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Gameday Report: May 11, Week 10

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 05/11/19, 9:31PM EDT

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Reno pulls away from Sacramento; Nashville, Louisville rebound with victories

Reno 1868 FC took the first meeting of the season with Sacramento Republic FC, Nashville and Louisville rebounded from defeats in their last outings, Las Vegas earned its second consecutive win and Loudoun United racked up its second victory of the season in Saturday night’s USL Championship action.

Select a match below...

 

SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC (1), RENO 1868 FC (4)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Reno retained its upper hand in the Donner Pass Derby as it pulled away from Republic FC before a crowd of 10,630 fans at Papa Murphy’s Park. Reno’s Lindo Mfeka forced a big early save by Sacramento goalkeeper Josh Cohen in the seventh minute with a dipping shot from 25 yards, but the hosts then began to carry much of the play. Sam Werner had a chance snuffed out at the last minute for Republic FC after a shifty run into the left side of the penalty area, but then in the 12th minute center back Mitchell Taintor stepped forward into the attacking half after a clearance to halfway and unleashed a brilliant finish from 35 yards into the top-left corner of the net. Werner pressed again five minutes later as he created space and fired low from the left side to force a low save by Reno goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski, but then 1868 FC leveled as Brent Richards produced a good low cross from the right that Corey Hertzog fired home first time to the left corner. Reno then took the lead in the 31st minute when a turnover allowed Mfeka to release Brian Brown for a low finish that eluded Cohen for his sixth goal of the season. Sacramento almost pulled even six minutes into the second half when a low shot by Tyler Blackwood came back off the right post, while Hayden Partain fired a low shot in the 63rd minute that Marcinkowski turned wide of the same upright. Reno almost added to its lead 10 minutes later as a low shot by Brown was turned wide of the left post by Cohen, but with seven minutes to go Raul Mendiola struck for the visitors as Brown slipped him into the right side of the penalty area for a sharp finish to the left corner. 1868 FC then wrapped up victory with Hertzog’s second of the night as he finished off a low run and cross from the left by Duke Lacroix to conclude proceedings with two minutes remaining.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Brian Brown, Reno 1868 FC – Brown recorded one goal and one assist and was continuously involved in Reno’s build-up play, completing 28 of 34 passes and creating two chances.

 

LAS VEGAS LIGHTS FC (3), COLORADO SPRINGS SWITCHBACKS FC (0)

LAS VEGAS – Irvin Parra scored a pair of goals as Lights FC earned victory against the Switchbacks before a crowd of 7,023 fans at Cashman Field. The Switchbacks had the first big chance as Shane Malcolm broke in on a counterattack but had his shot saved by Las Vegas goalkeeper Thomas Olsen, but as the half progressed, Las Vegas began to create more chances. Lights FC’s Pablo Cruz forced a low save by Switchbacks goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez in the 27th minute, but seven minutes later the hosts took the lead as a cross from the left by Junior Sandoval was volleyed home by Irvin Parra into the right corner. Alex Molano almost leveled for Colorado Springs two minutes before halftime after opening space for himself in the left side of the penalty area before his curled shot to the top-right corner went just over, but in first-half stoppage time Las Vegas struck again as Mobi Fehr’s cross from the right picked out Sammy Ochoa at the back post for a headed finish. Colorado Springs tried to hit back on the hour-mark when Jordan Burt’s cutback cross from the right found Malcolm for a first-time finish that was tipped over the crossbar by Olsen, but with 15 minutes to go Parra was brought down in the penalty area and added a third goal for Lights FC from the spot as he shot low into the left corner of the net to wrap up a second consecutive victory for the hosts.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Irvin Parra, Las Vegas Lights FC – Parra notched his sixth and seventh goals of the season to key Las Vegas’ victory.

 

SAN ANTONIO FC (0), ORANGE COUNTY SC (0)

SAN ANTONIO – Both San Antonio and Orange County had chances, but neither was able to capitalize at Toyota Field. San Antonio threatened in the seventh minute as a deep cross from the left by Billy Forbes found Brian Gomez, but his low finish was parried away by Orange County goalkeeper Patrick McLain. A minute later a good weaving run and shot by SAFC’s Cristian Parano was also denied by McLain as the hosts applied strong early pressure. OCSC’s first good chance arrived in the 15th minute when a free kick by Aodhan Quinn from the right found Harry Forrester for a near-post header that SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone reacted well to turn away, but neither side was then able to take advantage of its chances for the rest of the half. That pattern continued in the second half as Orange County almost took the lead on the hour-mark after a goalmouth scramble saw a chance fall to Liam Trotter, but SAFC’s defense closed in to deny him just in time. A minute later it was San Antonio’s turn when a good cross from the left by Forbes found Ever Guzman in stride only for his first-time finish to flash just wide of the left post. SAFC’s Kai Greene also looped a header just over the crossbar off a free kick by Jack Barmby in the 73rd minute, while Forbes fired just wide of the right post six minutes later. Orange County almost grabbed victory in stoppage time but Quinn’s header off Darwin Jones’ cross from the right went wide of the left post, and the game ended scoreless.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Kai Greene, San Antonio FC – Greene was solid defensively throughout the contest, winning 23 of 31 duels overall and posting four tackles as the hosts earned a shutout.

 

BIRMINGHAM LEGION FC (0), LOUISVILLE CITY FC (3)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – LouCity scored in both halves as three different players found the net against Legion FC at BBVA Compass Field. After a short lightning delay in the pregame warmups, Louisville took the lead in the sixth minute as it capitalized on a turnover in Legion FC’s end that Oscar Jimenez delivered to Magnus Rasmussen for a powerful strike from 25 yards into the left corner of the net. Rasmussen almost added a second in the 23rd minute with a low shot that flashed just wide of the right post, but the visitors struck a minute later as Lucky Mkosana won a header off a long, angled ball by Shaun Francis and cleaned up the chance as the ball dropped with a left-footed finish. Birmingham almost pulled a goal back in the 31st minute when Daniel Johnson set up Chandler Hoffman for a finish from the left side of the penalty area only for LouCity goalkeeper Ben Lundt to make a good one-handed save at his near post, and Johnson himself curled a shot high just before the halftime break. Louisville believed it had added to its lead seven minutes into the second half only for the offside flag to be raised on Mkosana’s finish, but a minute later the visitors had their third as Francis won possession in the attacking third and quickly delivered a cross that Luke Spencer slid in to finish at the top of the six-yard area. Legion FC tried to find a way back into the game and Hoffman was denied for a second time by Lundt on the hour-mark on a low shot from the edge of the penalty area. Eddie Opoku then hit the right post for the hosts with six minutes to go, but LouCity held defensively to earn a shutout and a little revenge for their defeat in the first matchup between the clubs at Slugger Field.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Luke Spencer, Louisville City FC – Spencer led LouCity’s attacking line well throughout the night and was rewarded with the side’s insurance goal early in the second half.

 

NASHVILLE SC (5), SWOPE PARK RANGERS (1)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Daniel Rios struck twice early to lead NSC to victory against the Rangers at First Tennessee Park. The hosts took the lead in just the sixth minute as a floated free kick by Justin Davis was knocked down by Liam Doyle to allow Rios to tap home from close range, and the Mexican forward doubled NSC’s lead eight minutes later as former Swope Park standout Kharlton Belmar beat his man on the right and clipped in a great cross for Rios’ headed finish. Rios then added an assist to his two tallies as he set up Alan Winn to make it three in the 16th minute, while Lebo Moloto almost added a fourth in the first half with a low, curling shot to the bottom-left corner of the net that was well-saved by Rangers goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas. The hosts notched their fourth in the 55th minute, however, as Belmar ran onto a ball over the top by Matt LaGrassa before shooting low past Zendejas. Swope Park almost pulled a goal back immediately as Will Little fired just wide of the left post and in the 61st minute the visitors found the net as Felipe Hernandez fired home a long-range strike into the left corner of the net from 25 yards. Nashville almost replied with 14 minutes to go when Cameron Lancaster rang a shot off the left post, but in the final minute the 2018 Championship Golden Boot-winner tapped home a close-range finish to round out the win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Daniel Rios, Nashville SC – Rios notched two goals and an assist in the opening 16 minutes to send Nashville comfortably on its way to victory.

 

CHARLESTON BATTERY (0), SAINT LOUIS FC (0)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Battery and Saint Louis ended scoreless in an entertaining contest at MUSC Health Stadium. Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky was called on early to keep out a chance in just the second minute for STLFC’s Russell Cicerone, and he was also had to keep out a free kick from 20 yards by Lewis Hilton before the visitors went close again in the 10th minute when Kyle Greig’s volley went just over the crossbar. The Battery threatened just before the half-hour mark when Arthur Bosua couldn’t quite direct a header on target after a clever piece of build-up at the top of the penalty area, but the hosts began to press more as the half went on and Dante Marini twice threatened with shots that just missed the target before the halftime break. Charleston continued to carry momentum into the second half and Zeiko Lewis forced a good save by STLFC goalkeeper Jake Fenlason in the 54th minute with a looping shot that was headed to the top-left corner. Saint Louis’ first real look of the second half saw Kyle Greig loop a header high of the crossbar in the 61st minute, but the veteran forward produced a good low effort with 10 minutes to go from just outside the penalty area that was parried away by Kuzminsky. Neither side found a breakthrough, however, as honors ended even.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Jarad van Schaik, Charleston Battery – Van Schaik put in a sterling defensive display, recording three interceptions, two tackles and five clearances while winning 14 of 19 duels overall

 

CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE (1), LOUDOUN UNITED FC (3)

MATTHEWS, N.C. – Loudoun United rallied from a first-half deficit as three different players found the net to defeat the Independence at the Sportsplex at Matthews. The Independence went close to an early lead in the 11th minute when Enzo Martinez curled a shot from 20 yards just wide of the right post, but on the half-hour mark Martinez played provider with a low cross from the left that set up Dominic Oduro for the opening goal of the game. Loudoun almost equalized four minutes before halftime when Kyle Murphy’s header from close range went just over, but two minutes later Conor Presley leveled for the visitors with a rifled shot from 25 yards into the left corner of the net. United then took the lead less than a minute into the second half when a long-range shot by Noah Pilato deflected off a defender in front of goal to find the net. Louudoun doubled its lead just before the hour-mark when Charlotte goalkeeper Curtis Anderson couldn’t handle a cross by Andy Lubahn and Shinya Kadono was on hand to knock home the rebound for his first professional goal. The Independence pushed to get back into the game in the final half-hour as Martinez forced a good save by Loudoun’s Calle Brown in the 76th minute and Afrim Taku curled a shot just high and wide of the top-right corner a few minutes later, but a late final chance for Jorge Herrera was calmly saved by Brown as United saw out the victory to claim its second win of the season.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Conor Presley, Loudoun United FC – Presley’s tremendous strike pulled United back level just before halftime and helped set up a strong second half by the visitors. 

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