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Gameday Report: July 20, Week 20

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 07/20/19, 9:25PM EDT

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Foxes down T2 for fifth straight win, Rowdies rout STLFC to extend East lead

The Tampa Bay Rowdies extended their unbeaten run to six games and the gap atop the Eastern Conference standings to five points with a resounding 4-1 win over Saint Louis FC at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday night. Elsewhere in the East, Birmingham Legion FC, Indy Eleven, Ottawa Fury FC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC earned comfortable home victories, while Bethlehem Steel FC and the Charleston Battery battled for one-goal road wins.

In the West, Fresno FC extended its winning streak to a franchise-best five games with victory over the Portland Timbers 2, while Reno 1868 FC defeated the LA Galaxy II for its fifth straight win. Elsewhere, Real Monarchs SLC saw its five-game winning streak come to a halt in a scoreless draw with El Paso Locomotive FC, while Rio Grande Valley FC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC earned home victories.

Select a match below…

 

fresno fc (2) v portland timbers 2 (1)

FRESNO, Calif. – Fresno FC extended its winning streak to a franchise-best five games with victory over T2 at Chukchansi Park. The Foxes got off to the perfect start in the sixth minute when Ramón Del Campo headed Jemal Johnson’s corner kick past T2 goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic to give his side the lead. Fresno doubled its advantage 13 minutes later when Arun Basuljevic dribbled past a Portland defender with a stepover and blasted an unstoppable right-footed shot in off the underside of the crossbar. The hosts could have put the game away a minute after halftime when Qudus Lawal found Jaime Chávez alone by the penalty spot, but the forward’s shot struck the post and went harmlessly behind for a goal kick. T2 took advantage and cut the deficit within a minute as Foster Langsdorf produced a brilliant bit of hold-up play and laid the ball off for Ryan Sierakowski to chip past CJ Cochran. Portland struggled to carve out many clear-cut chances in the second half but had one last opportunity in stoppage time as Cristian Ojeda’s corner kick evaded a diving Cochran, but Max Ornstil could direct his header on target with the goal gaping as Fresno held on for its fifth straight win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Arun Basuljevic, Fresno FC – Basuljevic scored a beauty of a game-winning goal, recorded two key passes and completed 80 percent of his passes overall to help the Foxes defeat T2 for their fifth consecutive victory.

 

la galaxy ii (1) v reno 1868 fc (2)

CARSON, Calif. – 1868 FC earned its fifth straight win with a road victory over the Galaxy II. The hosts had the first quality chance of the match in the seventh minute when Kai Koreniuk’s curling effort forced a diving save out of Reno goalkeeper Matt Bersano, but it was the visitors that opened the scoring just two minutes later as Daniel Musovski’s shot from outside of the box took a wicked deflection off Los Dos defender Michael Gallagher on its way into the back of the net. Reno nearly doubled its lead just before the half-hour mark as Corey Hertzog’s miscued shot fell perfectly for Gilbert Fuentes, who fired his side-footed effort too close to LA goalkeeper Justin vom Steeg. Los Dos were incredibly unlucky not to tie things up in the 66th minute as the side struck the post twice in a matter of moments. Koreniuk worked himself free down the left wing and beat Bersano with a right-footed shot from a tight angle, only for it to bounce off the inside of the post and agonizingly back to the 1868 FC goalkeeper. Jorge Hernández struck the same post just 49 seconds later, applying a left-footed shot to José Hernández’s layoff at the top of the box for it to bounce back of the base of the iron. Reno doubled its advantage in the 70th minute when Raul Mendiola’s right-wing cross picked out Seth Casiple at the far post and the midfielder headed back across vom Steeg into the bottom-right corner. Koreniuk finally got his goal five minutes later, beating Bersano at his near post with an elevated left-footed finish but it wouldn’t be enough as 1868 FC extended its winning streak to five games.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Seth Casiple, Reno 1868 FC – Casiple scored the game-winning goal, completed 80 percent of his passes and won 4 of 5 duels to help Reno complete a six-point week.

 

orange county sc (0) v san antonio fc (0)

IRVINE, Calif. – San Antonio FC remained a point ahead of Orange County in the West standings after a scoreless draw between the two sides. Both teams had chances to take the lead late in the first half as SAFC winger Billy Forbes fired a free kick just wide of the top-right corner from 25 yards out before his goalkeeper Matt Cardone did well on the other end four minutes later to get a paw out to deny Michael Seaton’s volley from the center of the box. Cardone made another splendid reaction save just after the hour-mark when Darwin Jones rose highest to meet Harry Forrester’s left-wing cross, but saw his header scrambled clear the SAFC goalkeeper. The visitors had a golden opportunity to take the lead with 18 minutes remaining as Jack Barmby sent Frank López clean through on goal and the forward’s effort beat OCSC goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes but rung off the outside off the post. San Antonio thought it had won the game in stoppage time as López curled a shot past Cervantes after Forbes had been dragged down by Leonardo, but referee Lorant Varga halted play to send off the OCSC player and give a free kick outside the area much to the chagrin of the visitors. Barmby’s resulting effort struck the wall as the two sides settled for a share of the spoils.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Matt Cardone, San Antonio FC – Cardone made four saves to earn his third shutout in his last four games as San Antonio settled for a point on the road against Orange County.

 

el paso locomotive fc (0) v real monarchs slc (0)

EL PASO, Texas – The Monarchs’ five-game winning streak came to an end in a scoreless draw with Locomotive FC. El Paso probably should have taken the lead inside the first 65 seconds as Nick Ross expertly played Omar Salgado in behind the Real defense and the forward rounded goalkeeper Andrew Putna but struck the post with his tight-angled shot. Derek Gebhard had another good chance for the home side in the 18th minute when he connected with James Kiffe’s low delivery from the left but couldn’t find the target with his first-time effort. Sebastian Velasquez came close to marking his Locomotive FC debut with a goal against his former club in the 37th minute when Bryam Rebellón found the attacking playmaker in the center of the box, but he blasted a left-footed shot just wide of the target. The Monarchs were desperate for a penalty kick six minutes after halftime when it looked as though Chapa Herrera had handled the ball in his own penalty area, but referee Calin Radosav waved play on. Herrera forced a diving save out of Putna in the 66th minute with a right-footed shot from around 25 yards out and Rebellón’s stoppage-time header was cleared off the line by Monarchs defender Joseph Okumu as the two sides settled for a share of the spoils.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Bryam Rebellón, El Paso Locomotive FC – The El Paso right back won 14 of 17 duels and 4 of 4 tackles, completed 3 of 4 dribbles and made seven recoveries as Locomotive FC preserved a shutout at Southwest University Park.

 

colorado springs switchbacks fc (1) v okc energy fc (0)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Ish Jome scored the game’s only goal to lift the Switchbacks to victory over Energy FC at Weidner Field. The visitors nearly opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Omar Gordon connected with Cordell Cato’s left-wing cross, forcing a save out of Switchbacks goalkeeper Andre Rawls from close range before Jome cleared Deshorn Brown’s header off the line as Energy FC’s leading scorer looked to pounce on the rebound. Jome joined the attack in the 32nd minute and beat Cody Laurendi with a dipping left-footed strike from distance that rattled the crossbar and came back into play. Brown escaped behind the Colorado Springs defense just before halftime, but Rawls was able to get in front of the Jamaican’s volleyed effort and parry it clear. The Switchbacks opened the scoring six minutes after the break when Jome’s right-footed effort from the left edge of the penalty area bounced past Laurendi and into the bottom-right corner to give his side the lead. The hosts had the ball in the back of the net again in the 54th minute when Austin Dewing headed home Shane Malcolm’s right-wing delivery, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Energy FC had a goal ruled out for offside two minutes later when a long-range effort bounced nicely to Brown, who emphatically finished but the Switchbacks had done well to push out of their box. Rawls did well to make a pair of strong saves in quick succession on Brown and Cato just after the hour-mark as Colorado Springs held on for the shutout win despite Abdul Rwatubyaye's late sending off.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Ish Jome, Colorado Springs Swithbacks FC – Jome was a standout performer on both ends for Colorado Springs, scoring the team’s lone goal and making a vital goal-line clearance to deny Energy FC one of its own.

 

rio grande valley fc (2) v sacramento republic fc (1)

EDINBURG, Texas – A late goal from Kyle Adams gave Rio Grande Valley its first ever win against Republic FC at H-E-B Park. Carlos Small nearly gave the hosts the lead in the 13th minute when he outwaited Sacramento goalkeeper Rafael Diaz and fired a shot past the goalkeeper, which was saved off the line by defender Matt Mahoney. Wilmer Cabrera fired wide with a shot two minutes later but the RGVFC midfielder gave his side the lead just after the half-hour mark with an impressive bit of resilience. Eric Bird’s initial shot from the top of the box was spilled by Diaz and Cabrera followed up with a rebound shot off the goalkeeper, another off the post and then finally found the back of the net with a sweeping turn-around effort that evaded Diaz’s grasp. Sacramento was lucky not to go further behind in the first five minutes after the break when Small blazed over after being played in on the right side of the box and Camilo Monroy shot tamely at Diaz in a similar situation on the left. Republic FC got another slice of luck in the 84th minute when Isidro Martinez’s sliding clearance attempt sliced past RGVFC goalkeeper Nicolas Corti and into his own net to tie the game. Corti made a strong diving save to deny Hayden Partain a winner with three minutes remaining and Adams proved to be the hero, bundling home Small’s pullback from close range to secure a historic win for RGVFC.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Wilmer Cabrera, Rio Grande Valley FC – Caberea scored RGVFC’s opening goal, made two key passes and completed 94 percent of his passes overall to lead his side to a 2-1 win at H-E-B Park.

 

Memphis 901 fc (2) v new york red bulls ii (2)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Brandon Allen haunted his former club with two second-half goals to help 901 FC earn a point against the Red Bulls II at AutoZone Park. The visitors nearly took advantage of a turnover in the eight minute when Marcus Epps pickpocketed Dan Metzger near the midfield stripe and carried the ball to the edge of the box, where he forced a diving save from 901 FC goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell with a right-footed effort. The Red Bulls II would score on the second of two resulting corner kicks, with Jordan Scarlett heading home Chris Lema’s delivery from close range after Memphis had failed to clear its lines from the initial service. New York doubled its advantage just before halftime as Jared Stroud somehow fired Kyle Duncan’s right-wing delivery off the foot of the post from close range, but the ball bounced kindly to Vincent Bezecourt for the midfielder to tap home into an empty net. 901 FC cut into the lead just three minutes after the break as Lagos Kunga escaped down the left wing and got to the byline before cutting for Allen to tap home past New York goalkeeper Evan Louro from close range for his first goal for Memphis. The hosts found their equalizer with three minutes remaining in a similar fashion as Wesley Charpie lofted a left-wing cross to Allen, who was left inexplicably alone at the back post to side-foot home as Memphis earned a hard-fought point.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Brandon Allen, Memphis 901 FC – Allen scored twice on four shots against his former club to inspire 901 FC’s second-half rally to earn a point in a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls II.

 

tampa bay rowdies (4) v saint louis fc (1)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Two goals from Sebastián Guenzatti helped the Rowdies earn their first ever victory over Saint Louis at Al Lang Stadium. After lightning in the area had delayed kickoff, the hosts struck first in the 33rd minute when Leo Fernandes shifted past his defender on the left wing and clipped in a cross from the byline for Guenzatti to head past STLFC goalkeeper Tomás Gómez from close range. The Rowdies doubled their advantage just three minutes later as Guenzatti again benefitted from solid service, taking Lucky Mkosana’s pass in the center of the area and pushing it around a defender before firing a right-footed shot into the bottom-right corner. Gómez did well to keep the deficit at two on the hour-mark when the STLFC goalkeeper made a sprawling stop to deny Malik Johnson, who had cut inside from his right wingback position and tried his luck with a right-footed blast. Tampa Bay extended the lead to three with 11 minutes remaining as Shawn Barry laid the ball off to Fernandes on the left edge of the penalty area and the midfielder made no mistake, picking out the bottom-right corner with a left-footed shot. Rowdies goalkeeper John McCarthy did well to keep out a shot from Collin Fernandez in the 85th minute but saw his shutout bid ended two minutes later when Kyle Greig rose up to power home an unstoppable header from Lewis Hilton’s corner kick. Tampa Bay responded in stoppage time to pile the misery on Saint Louis as defender Caleb Richards finished off Guenzatti’s clever flick for his first goal of the season to cap off another strong performance.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Sebastián Guenzatti, Tampa Bay Rowdies – The forward scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, added an assist and made three key passes as the Rowdies extended their unbeaten run to six games.

 

birmingham legion fc (4) v atlanta united 2 (0)

BIRIMINGHAM, Ala. – Legion FC extended its winning streak to two games with the biggest victory in its history over ATL UTD 2 at BBVA Field. The hosts took the lead just five minutes into the contest when left back Kyle Culbertson squared a low pass into the box and Brian Wright bundled the ball home with a pair of ATL UTD 2 defenders surrounding him. J.J. Williams had the ball in the back of the net for Birmingham again in the 25th minute after finishing Daigo Kobayashi’s through ball past goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira, but the goal was ruled off for offside. However, the home side eventually doubled its lead with six minutes remaining in the first half, as Mathieu Laurent headed home Kobayashi’s corner kick at the back post after Castanheira had come out to claim and missed the ball. Williams probably should have grabbed a third goal eight minutes after the break, but he fired Daniel Johnson’s perfect cutback over the crossbar. ATL UTD 2 had a chance to pull a goal back from a corner kick of its own in the 56th minute when the delivery landed right at the feet of Jackson Conway, but the forward’s show was well saved by the legs of Legion FC goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel. Birmingham put the game away for good in the 89th minute when Johnson shifted past a pair of ATL UTD 2 defenders and produced a side-footed finish past Castanheira before Prosper Kasim added a penalty late in stoppage time to cap off a convincing home win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Daniel Johnson, Birmingham Legion FC – Johnson scored a goal, completed 83 percent of his passes and 7 of 8 dribbles, while winning 12 of 16 duels as Legion FC earned the biggest win in its history.

 

pittsburgh riverhounds sc (1) v north carolina fc (0)

PITTSBURGH – The Hounds outlasted a weather delay to beat North Carolina at Highmark Stadium. Steevan Dos Santos probably should have headed the hosts into the lead in the 25th minute when he rose highest to meet Robbie Mertz’s left-wing cross in the center of the box, but the forward directed his effort narrowly wide of the bottom-right corner. However, Pittsburgh took the lead just two minutes later with a precise route one goal that saw Neco Brett hold up a headed flick from a Kyle Morton goal kick, before laying the ball off for Mertz to fire past NCFC goalkeeper Alex Tambakis with a left-footed shot. The Hounds nearly doubled their lead right before halftime as Mertz did really well to win the ball on the left wing and pick out a cross for Kevin Kerr, who arrived just in time but headed over the crossbar. Mertz probably should have doubled his tally just after the hour-mark when Brett found him in space again by the penalty spot, but the midfielder fired his right-footed shot over the crossbar with Tambakis rooted to his line. The NCFC goalkeeper did well to just get his fingertips to a low shot from Christian Volesky four minutes later as Pittsburgh pushed to add a second. After a brief weather delay, the Hounds looked likely to get their insurance goal from the penalty spot after NCFC’s Viktor Igbekoyi knocked over Kenardo Forbes in the box with three minutes remaining. Forbes stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and saw his effort towards the left corner saved by a sprawling Tambakis, but it wouldn’t matter as Pittsburgh held on late to see out the win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Alex Tambakis, North Carolina FC – Tambakis made seven saves – including one from the penalty spot – to keep his side in the game as North Carolina suffered a 1-0 defeat to Pittsburgh at Highmark Stadium.

 

Ottawa fury fc (4) v swope park rangers (0)

OTTAWA – Four different goalscorers propelled Fury FC to a comfortable victory over the Rangers at TD Place. After a slow opening half hour that saw Wal Fall come close to giving the hosts the lead with a right-footed effort from 30 yards out, Fury FC scored twice in a three-minute span late in the first half to break the game open. Kévin Oliveira played a nifty give-and-go with Fall on the left wing and the forward’s finish found its way past Rangers goalkeeper John Pulskamp to open the scoring in the 39th minute. Ottawa doubled that advantage two minutes later when Carl Haworth worked a yard of space on the right wing and found Christiano François, who turned around his defender and beat Pulskamp at his near post with a low left-footed effort. The hosts started the second half just as they ended the first as Fall converted a penalty kick three minutes after the break, firing his effort right down the middle after Rangers defender Camden Riley fouled Haworth in the area. Fury FC’s captain joined in on the act nine minutes later, skipping past a pair of defenders before striking a venomous volley with the outside of his right boot to extend the lead to four. Pulskamp made a great low save to deny François his second goal of the night late in stoppage time, but it wouldn’t matter as Ottawa cruised to victory.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Carl Haworth, Ottawa Fury FC – Haworth scored a goal and added an assist while winning 14 of 17 duels and making 4 of 7 tackles and five recoveries in an impressive all-around display for Fury FC.

 

louisville city fc (0) v bethlehem steel fc (1)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Tomás Romero made 12 saves to help Steel FC withstand a barrage of Louisville shots and hold on for a shutout victory at Slugger Field. The hosts fired a warning sign to Bethlehem in the 15th minute as Sunny Jane tried his luck with a left-footed shot from the top of the box that just flew wide of Romero’s goal. Speedy Williams beat the Steel FC backline with a long ball over the top to Antoine Hoppenot nine minutes later, but the forward didn’t bring it down clearly and his eventual sliding effort just missed the bottom-left corner. Bethlehem benefitted from a miscontrol by Oscar Jimenez to take the lead in the 26th minute as Wálter Cortés picked up the loose ball from what should have been a clean interception and fired an unstoppable left-footed drive into the top-left corner from 20 yards out. Louisville came close to finding an equalizer with two efforts before the break as Brian Ownby just missed the target with a long-range right-footed shot in the 34th minute and Magnus Rasmussen saw his low effort stopped by a diving Romero a minute later as the hosts ramped up the pressure. The Bethlehem goalkeeper made a pair of splendid saves in the opening 11 minutes of the second half as he showed off his athleticism to deny a back-post header from Ownby and then made himself big to shut down a one-one-one chance against the forward moments later. Louisville came close again just after the hour-mark as Niall McCabe blasted a right-footed shot just over from the right side of the box after a short corner routine and Romero somehow pushed Paco Craig’s close-range header onto the post and out after he rose highest to meet Jimenez’s 66th-minute free kick. The hosts created another great chance to equalize with nine minutes remaining as Luke Spencer flicked a headed pass to Abdou Mbacke Thiam, but Romero came off his line brilliantly to shut down the forward’s left-footed shot. The substitute forward had another pair of chances late on, heading McCabe’s delivery just wide in the 86th minute and again in stoppage time from a set piece, as Romero and Steel FC held on for an impressive road win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Tomás Romero, Bethlehem Steel FC – Romero made 12 saves to earn a shutout in a standout performance between the sticks in Bethlehem’s 1-0 victory at Slugger Field.

 

indy eleven (2) v loudoun united fc (0)

INDIANAPOLIS – Thomas Enevoldsen’s late strike saw the Eleven earn a shutout win over United. The home side looked the more dangerous side in the first half as Ayoze carved out the game’s first quality chance in the 11th minute, cutting in from the right and firing a long-range effort just over Earl Edwards Jr.’s crossbar with his favored left foot. The Loudoun goalkeeper was called into action just before the half-hour mark when Tyler Gibson laid a pass off to Enevoldsen on the left edge of the box, but the forward’s left-footed effort was kept out with a nifty diving save. Enevoldsen had a great chance to open the scoring 12 minutes after halftime when Paddy Barrett’s headed pass played him in behind the Loudoun defense, but he sent his shot straight at Edwards Jr. from the right corner of the six-yard box. The visitors almost made the most of a set piece five minutes later when Peabo Doue rose highest to meet Carlos Alvarez’s corner kick, but his flashing header sailed just over Evan Newton’s crossbar. The Eleven pushed on for a winner as Dane Kelly broke behind the Loudoun defense in the 75th minute only to be shut down by an onrushing Edwards Jr., but Indy finally got its reward six minutes later when Kelly set up Enevoldsen to bundle home from close range. The hosts doubled their lead in stoppage time as Ayoze’s clipped pass sent Pasher clean through and the midfielder made no mistake with a finish through the legs of Edwards Jr. to secure the three points.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Tyler Pasher, Indy Eleven – Pasher scored Indy’s insurance goal in stoppage time, won 9 of 13 duels and made four recoveries in a strong all-around performance for the Eleven.

 

hartford athletic (2) v charleston battery (3)

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Battery battled back to earn a come-from-behind victory over the Athletic. The excessive heat played a part in a slow first half that didn’t see many clear-cut chances until Hartford’s José Angulo flashed a left-footed drive from beyond 25 yards out just wide of the target in the 37th minute. The Battery opened the scoring three minutes later from a free kick as Zeiko Lewis curled a precise effort into the bottom-left corner after Vincenzo Candela had been brought down by Hartford’s Alex Davey on the edge of the penalty area. The hosts found their equalizer 12 minutes after halftime as Angulo’s long-range effort was parried back into traffic by Kuzminsky and Wojciech Wojcik blasted home the rebound for his second goal of the season. Ataulla Guerra tried his luck with a left-footed shot from just outside the box three minutes later that was spilled by Frederik Due, but the Athletic goalkeeper pounced on the rebound before a Charleston player could follow up. Moments after being introduced as a 64th-minute substitute, Mads Jorgensen powered Hartford into the lead with a thunderous right-footed effort from 30 yards out that flew past Kuzminsky into the top-right corner. Due did well to deny Guerra from a tight angle to preserve the lead two minutes later and Danny Barrera nearly added a third for the Athletic in the 70th minute but just dragged his left-footed shot wide of the post. But Charleston turned it around with two goals in a two-minute span as Leland Archer settled a corner kick in the box and set up Guerra to equalize with a right-footed shot in the 79th minute before Dante Marini beat Due with a tight-angled drive 92 seconds later to restore the visitors’ advantage. Kuzminsky produced a spectacular left-handed stop to deny Wojcik’s header from the center of the box with four minutes remaining as Hartford fell a goal short for the second time this week.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Ataullah Guerra, Charleston Battery – Guerra scored his first goal of the season, completed 86 percent of his passes and won 4 of 8 duels to help the Battery earn a comeback win in Hartford.

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