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Gameday Report: May 25, Week 12

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 05/25/19, 9:15PM EDT

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Rising FC fights back against Monarchs; draws round out Saturday's Week 12 action

The Indy Eleven and Nashville SC battled to a scoreless draw at Lucas Oil Stadium as the pair maintained their impressive defensive beginnings to the season, while Hartford Athletic came back against Ottawa Fury FC to earn a point for the home crowd at Rentschler Field. Elsewhere, the Charleston Battery and Atlanta United 2 also battled for a point in a one-all draw while the Tampa Bay Rowdies maintained their unbeaten start and their place at the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Swope Park Rangers.

In the Western Conference, all three of RGV FC Toros, New Mexico United, and OKC Energy FC added another three points to their respective tallies with RGV picking up a Copa Tejas win over San Antonio FC, New Mexico United ending Austin Bold FC's home unbeaten streak, and OKC Energy FC handing Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC their fifth straight loss. Phoenix Rising FC would go on to join the three aforementioned after defeating Real Monarchs SLC on the road, while Portland Timbers 2 and El Paso Locomotive FC tangoed to a one-all draw, LA Galaxy II and Orange County SC split leads in a 2-2 draw, and Las Vegas Lights could not find a way past Tulsa Roughnecks FC in scoreless draw that extended the Roughnecks' unbeaten streak to five games.

 

LAS VEGAS LIGHTS FC (0) VS TULSA ROUGHNECKS FC (0)

LAS VEGAS, NV – Tulsa Roughnecks FC pushed their unbeaten run to five games by earning a point on the road against Las Vegas Lights FC in a scoreless draw at Cashman Field. The hosts were first to come close when midfielder Christian Hernandez’s free kick from 23 yards went just over the Tulsa crossbar and out at 39 minutes. Then, Hernandez forced a good catch from Tulsa goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar on the hour mark after a bullet of an effort from distance tested the shotstopper’s hands. Tulsa then put a scare on Lights FC’s backline when midfielder Fredlin Mompremier lifted an effort over Las Vegas goalkeeper Thomas Olsen, leaving defender Christian Torres to clear the shot off the goal line to preserve Olsen’s clean sheet. Las Vegas would have one more opportunity as midfielder Irvin Parra tested Stajduhar again only for the goalkeeper to get low and collect the effort, keeping the game scoreless.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Mason Stajduhar, Tulsa Roughnecks FC – Stajduhar was a force in goal against Lights FC as he made three saves and one punch to earn his third clean sheet of the season.

 

LA GALAXY II (2) VS ORANGE COUNTY SC (2)

LOS ANGELES, CA – LA Galaxy II and Orange County SC put on a show in the 405 Derby, drawing 2-2 as the pair traded leads and the hosts stole a late point. It could hardly have started better for Galaxy II when they scored following a scramble near the goalmouth that resulted in forward Bryan Iloski slotting home after two minutes. Orange County would need until the 50th minute but they found their first goal after midfielder Aodhan Quinn’s free kick from distance went untouched in the box and past Galaxy II goalkeeper Justin vom Steeg. Orange County’s new signings then combined for their second in the 77th minute as midfielder Harry Forrester delivered a perfect cross for the substitute Vinicius to latch onto and head past vom Steeg for the lead. Looking increasingly likely to score towards the end of the match, Galaxy II proved good as Juninho’s corner in the second minute of added time found the head of the substitute Frank López, who nodded in the set-piece to earn a draw at the death.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Harry Forrester, Orange County SC – Forrester created four chance and tallied the assist on Vinicius’s goal while also winning 13 of 19 duels in the draw.

 

PORTLAND TIMBERS 2 (1) VS EL PASO LOCOMOTIVE FC (1) 

PORTLAND, OR – El Paso Locomotive FC extended their unbeaten run to six games with a one-all draw against Portland Timbers 2 on the road at Perlo Field, with both goals coming within five minutes of action. The hosts earned a penalty when defender Bryam Rebellón was whistled for a late challenge on Portland forward Foster Langsdorf in the area, and midfielder Dairon Asprilla stepped up to the task and beat El Paso goalkeeper Logan Ketterer for the opening goal. One minute into first half stoppage time, the visitors equalized as forward Omar Salgado took a Sebastián Contreras pass and curled a shot behind Portland goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh. McIntosh would come up big once more in the 87th minute when he confronted a sprinting Salgado near the endline to preserve the draw with Portland picking up their fourth point in the last two games. 

USL Championship Man of the Match

Bryam Rebellón, El Paso Locomotive FC – Despite conceding the penalty, Rebellón made four interceptions, three clearances, and three tackles while also completing just under 87 percent of his 76 passes in the draw.

 

REAL MONARCHS SLC (2) VS PHOENIX RISING FC (4)

HERRIMAN, UT – Phoenix Rising FC stormed back from a two-goal deficit to defeat Real Monarchs SLC, 4-2, at Zions Bank Stadium with all four goals coming from different scorers. The Monarchs looked in good condition when they found their first goal after 10 minutes when midfielder Andrew Brody picked up a recycled pass and picked out fellow defender Marcelo Silva in the center of the area, who pushed his effort past Phoenix goalkeeper Zac Lubin. In the 25th minute, midfielder Ricardo Avila swung in a deep ball to the back post following a corner that forward Douglas Martinez bundled over the line from a few yards out to put his team two goals up. However, Phoenix scored twice in three minutes to level the scoring with goals from Adam Jahn and Jon Bakero helping them out of the hole. Into the second half, Phoenix kept up their intensity with Junior Flemmings finishing off a move on the hour mark that put the visitors in front for the first time. After 81 minutes, forward Solomon Asante produced another impressive effort from distance that skipped past Monarchs goalkeeper David Putna for Phoenix’s fourth and final goal to complete a strong comeback. 

USL Championship Man of the Match

José Aguinaga, Phoenix Rising FC – Aguinaga was one of Phoenix’s primary drivers in attack, completing over 86 percent of his passes and creating three chances that resulted in two assists. 

 

RIO GRANDE VALLEY FC (3) VS SAN ANTONIO FC (1)

EDINBURG, TX – RGV FC Toros earned their fourth point in the last two games with a win over San Antonio FC in the pair’s first-ever official Copa Tejas meeting at H-E-B Park. RGV forward Jesús Enriquez got things going for the hosts on the half-hour mark when he took defender Robert Coronado’s pass and coolly slotted an angled effort past San Antonio goalkeeper Matt Cardone for the first goal of the night. Six minutes later, RGV doubled their advantage as forward Michael Salazar scored the first of his two goals on the evening after a curling through pass by midfielder Romilio Hernández left Salazar to poke past Cardone. The hosts then added a third just before the hour mark as midfielder Maalique Foster and Salazar combined on a one-two passing combination that saw the forward lift an effort into the roof of the net. In the 69th minute, San Antonio FC found their lone goal as forward Juan Guzmán chased a pass from defender Ebenezer Ackon before clipping an effort over RGV goalkeeper Michael Nelson. The loss leaves San Antonio winless in their last four games.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Michael Salazar, RGV FC Toros – Salazar completed just over 82 percent of his passes and won five of seven duels in addition to his two goals on the night, which made it three goals in his last two games.

 

OKC ENERGY FC (1) VS COLORADO SPRINGS SWITCHBACKS FC (0)

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – OKC Energy FC got back to winning ways with a narrow 1-0 win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC with forward Owayne Gordon’s 15th-minute tally proving the difference maker. Played over the top by teammate Alexy Bosetti, the Jamaican produced a rocket of an effort that Switchbacks FC goalkeeper Andre Rawls had little chance of keeping out. The visitors nearly pulled a goal back in the 24th minute forward Jordan Burt was fed through on goal only to be denied by an onrushing Cody Laurendi to preserve his clean sheet. OKC could have added a second when midfielder Cordell Cato curled a shot that Rawls pushed aside and the follow up effort by defender Mekeil Williams did not have the power required to beat the goalkeeper at the second time asking. The win keeps Energy FC unbeaten at home since April 20 while Switchbacks FC drop their fifth straight.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Alexy Bosetti, OKC Energy FC – Bosetti had the most influence on the match for Energy FC after collecting an assist on Gordon’s goal and creating six chances in total in 84 minutes of play.

 

AUSTIN BOLD FC (1) VS NEW MEXICO UNITED (3)

AUSTIN, TX – New Mexico United extended their unbeaten streak to five games while taking a firmer grip on first place in the Western Conference after their 3-1 road win over Austin Bold FC at Bold Stadium. Returning from suspension, New Mexico midfielder Santi Moar showed why he’s one of the league’s best playmakers through 12 weeks when he drifted down the left wing and into the penalty area before knocking an effort off Bold defender Amobi Okugo for the game’s opening goal in the 29th minute. The visitors held that lead until the 55th minute when defender Sean McFarlane did well to skip past a defender and lift in a cross for midfielder Isaac Promise, who headed in an effort off the underside of the crossbar to pull level. Seven minutes later, Moar again put New Mexico ahead off a free kick effort for his eighth goal of the season, a lead they would keep to pick up their third win in the last four games, and then with two minutes to go the Spaniard ended the game with a flourish as he got in behind the Bold FC defense and rounded the goalkeeper before finishing into an open net.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Santi Moar, New Mexico United – Moar rattled the Bold defense on a number of occasions and scored twice while recording four shots on target and completing nearly 85 percent of his pass attempts.

 

PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC (0) VS CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE (0)

PITTSBURGH, PA – After a lengthy weather delay saw the two teams push their contest back over an hour in total, 10-man Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC could not capitalize on their chances in the attacking end and were held scoreless at home in their draw against the Charlotte Independence. It took just six minutes for Riverhounds SC to test the Independence as midfielder Neco Brett collected a recovery by forward Christian Volesky and forced a good reaction save from Independence goalkeeper Curtis Anderson from a tight angle. The game’s complexion changed in the 36th minute when, after being booked for a challenge eight minutes earlier, Pittsburgh defender Joe Greenspan received his second caution of the evening and was dismissed from the match. However, the hosts continued to push the envelope despite playing a man down as efforts by midfielder Kenardo Forbes and substitute Steevan Dos Santos were both saved by the 18-year-old Anderson, who kept his first clean sheet of the season in the draw.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Curtis Anderson, Charlotte Independence – There when called upon, Anderson displayed some of the best of his abilities with three saves and a clean sheet in tow. 

 

TAMPA BAY ROWDIES (1) VS SWOPE PARK RANGERS (0)

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The Tampa Bay Rowdies retained their place at the top of the Eastern Conference while extending their undefeated streak this season to 12 games as they defeated the Swope Park Rangers, 1-0, thanks to a penalty kick goal by midfielder Leo Fernandes. The hosts were quick to attack and nearly opened the scoring after eight minutes when forward Sebastián Guenzatti nearly swept a cross past Swope Park goalkeeper Adrian Zendajas only for the shotstopper to be well-positioned in making the save. In the 22nd minute, the Rowdies again forced Zendajas into action when Fernandes rifled a left-footed effort that the goalkeeper got a touch on to parry it off the post and eventually away from danger. The hosts would get their best chance at a breakthrough in the 80th minute when Swope Park defender Mark Segbers was judged to have brought down Fernandes in the box, leaving the midfielder to step up and score the game’s lone goal in the 82nd minute. The Rowdies then nearly added a second in the 87th minute but midfielder Zach Steinberger’s effort from close range was somehow kept out by Zendajas and the one-goal advantage proved enough.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Leo Fernandes, Tampa Bay Rowdies – Fernandes was the standout in a gritty match for the Rowdies, creating five chances, winning 13 of 17 duels, and scoring the game’s only goal from the penalty spot to earn the team’s seventh win.

 

CHARLESTON BATTERY (1) VS ATLANTA UNITED 2 (1)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery and Atlanta United 2 traded blows in a one-all draw that saw the hosts find a late equalizer to earn the point. Heading into the second half scoreless, the Battery found a chance early on as midfielder Romario Piggott slid a pass in from a wide position for forward Ian Svantesson, though he his effort was just wide goal. It would take 71 minutes to break the deadlock but the visitors found the game’s first as midfielder Luiz Fernando crossed to the center of the six-yard box where forward Laurent Kissiedou turned and hit past Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky. The hosts would fire back just eight minutes later when forward Zeiko Lewis headed home a corner quick from close range to level the scoring and eventually earn his team a point.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Luiz Fernando, Atlanta United 2 – Luiz Fernando tallied an assist on Kissiedou’s goal and created two chances while also winning four of five duels on the night.

 

indy eleven (0) vs nashville sc (0)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Eastern Conference powerhouses Indy Eleven and Nashville SC could not find a way past each other as they produced a scoreless draw in front of an ignited crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium. The best chance of the match fell to Nashville SC’s Tucker Hume in the 16th minute after the forward brought down a well-weighted overhead pass and slid to try and poke past Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton only for the shotstopper to get big and repel the chance. Indy’s major opportunity came after 22 minutes when defender Karl Ouimette rose to head a pass across goal following a corner, but the Canadian could not generate the power needed to beat Nashville SC goalkeeper Matt Pickens. The hosts have not been beaten at home since July 7, 2018 following tonight’s draw.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Ayoze, Indy Eleven – Ayoze completed a remarkable 90 percent of his 72 pass attempts while creating three chances and making four tackles and three interceptions in the defensive draw.

 

Hartford athletic (1) vs ottawa fury fc (1)

HARTFORD, CT – In just their third home game, the Hartford Athletic picked up another point after coming back from down a goal to secure a point against Ottawa Fury FC at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. Fury FC took the lead in the 22nd minute when forward Kevin Oliveira’s effort after a Christiano François cross popped up in the air, leaving forward Elhadji Mour Samb to pick it out of the air and beat Athletic goalkeeper Frederik Due. The Athletic were held down a goal through the first half but quickly found themselves level after the break when midfielder Sebastian Delgaard settled a clearance and pushed a low effort that beat Fury FC goalkeeper Callum Irving. The visitors would have one more clear look at goal in the 67th minute via Samb, but the forward’s effort on goal was well saved by Frederik Due and the pair settled for a point.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Elhadji Mour Samb, Ottawa Fury FC – Mour Samb scored Ottawa’s lone goal and looked the most likely to score another while also creating one chance in 90 minutes.

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