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Gameday Report: May 4, Week 9

By SCOTT STEWART -, 05/04/19, 5:15PM EDT


Fresno stays undefeated, Las Vegas rallies to defeat Republic FC, Hartford earns first point in club history

Fresno FC maintained its undefeated start to the season with victory in Utah on a day that saw Orange County SC gain revenge for its postseason defeat last season, Las Vegas Lights FC pull off another big home victory, and Jerome Kiesewetter notch his first two goals for El Paso Locomotive FC.

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LAS VEGAS – Lights FC blitzed Republic FC with three goals in the span of eight minutes midway through the second half to take victory in front of 7,487 fans at Cashman Field. After a scoreless first half, Sacramento took the lead six minutes after the break on a perfectly-hit volley by Hayden Partain off a cross from the right by Elliot Hord. The hosts broke the game open starting in the 67th minute, however as a clever turn at the top of the penalty area by Cristhian Hernandez set up Irvin Parra for a low finish to the left corner. Four minutes later Gabe Robinson put Lights FC ahead as he tapped home from the doorstep after Republic FC goalkeeper Josh Cohen saw a corner kick slip through his hands, and Las Vegas added a third in the 75th minute when Santiago Echavarria controlled Parra’s cross and fired home a turning shot into the bottom-left corner. Recent Las Vegas acquisition Junior Sandoval lashed home a fourth from 30 yards into the top-right corner to add to Lights FC’s lead, and while Tyler Blackwood scored a consolation in stoppage time for Republic FC, Las Vegas maintained its undefeated home record this season.

USLChampionship Man of the Match

Irvin Parra, Las Vegas Lights FC – Parra had a goal and two assists to lead Las Vegas’ comeback as it took its third consecutive victory on home turf.



RENO, Nev. – The Roughnecks twice rallied to level the score to negate a brace by Reno’s Corey Hertzog at Greater Nevada Field. Hertzog thought he had put the hosts ahead in the 28th minute but was ruled offside to negate a well-hit volley, but a minute later there was no flag raised as the veteran striker fired home a first-time finish to the bottom-right corner to put the hosts ahead. Tulsa hit back in the 37th minute, however, as a low cross from the left by Moses Makinde was clipped home by Janu Silva at the top of the six-yard area, but Reno regained the lead in first-half stoppage time when Hertzog tapped home from close range off a pass by Lindo Mfeka. Tulsa hit back again on the hour-mark when Rodrigo da Costa got in behind the defense and finished coolly to the bottom-left corner of the net, and the Roughnecks almost stole victory in the 89th minute when Tobenna Uzo’s finish from the center of the penalty area was kept out by 1868 FC goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski. Honors ended even, however, which was enough to lift Tulsa to the top of the Western Conference standings.

USLChampionship Man of the Match

Corey Hertzog, Reno 1868 FC – Hertzog notched his first two goals for Reno as he finished the night with four shots and two key passes in a solid all-around attacking display.



IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County got a modicum of revenge for their playoff defeat last season with a victory against Rising FC at Championship Soccer Stadium. Orange County threatened regularly in the early going, an early shot by Vinicius from the left was saved by Phoenix goalkeeper Zac Lubin, and in the 26th minute the hosts took the lead after Harry Forrester was fouled in the penalty area, which allowed Aodhan Quinn to convert from the spot with a solid finish to the right corner. Rising FC almost hit back just before halftime as Adam Jahn fired just over the crossbar, but 12 minutes into the second half OCSC doubled its lead when Michael Seaton scored from close range. Junior Flemming almost pulled a goal back in the 68th minute for Phoenix, but the visitors got on the board two minutes later on a good header by Jahn off a free kick by Jon Bakero. That would be as close as Rising FC would come to a comeback, however, as Orange County closed out the win.

USLChampionship Man of the Match

Darwin Jones, Orange County SC – Jones put in a sterling display as he recorded one assists, two key passes, two shots and completed 17 of 19 passes for the hosts.



CARSON, Calif. – The Galaxy II broke a three-game winless streak to edge out Bold FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday night. The hosts almost took the lead within the opening 30 seconds as Ethan Zubak had a chance parried away by Austin goalkeeper Diego Restrepo. Bold FC’s best chance of the first half saw Andre Lima clip the top of the crossbar from 25 yards, but 11 minutes into the second half a low cross by Zubak deflected off Jermaine Taylor and into the back of the net for an own goal that put Los Dos ahead. The Galaxy II almost doubled their lead through Augustine Williams with 15 minutes to go when his header was tipped over the crossbar by Restrepo, but the hosts wouldn’t need an insurance goal as they moved back into the playoff positions in the Western Conference. Man of the Match

Ethan Zubak, LA Galaxy II – Zubak was a threat much of the night in attack with four overall shots and three key passes, and made a decisive play on the lone goal of the contest.



KENNESAW – Nashville SC took all three points from ATL UTD 2 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium thanks to an own goal from Atlanta’s Will Vint and Nashville forward Matt LaGrassa inside the opening 11 minutes. Four minutes in, Vint sent a heavy back pass towards goalkeeper Brendan Moore but put too much on it, seeing it instead roll into the back of the net for the opening goal. Then in the 11th minute, LaGrassa latched onto a headed clearance off a Kosuke Kimura cross and found the bottom right corner for Nashville’s second of the night. Things went from bad to worse for ATL UTD 2 in the 76th minute when defender George Campbell was sent off for being judged to have lunged in early on a a challenge just outside the area. The win is Nashville’s second in as many weeks. Man of the Match

Connor Sparrow, Nashville SC – Sparrow made three saves to keep a clean sheet against Atlanta United FC 2.



OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC fought for a 2-1 victory over the Tacoma Defiance at Taft Stadium on Saturday night. Energy FC got things started just 13 minutes in when midfielder Cordell Cato received the ball off a Defiance turnover and threaded a pass for forward Deshorn Brown, who poked a low effort past Defiance goalkeeper Trey Muse for the opening goal. The Defiance would answer in the 40th minute when defender Jonathan Campbell played a pass to midfielder Azriel Gonzalez, who chipped Energy FC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi for his team’s equalizer. Moving forward more often, OKC would restore their lead in the 70th minute when Owayne Gordon hit an effort that Muse parried to his right only for Brown to knock in to give his side all three points. Man of the Match

Deshorn Brown, OKC Energy FC – Brown scored twice to hoist Energy FC over Tacoma for their second win in three games.



COLORADO SPRINGS – El Paso Locomotive picked up their second straight win by defeating Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Weidner Field on Saturday. After a scoreless first half, Locomotive FC new signing Jerome Kiesewetter opened his El Paso account one minute after the restart after taking a Yuma Monsalvez pass and splitting a pair of defenders before calmly beating Clint Irwin from a narrow angle. Ten minutes later, Kiesewetter doubled his team’s advantage after midfielder Omar Salgado slipped a pass behind the defense for Kiesewetter and the American pushed a close-range effort past Switchbacks FC goalkeeper Clint Irwin for his team’s second. Switchbacks FC nearly pulled one back via Rony Argueta’s hard effort in the 74th minute but Locomotive FC goalkeeper Logan Ketterer was equal to the effort and would preserve a clean sheet for his fifth of the season. Man of the Match

Jerome Kiesewetter, El Paso Locomotive FC – Kiesewetter scored a brace and created one chance while also winning four of five duels in El Paso’s win over Colorado.



CHARLESTON – The Charleston Battery completed a notable comeback against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at home on Saturday night. The action began early as Riverhounds SC looked to start on a high, scoring the game’s opening goal just five minutes in. Riverhounds midfielder Kenardo Forbes led a quick counterattack that saw him feed Kevin Kerr, who pushed a short effort past Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky for the first goal. Forbes then turned from provider to scorer in the 12 minute when Ryan James played Forbes behind and the latter fashioned a deft chip past Kuzminsky to double the advantage. Deep in the second half, the Battery pulled one back when Zeiko Lewis buried a penalty in the 76th minute to give the hosts a lifeline. Then, in the 81st minute, the Battery found their equalizer when substitute Nicque Daley dribbled past a pair of Riverhounds SC defenders and curled an effort past goalkeeper Kyle Morton to earn the draw. Man of the Match

Kenardo Forbes, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC  – Forbes had most of the pull on Saturday night, winning 8 of 12 duels on top of his goal, assist, and two chances created in Pittsburgh’s draw with Charleston.



HARTFORD - Charlotte Independence in front of an enthused crowd at Rentschler Field. Charlotte struck first and quickly when Dominic Oduro ignited a counterattack and found Abdoulie Mansally across goal where he tapped in from close range just three minutes in. Responding quickly in the 11th minute, Hartford took advantage of a brilliant ball played by defender Raymond Lee over the top of the defense where forward Mac Steeves was there to clip it past Independence goalkeeper Curtis Anderson for Hartford’s first goal at home. Hartford would come close one more time when forward Hugh Alexander Dixon tested Anderson with an effort from distance, but the netminder did enough to see the effort away and both teams would settle for a point. Man of the Match

Abdoulie Mansally, Charlotte Independence  – Mansally opened the scoring for the Independence and created an additional chance to help his team earn a point on the road.



INDIANAPOLIS – Indy Eleven and North Carolina FC played to a stalemate at Lucas Oil Stadium despite a number of chances created for both sides. Indy was the closest to getting on the scoresheet just before the half when forward Thomas Enevoldsen tested NC goalkeeper Alex Tambakis with a powerful left-footed effort towards the far post. Just after the half, North Carolina FC’s Andre Fortune tested Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton for their first quality chance of the evening only for Newton to get down low to his right to keep the effort out. NC midfielder Steven Miller would follow the effort up, but Newton was equal to that as well and neither side could break the deadlock through the rest of the way. Man of the Match

Alex Tambakis, North Carolina FC – Tambakis made five saves and one clearance to keep Indy out and preserve a clean sheet on Saturday. 



MEMPHIS – Memphis 901 FC and Birmingham Legion FC provided some late drama in their two-all draw at AutoZone Park in Memphis. The hosts have provided an impressive environment off the field so far this season and, 40 minutes in, midfielder Cameron Lindley gave the 901 FC faithful something else to cheer about. Settling a cleared cross from outside the box, the Orlando City SC loanee rifled a distance effort that beat Birmingham goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg to give Memphis the lead. Leaving it late, the visitors would find an equalizer in the 84th minute went on a solo run and produced his own spectacular effort from distance, pinning a shot in the top corner past Memphis goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell to score his team’s first of the night. Responding quickly just two minutes later, Memphis midfielder Adam Najem produced a spectacular bit of skill to prevent a pass from going over the endline before touching past a Birmingham defender and squaring a ball for midfielder Duane Muckette, who restored the lead with a tap-in at the far post. However, Birmingham would again answer in the 92nd minute after earning a penalty and leaving forward Chandler Hoffman to step up and save a point for Legion FC. Man of the Match

Daniel Johnson, Birmingham Legion FC – Johnson’s impact on the game was felt heaviest by his thunderous goal from distance, but he also completed nearly 89 percent of his 45 passes and created one chance in the draw. 



HERRIMAN – Fresno FC earned their second win in three games by beating Real Monarchs SLC at Zions Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Seventeen minutes in, the hosts became the first to etch their name on the scoresheet when midfielder Andrew Brody drove forward on the right-hand side before picking out fellow midfielder Maikel Chang, who curled a well-struck effort into the side netting past Fresno goalkeeper C.J. Cochran. Fresno responded just ten minutes later when forward Christian Chaney rose to meet Emir Alihodzic’s corner to level the scoring. Into the second half, Fresno found their first lead of the afternoon just short of the hour mark when Monarchs defender Kalen Ryden was the last to touch a bouncing ball in the penalty area and saw it roll over his own line for an own goal. Three minutes later, Fresno extended their lead as Chaney bagged a brace after heading in Jackson’s cross from a wide area. Keeping in the game, the Monarchs pulled one back in the 84th minute when first half substitute Luis Arriaga attempted to put an effort on goal that then fell at the feet of forward Josh Heard who had no trouble scoring from close range. On the edge of a comeback, the Monarchs’ efforts were put to a halt in the 90th minute when Fresno forward Jemal Johnson took a Qudus Lawal backheel pass and finished calmly past Monarchs netminder David Ochoa to seal the three points. Man of the Match

Christian Chaney, Fresno FC – Chaney scored two goals and created one chance in 77 minutes as Fresno earned their fourth win of the season. 

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