skip navigation

Gameday Report: October 5, Week 31

By, 10/05/19, 9:38PM EDT


Orange County, Sacramento book playoff places; Rasmussen, Louisville claim Kings’ Cup

Orange County SC and Sacramento Republic FC both clinched their places in the USL Championship Playoffs with victories on Saturday night, while Louisville City FC earned the Kings’ Cup with victory against Saint Louis FC, and Las Vegas Lights FC kept its playoff hopes alive with victory against San Antonio FC in Saturday night’s action in the USL Championship.



LAS VEGAS – Lights FC kept its playoff hopes alive, and put a dent in those of San Antonio, with victory at Cashman Field. Las Vegas took the lead in the eighth minute when Irvin Parra reacted perfectly as a cross deflected to him in the penalty area and headed the ball just over the line before it could be cleared, but two minutes later SAFC hit back as Brian Gomez pulled off a clever move to beat his defender and shoot low into the left corner of the net. The hosts regained the lead in the 22nd minute when a deflected shot from outside the penalty area fell kindly to Preston Tabor Etaka to finish at the top of the six-yard area. Las Vegas almost added to its lead the lead four minutes before halftime when SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone made a good save on Tabor Etaka from 20 yards before Parra slid a follow-up finish across the face of goal, while Lights FC goalkeeper Thomas Olsen made a big one-handed save to keep out a header by Frank Lopez in first-half stoppage time. Before the halftime whistle could blow, however, Parra had his second of the night as he fired home a low finish to the bottom-left corner off a cross from the right by Kevin Garcia-Lopez. San Antonio almost pulled a goal back in the 61st minute when Rafael Castillo’s volleyed finish was parried away by Olsen, while Las Vegas’ Bryan de la Fuente shot just wide of the left post a couple of minutes later. SAFC’s Frank Lopez pulled a goal back with 20 minutes to go from the penalty spot after he had been brought down in the area, but the visitors couldn’t find an equalizer in the closing stages and Lopez was sent off after squaring off with Parra after a hard foul in stoppage time. Las Vegas then sealed victory as Cristian Martinez picked out the bottom-left corner to keep their playoff hopes alive. Man of the Match

Irvin Parra, Las Vegas Lights FC – Parra scored twice, had two key passes and completed 26 of 34 passes to help lead the hosts to victory.



FRESNO, Calif. – Tacoma Defiance took its first road victory of the season at Chukchansi Park to run the Foxes’ losing streak to three games. Fresno carried the early play and forward Jaime Chavez was twice denied by Tacoma goalkeeper Trey Muse inside the opening half-hour, first doing enough to take the steam off Chavez’s shot as he try to outmuscle his defender and then catching cleanly on a well-hit finish by Chavez from the edge of the penalty area. The Defiance then took in the 31st minute as Justin Dhillon won a one-on-one battle in the penalty area for a ball sent forward, and then shook another defender with a stepover move before firing low into the left corner of the net. Fresno’s Zach Ellis-Hayden almost equalized in the 51st minute with a shot that hit the crossbar, inches away from picking the top-left corner, while three minutes later Tacoma’s Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez forced a good save by Fresno goalkeeper CJ Cochran. In the 64th minute the Defiance doubled their lead as a deep cross by Danny Leyva was headed back across goal by Ocampo-Chavez to set up a simple finish for Dhillon inside the six-yard area. Dhillon then played provider on Tacoma’s third as he got in behind the Fresno defense on the left and cut back a low cross for Ocampo-Chavez to rifle a first-time finish into the left corner of the net four minutes later, and with 15 minutes to go the Defiance made it four as Leyva sent a low finish to the right corner from the top of the penalty area. Fresno pulled a goal back with seven minutes to go as Christian Chaney headed in a corner kick from the left by Juan Pablo Caffa, but despite late efforts by Alex Cooper and Qudus Lawal there was to be no comeback for the Foxes as Tacoma claimed all three points. Man of the Match

Justin Dhillon, Tacoma Defiance – Dhillon had two goals and one assist and had four shots and three chances created on the night as he linked up beautifully with Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Danny Leyva.



PORTLAND, Ore. – Rising FC became the first side to have three players with 15 goals apiece in a regular season in a wild victory against T2 at Providence Park. Phoenix took the lead after only four minutes when Kevon Lambert slid home a finish at the back post after a low cross from the left by Kyle Bjornethun, but Portland answered in the 24th minute when Gio Calixtro cleaned up the rebound after a low cross from the left popped loose just outside the six-yard area. Rising FC’s Ben Spencer restored the lead for the visitors 10 minutes before halftime, finishing from close range as Phoenix’s Solomon Asante tied the Championship’s single-season record with his 16th assist on a low cross from the right, and nine minutes into the second half Junior Flemmings joined Asante and Adam Jahn in reaching the 15-goal mark for the season with a well-taken finish on a counterattack that saw Jose Aguinaga send the Jamaican through for a one-on-one chance. Flemmings was at the center of the action again in the 66th minute as he was pulled back on a breakaway by T2’s Adrian Diz Pe, who was sent off for denial of a goalscoring opportunity, and shortly after Spencer looked to have wrapped up the game with his second goal of the night on a first-time finish off an assist by Aguinaga. Portland rallied, however, as Brayan Hurtado beat Phoenix’s offside trap and lifted his finish past Rising FC goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski to make it a two-goal game. Things got even stranger when Phoenix defender Austin Ledbetter made a poor pass back to his goalkeeper that ended up in the back of the net to make it 4-3 to Phoenix with 14 minutes to go, but in the 88th minute, Aguinaga added a goal to his earlier two assists with a curling shot the right corner of the net that finally put the game away for the visitors. Man of the Match

Ben Spencer, Phoenix Rising FC – Spencer scored a pair of goals, completed 26 of 30 passes and won 3 of 5 duels in a very good attacking display.



IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County continued its bid for a top-four finish with a comprehensive victory against Energy FC at Championship Soccer Stadium. Both Michael Seaton and Walker Hume had headed chances for Orange County in the first 10 minutes that missed the target, while just before the half-hour mark Darwin Jones also had a shot deflect just wide for the hosts. Jones forced a save from OKC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi five minutes before halftime after a good lifted ball over the top by Kevin Alston, but two minutes before the break OKC’s Kyle Hyland was sent off for his second yellow card and the visitors were reduced to 10 men. OCSC took advantage eight minutes into the second half as Harry Forrester beat a pair of defenders and then curled a finish to the left corner of the net with the outside of his right foot, and a minute later Seaton almost doubled the lead after he stole possession in the attacking third and fired a shot that Laurendi parried away. Orange County doubled its lead with 15 minutes to go, however, as Joe Amico took on a deflected pass as he cut in from the right and sent a left-footed finish into the bottom-right corner. The hosts almost added a third with nine minutes to go as Seaton’s header was turned away by Laurendi, but the visitors never seriously posed a threat to come back as they failed to record an official shot for the contest. Man of the Match

Harry Forrester, Orange County SC – Forrester scored the opening goal with a fine finish, had three shots overall and won 9 of 14 duels while completing 39 of 48 passes.



ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – United and the Toros exchanged goals late in the first half in front of more than 11,000 fans at Isotopes Park. Rio Grande Valley had a big chance to open the scoring in the seventh minute when Michael Salazar’s shot from the top of the penalty area was tipped over the crossbar by New Mexico goalkeeper Cody Mizell, and the visitors had another chance after a giveaway in the New Mexico half only for Carlos Small to send his finish wide of the left post as he moved in one-on-one with the goalkeeper. New Mexico’s first real chance came in the 28th minute when Chris Wehan flashed a free kick from 20 yards just over the crossbar, but five minutes before halftime the Toros took the lead from the penalty spot as Small converted after Kevin Rodriguez was brought down on a counterattack. United hit back before halftime, however, as Sam Hamilton stooped to head home a cross from the right by Manny Padilla, and the hosts almost took the lead in the 61st minute as a free kick by Wehan from the right was headed just wide of the left post by David Estrada. The Toros continued to be dangerous, though, and Jesus Enriquez shot just over the top-left corner of the net from 25 yards in the 64th minute before Isidro Martinez curled a free kick high a couple of minutes later. New Mexico’s Kevaughn Frater almost put the hosts ahead with 18 minutes to go when his shot from the left side of the penalty area hit the right post and caromed away to safety, but the Toros hit the woodwork as well in the 89th minute when Juan Carlos Obregón Jr rang the crossbar with a free kick. Honors ended even, however, as New Mexico continued to edge toward a place in the postseason. Man of the Match

Sam Hamilton, New Mexico United – Hamilton scored the equalizer for the hosts, completed 63 of 74 passes, went 4 of 4 on tackles and made eight recoveries in the center of midfield.



RENO, Nev. – United States U-23 international JT Marcinkowski recorded a nine-save shutout to earn 1868 FC a point against Locomotive FC at Greater Nevada Field. El Paso had an early long-range chance through Omar Salgado, whose effort was comfortably claimed by Marcinkowski, and Salgado again tested the shot-stopper in the sixth minute with a shot from 20 yards to the left corner that was parried away. Locomotive FC continued with the early pressure as Reno’s first look on goal didn’t arrive until the 12th minute when Lindo Mfeka shot just wide of the right post from 20 yards. A minute later, 1868 FC’s Corey Hertzog cut past his defender and fired a low shot that was saved by El Paso goalkeeper Logan Ketterer, while in the 16th minute the visitors again went close when Alexy Bosetti’s effort from 25 yards clipped the outside of the left post. Hertzog went close again for Reno in the 19th minute with a header that went just wide of the right post, while Bosetti was denied by a one-handed save by Marcinkowski in the 33rd minute that turned his effort wide of the right post. Reno had the first good chance in the second half as Eric Calvillo arrived late to fire a shot that Ketterer parried away, while El Paso’s Drew Beckie made a crucial goal-line clearance a few minutes later as the ball appeared to carom goalward off one of his teammates after an aerial challenge off a corner from the left. Marcinkowski was called on again to deny Bosetti in the 57th minute on a curling shot directed to the right corner, and nine minutes later a snap-shot by Josue Gomez from the left side of the penalty area was also pushed away. Reno’s Danny Musovski headed just wide of the right post in the 68th minute as the hosts threatened again, while Sebastian Velasquez went close for the visitors three minutes later with a low shot that went just wide of the right post. Neither side found a breakthrough in the closing stages, however, to leave both playoff contenders with a point. Man of the Match

JT Marcinkowski, Reno 1868 FC – Marcinkowski made crucial saves in either half as part of his nine-save shutout to earn 1868 FC a valuable home point.



BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Battery held on for a point after playing more than 30 minutes down to 10 men against Legion FC at BBVA Field. Birmingham opened brightly and Mikey Lopez had the first good shot of the game in the fifth minute as he hit a first-time effort that was parried aside by Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky. Legion FC’s JJ Williams headed just over from the ensuing corner kick, while Zeiko Lewis went close for the Battery on a counterattack in the 10th minute that went just wide of the left post. The Battery went close again nine minutes before halftime when Jarad van Schaik’s free kick from the right found Kyle Nelson for a flicked header that went just wide of the left post, while Birmingham’s Prosper Kasim had a low shot saved by Kuzminsky shortly before the break. The game then went into a one-hour delay due to lightning, and when the teams returned the Battery were reduced to 10 men when Ataulla Guerra was sent off after a hard foul on Legion FC’s Zach Herivaux with just over half-an-hour to go. The hosts tried to take advantage as Kasim had a low turning shot saved by Kuzminsky with 18 minutes remaining, while Kyle Fisher headed a corner kick from the left by Eric Avila wide of the right post. Fisher then made a crucial intervention as Charleston’s Nicque Daley turned his initial marker but had his shot blocked by the covering Fisher in the 76th minute. Birmingham almost grabbed victory in the 89th minute when Lopez sent a free header just over the crossbar from close range off a corner from the right by Kyle Culbertson, but Charleston held as the playoff race continued to hang in the balance. Man of the Match

Joe Kuzminsky, Charleston Battery – Kusminsky recorded a four-save shutout to earn his side a point on the road, setting up a big three-game homestand for the Battery.



FENTON, Mo. – Magnus Rasmussen ensured the Kings’ Cup would go to LouCity as his first-half goal lifted the visitors to victory against STLFC at West Community Stadium. Louisville took the lead in the 12th minute as Rasmussen and Napo Matsoso exchanged passes at the top of the penalty area before Rasmussen fired a low shot into the right corner from 20 yards. Saint Louis had a pair of chances before the half-hour mark to reply only for Bradley Kamdem Fewo to lash wide of the near post with a shot from the left side of the penalty area in the 24th minute and Tyler Blackwood to have a low shot saved by LouCity goalkeeper Chris Hubbard five minutes later, but in the 32nd minute Louisville almost doubled its lead as an angled cross by Rasmussen found Sean Totsch for a header that clipped the top of the crossbar and behind. The visitors threatened again just before halftime as Brian Ownby got in behind the defense on a counterattack but was thwarted by STLFC goalkeeper Tomas Gomez, and seven minutes into the second half Niall McCabe was off-target with a free kick as he looked to curl a shot to the top-right corner. Ownby also curled a shot just wide of the top-left corner in the 57th minute, and 10 minutes later Saint Louis’ Kyle Greig couldn’t redirect his finish at the near post on target after a cross from the left by Kamdem Fewo. STLFC’s best chance of the night with 14 minutes to go as Blackwood rose to head a cross by Masta Kacher from the left back toward the bottom-left corner of the net, only for Hubbard to make a spectacular one-handed save to turn the chance aside, but when Guy Abend’s stoppage-time header was saved by Hubbard it proved the last chance for the hosts as Louisville took all three points. Man of the Match

Magnus Rasmussen, Louisville City FC – Rasmussen scored the only goal of the game, had two shots and two key passes and completed 39 of 48 passes to earn LouCity victory against its rivals.



TULSA, Okla. – Republic FC let a two-goal lead slip before Cameron Iwasa’s 14th goal of the season lifted the visitors to victory against the Roughnecks at ONEOK Field. The first big chance came to the visitors as Villyan Bijev released Sam Werner into the right channel on a breakaway, and his low shot was turned wide at the near post by Roughnecks goalkeeper Sean Lewis. Republic FC took the lead two minutes later, however, as a defensive misjudgement on a ball upfield by Dekel Keinan allowed Vijev to gain possession in the left side of the penalty and finish low into the opposite corner. Sacramento threatened again as Thomas Enevoldsen had a low shot saved by Lewis in the 18th minute, but the Danish forward doubled Republic FC’s advantage a minute later with a first-time finish off Drew Skundrich’s pass into the top of the penalty area that picked out the right corner of the net. The Roughnecks pulled a goal back in the 31st minute when Rodrigo Da Costa’s free kick from the right was flicked into the left corner of the net by Marlon, and Da Costa played provider again five minutes before halftime as his long, angled ball into the penalty area was headed into the right corner by Janu Silva. Sacramento almost regained the lead three minutes into the second half after a deflection sent the ball to Bijev, but his finish hit the crossbar with the net open. Republic FC regained the lead in the 59th minute, however, as a looping header back into the penalty area by Enevoldsen fell to an unmarked Iwasa, who tucked home his finish from close range. Tulsa almost hit back seven minutes later when Matt Sheldon’s cross from the right was headed over the bar at close range by Silva, while Christian Altamirano forced a good save by Republic FC goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth after beating his marker and creating space for a shot just inside the penalty area. The Roughnecks continued to push for an equalizer late, but the visitors were able to hold on and take a valuable three points. Man of the Match

Thomas Enevoldsen, Sacramento Republic FC – Enevoldsen had a goal and assist, took five shots and had two key passes overall to lead Sacramento to a crucial road victory.



COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Switchbacks put a dent in the Galaxy II’s playoff hopes with a victory at Weidner Field. Los Dos almost took the lead in just the third minute after a well-worked short corner freed up Jose Hernandez for a close-range chance on the left side of the penalty area that Switchbacks goalkeeper Andre Rawls just got a piece of to turn wide. The Switchbacks had a big chance in the eighth minute as a blocked shot by Ish Jome fell to Jordan Schweitzer eight yards out, but he lifted his finish over the crossbar, and that was followed by another big save by Rawls, who turned Kai Koreniuk’s shot from the left side of the penalty area onto the crossbar to deny the visitors the lead. The Switchbacks almost took the lead in the 20th minute only for Matt Hundley’s effort after a shot by Jordan Burt caromed to him to go wide of the right post, but Hundley made amends eight minutes later as he finished off a move down the right side that saw Malcolm’s low cross elude Saeed Robinson at the top of the six-yard area but come through to Hundley for the finish. Hernandez almost hit back immediately for Los Dos, only for Rawls to come off his line and keep out the chance, but Colorado Springs doubled its lead five minutes before halftime as Robinson gathered the rebound after his initial shot was saved by Galaxy II goalkeeper Eric Lopez and fired a shot off the underside of the crossbar and in. LA had a chance to pull a goal back in the 66th minute when Mohammed Kamara got into the right side of the penalty area only to have his shot turned into the side netting from a tight angle by Rawls, but the visitors weren’t able to find a way back into the contest as the Switchbacks closed out the victory. Man of the Match

Andre Rawls, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Rawls recorded a five-save shutout, including a pair of crucial point-blank stops, that helped the Switchbacks secure all three points.



CARY, N.C. – Goals in either half saw North Carolina take victory against the Red Bulls II to complete a season sweep of the series between the sides at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Red Bulls II had the first big chance in the second minute as a cutback from the right by Vincent Bezecourt found Jared Stroud for a first-time shot that was parried away by NCFC goalkeeper Alex Tambakis. North Carolina took the lead four minutes later, however, as Manny Perez was fouled in the penalty area. Donovan Ewolo had his initial shot from the spot saved by New York’s Evan Louro, but followed up to score on the rebound. The Red Bulls II almost found an equalizer in the 21st minute when Tom Barlow set up Mathias Jorgensen, but the Danish forward sent his finish just wide of the right post. New York continued to pressure as the half wore on, but NCFC almost doubled its lead in first-half stoppage time when Ben Speas found space for a shot off Robbie Kristo’s knockdown header that was denied by Louro. The hosts had another chance three minutes after the break as Kristo’s header was palmed away by Louro, but Kristo found the net in the 50th minute as he scored from close range on a cutback from the right by Nazmi Albadawi. Kristo almost had a second on a breakaway in the 63rd minute, only for Louro to smother his effort, while Barlow hit the right post for New York in the 73rd minute on a turning shot that had Tambakis gratefully fall on the rebound. Stroud again was denied by Tambakis with 15 minutes to go with a fine fingertip save on a shot the bottom-right corner of the net, but the visitors were unable to find a breakthrough as North Carolina secured its place in the playoffs. Man of the Match

Alex Tambakis, North Carolina FC – Tambakis recorded a six-save shutout to keep the visitors off the board in a contest that saw New York outshoot NCFC 25-14.



PITTSBURGH – Wesly Decas scored in the 87th minute to earn Atlanta a point on the road against the Hounds at Highmark Stadium and extend its undefeated streak to six games. Pittsburgh had the first good look of the game in the fifth minute as a corner from the left caromed in the penalty area and set up for Neco Brett, who sent a first-time effort over the crossbar, and the Hounds threatened from another set piece in the 20th minute when Kenardo Forbes’ deliver found Joe Greenspan, whose header looped onto the roof of the net. The Hounds took the lead on the stroke of halftime, however, as Neco Brett converted from the penalty spot for his 12th goal of the season after being brought down in the penalty area. Atlanta almost hit back seven minutes into the second half when Luiz Fernando hit a looping shot just over the crossbar from the top of the penalty area, and the visitors hit the woodwork with 14 minutes to go when George Campbell’s header off a free kick by Mikey Ambrose skimmed the top of the crossbar and went behind. With three minutes to go, however, Ambrose’s delivery on another free kick from the left found Decas, and his header found the right corner of the net for the equalizer. Pittsburgh pushed late to try and grab a winner, but Greenspan’s last-gasp chance went over the crossbar and left honors even. Man of the Match

George Campbell, ATL UTD 2 – Campbell completed 69 of 78 passes, won 11 of 14 duels and almost scored as he hit the crossbar with his lone shot of the game as the visitors earned a point.



INDIANAPOLIS – Back on home turf, the Eleven broke a four-game losing streak with victory against 901 FC at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indy had the better of the early going and Dane Kelly almost gave the hosts the lead in the 10th minute as he ran onto a through-ball by Kenney Walker, cut past a defender but had his low shot saved by Memphis goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell. The hosts struck three minutes later, however, as a corner kick from the left by Walker was flicked on at the near post by Kelly and headed in at the back post by Cristian Novoa. 901 FC’s first real look on goal came in the 18th minute as a curling effort from 25 yards by Marcus Epps was claimed by Indy goalkeeper Jordan Farr, but the Eleven doubled their lead four minutes later when Ayoze created an angle on the right with a short corner and then delivered a cross that was flicked home by Karl Ouimette. Memphis threatened again in the 27th minute when Pierre Da Silva’s well-hit shot from 20 yards was parried wide of the left post by Farr, while Novoa almost notched his second goal of the game off a cross by Drew Conner six minutes later and Kelly headed wide of the right post a minute later. Kelly also had a chance in first-half stoppage time to add to Indy’s lead, but couldn’t find the target as 901 FC defender Liam Doyle pressured. Memphis almost pulled a goal back in the 61st minute as Epps fired a low shot to the right corner that Farr got down to turn aside, but Indy effectively put the game away with 13 minutes to go when Tyler Pasher got onto a ball over the top by Paddy Barrett in the right side of the penalty area and shot low into the left corner. Man of the Match

Karl Ouimette, Indy Eleven – Ouimette scored once and helped the hosts record a shutout as he won 12 of 16 duels, 7 of 8 aerials and recorded four clearances. 



HARTFORD, Conn. – Wilson Harris scored deep in second-half stoppage time as the Rangers rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a point against the Athletic at Dillon Stadium. Swope Park had the first good look on goal in the 18th minute when Ze Pedro found space on the top-left edge of the penalty area and sent a shot just wide of the right post, while Hartford’s Sebastian Dalgaard first a near-post shot from the left seven minutes later that Rangers goalkeeper John Pulskamp turned wide of the upright. Pulskamp was forced into another good save 10 minutes before halftime as a turnover created a chance for Hartford’s Jose Angulo, whose curling finish to the left corner was denied, while Dalgaard was also kept out with a curling shot to the far corner from the left side of the penalty area six minutes before the break. Dalgaard went close again seven minutes into the second half with a half-volley from 25 yards that clipped the top of the crossbar and went behind, but Hartford took the lead in the 57th minute when a quick move upfield saw Angulo release Harry Swartz into the right side of the penalty area, and his low cross was tucked away by Ryan Williams. The Athletic doubled their advantage five minutes later as Swartz cut in from the right and found Danny Barrera in space, and the veteran midfielder curled a shot into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards, but the Rangers hit back in the 67th minute as they stole possession in the attacking third before Ze Pedro set up Ayyoub Allach for a simple first-time finish. Swope Park went close to an equalizer with 10 minutes to go when Wan Kuzain flashed a shot just wide of the left post from 20 yards, and Hartford goalkeeper Cody Cropper had to make a big save in the 87th minute after a corner redirected on goal off Sem de Wit in the six-yard area. IN the seventh minutes of stoppage time, however, the equalizer arrived as Wilson intercepted a pass back to Cropper, rounded the goalkeeper and finished from an acute angle before two sliding Athletic defenders could keep it from crossing the line. Man of the Match

Harry Swartz, Hartford Athletic – Swartz provided the assists on both of Hartford’s goals and had five chances created overall to put his side in position to win before Swope Park rallied late.

Follow the USL Championship

Most Recent News

Most Read News

Latest Videos