of the season, while the Monarchs finished with an average home attendance of 4,698, sixth in the USL and most by an MLS-operated club. Match Recap | Highlights

In other games:

  • Colorado Rapids winger Charles Eloundou helped Colorado Springs into first place, scoring in a 3-0 win over Austin on Sept. 9 and notching a goal and an assist in a wild 3-3 tie with Oklahoma City on Saturday
  • Houston Dynamo forward Chandler Hoffman scored twice for Colorado Springs in that 3-3 tie, including a late penalty kick converted past former Houston goalkeeper Evan Newton
  • D.C. United Homegrown midfielder Collin Martin set up George Davis IV's stoppage-time equalizer as the Richmond Kickers rallied to tie Harrisburg on Saturday
  • Chicago Fire defender Patrick Doody set up Saint Louis FC's second goal in a 2-0 win over the Charlotte Independence, while Fire goalkeeper Alec Kann made one save for the shutout.
  • Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Marco Carducci made six saves to help Whitecaps 2 hold out for a 1-1 tie against the Western Conference co-leaders, the Orange County Blues

This week's games:

Wednesday, September 16
FC Montreal vs. Harrisburg City Islanders, 4pm ET
Richmond Kickers vs. Toronto FC II, 7pm ET
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Rochester Rhinos, 7pm ET
LA Galaxy II vs. Portland Timbers 2, 10:30pm ET
Arizona United vs. Oklahoma City Energy, 10:30pm ET
Orange County Blues vs. Sacramento Republic, 10:30pm ET

Thursday, September 17
Seattle Sounders 2 vs. Austin Aztex, 10:30pm ET

Saturday, September 19
Wilmington Hammerheads vs. Toronto FC II, 7pm ET
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 7pm ET
Rochester Rhinos vs. New York Red Bulls II, 7:05pm ET
Charleston Battery vs. Charlotte Independence, 7:30pm ET
Saint Louis FC vs. Louisville City, 8:30pm ET
Colorado Springs Switchbacks vs. LA Galaxy II, 9pm ET
Sacramento Republic vs. Arizona United, 10:30pm ET

Sunday, September 20
Vancouver Whitecaps 2 vs. Austin Aztex, 6pm ET