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Gameday Report: October 12, Week 32

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 10/12/19, 4:00PM EDT

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Monarchs hand Rising FC first home loss, maintain grip on fourth; LouCity nets eight in Slugger Field send-off; Hounds, NSC ensure top-two finishes

Real Monarchs SLC boosted its chances of a fourth-place finish and claimed the inaugural edition of the Four Corners Cup by handing Phoenix Rising FC its first home defeat of the season on Saturday night at Casino Arizona Field. Elsewhere in the Western Conference, Orange County SC scored a 3-2 comeback victory over California rival Sacramento Republic FC to leapfrog the side into fifth place. Meanwhile, Reno 1868 FC claimed the Silver State Cup with a 2-0 victory over rival Las Vegas Lights FC at Cashman Field and moved into second place in standings as Fresno FC settled for a 2-2 draw with the playoff hopeful LA Galaxy II.

In the East, Louisville City FC rattled off eight unanswered goals to defeat the Swope Park Rangers 8-3 in the final regular-season game at Slugger Field to set a new club record for goals in a league game and secure a top-six finish in the Eastern Conference. Elsewhere in the East, Nashville SC clinched a top-two finish after defeating North Carolina FC 2-0 at Nissan Stadium and getting help from Indy Eleven, which maintained pole position for a top-four finish after coming back to earn a 1-1 draw with the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium. However, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC still sits atop the conference heading into the final week of the season as it secured a club record 18th regular-season victory by a 1-0 scoreline against playoff hopeful Saint Louis FC.

 

sacramento republic fc (2) v orange county sc (3)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Orange County climbed back to fifth place in the Western Conference with a comeback victory over California rival Republic FC at Papa Murphy’s Park. The hosts got off to the perfect start in the sixth minute when Thomas Enevoldsen played Cameron Iwasa in behind the Orange County defense and the forward did the rest, rounding goalkeeper Frederik Due before firing into the empty net. Orange County needed just 10 minutes to find a response as the visitors converted on a corner kick with Walker Hume heading Harry Forrester’s delivery on frame and Darwin Jones popping up to tap home the rebound after a splendid initial save by Republic FC goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. The visitors continued their positive momentum in the 26th minute when Vinicius headed home Michael Orozco’s overhead pass from the center of the box to give Orange County the lead. Due did his part to keep that lead intact seven minutes later when he denied Sam Werner on a one-on-one opportunity after Drew Skundrich had split the OCSC defense open with a glorious through ball. Sacramento started the second half the stronger of the two sides and got its equalizer in the 64th minute as Iwasa doubled his tally for the game with a sliding finish from close range after a goalmouth scramble. Mitchell Taintor came close to giving Republic FC the lead with a diving header 73rd minute and had the ball in the ball in the back of the net four minutes later from a Keven Aleman free kick, but was the defender was ruled to be in an offside position. Orange County took advantage of its good fortune moments later, capitalizing off a corner kick on the other end as the ball dropped to Orozco inside the six-yard box and the defender provided a sliding finish to help his side to a massive road win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Michael Orozco, Orange County SC – Orozco scored the game-winning goal, added an assist, while also making five clearances and winning 3 of 5 duels defensively in a solid two-way performance for Orange County.

 

phoenix rising fc (1) v real monarchs slc (2)

PHOENIX – A 93rd-minute goal from Kyle Coffee saw the Monarchs capture the Four Corners Cup in dramatic fashion and hand Rising FC its first home loss of the season. The visitors applied the early pressure as Luis Arriaga saw his deflected effort from outside the box strike the post after a wicked deflection in eighth minute and Kyle Coffee forced a diving stop out of Phoenix goalkeeper Zac Lubin from a similar area seven minutes later. Rising FC looked to get a grip on the game and nearly opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Solomon Asante’s right-wing cross reached Joey Calistri at the back post, but the forward’s first-time side-foot finish from a narrow angle caromed back into play off the post. Asante tried his luck with a dipping long-range effort in the 38th minute that caused Real goalkeeper Andrew Putna some problems, but he managed to make a sprawling save to keep the game scoreless heading into the break. Putna made another splendid diving save to deny Calistri’s left-footed shot from the top of the box in the 68th minute and his side went on to take the lead from the penalty spot six minutes later as Monarchs substitute Maikel Chang converted with essentially his first touch after Julian Vázquez had been fouled in the box by Rising FC defender Amadou Dia. Phoenix found a response with eight minutes remaining as Adam Jahn flicked Mustapha Dumbuya’s cross over Putna to Ben Spencer, who couldn’t miss his backpost header from three yards out. Lubin did well to tip Chang’s left-footed free kick over the crossbar in the 87th minute and was at full stretch again three minutes later to keep out Tate Schmitt’s left-footed volley from distance. However, the Phoenix goalkeeper was certainly at fault for the Monarchs’ winner in the 93rd minute as he fumbled Jack Blake’s free-kick delivery, allowing Coffee to head home from close range and give his side all three points.   

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Andrew Putna, Real Monarchs SLC – Putna made five saves and one punch to keep the Monarchs in the game as the side earned a 2-1 victory at Casino Arizona Field to claim the Four Corners Cup and maintain fourth place in the Western Conference.  

 

fresno fc (2) v la galaxy ii (2)

FRESNO, Calif. – A 92nd-minute header from Mohammed Kamara helped the Galaxy II come back to earn a point against the Foxes at Chukchansi Park. The hosts opened the scoring 22 minutes into the contest when left back Elijah Martin made his way down the left wing and picked out Diego Casillas with an inch-perfect cross, allowing the forward to head home into the bottom-right corner. The Galaxy II responded eight minutes later through Emil Cuello, who tried his luck with a volley from just outside the box and saw it deflect off a Fresno defender on its way past goalkeeper CJ Cochran. The visitors nearly took the lead in the 34th minute when Jorge Hernandez slipped Kai Koreniuk in on goal and the forward tapped a shot around an onrushing Cochran, but Fresno defender Zachary Ellis-Hayden did superbly to race back towards his own goal and slide the ball clear before it found its way into the net. Koreniuk had the ball in the back of the net less than 60 seconds later after settling Omar Ontiveros’ ball over the top and sweeping a finish past Cochran, but this time the forward was denied by the assistant’s flag for offside. Casillas was denied a second goal of the night at the other end by the same flag in the 39th minute as the two sides went to the break level. The scoreline remained that way until the 85th minute when Fresno’s Juan Pablo Caffa converted from the penalty spot after Ontiveros was ruled to have fouled forward Qudus Lawal in the box. There was still one last twist in the tale though, as Mauricio Cuevas picked out Kamara with an in-swinging cross from the left and the forward headed past Cochran in the 92nd minute to earn his side a crucial road point.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Mohammed Kamara, LA Galaxy II – Kamara scored the game-tying goal in second-half stoppage time, won 13 of 21 duels and completed 5 of 7 dribbles in a strong attacking performance for Los Dos.  

 

las vegas lights fc (0) v reno 1868 fc (2)

LAS VEGAS – 1868 FC claimed the Silver State Cup over in-state rival Lights FC and moved to second place in the West with a victory at Cashman Field. The visitors nearly opened the scoring on the half-hour mark as Raul Mendiola forced a low save out of Las Vegas goalkeeper Thomas Olsen, who fumbled the rebound in traffic but got away with it as Corey Hertzog’s follow-up attempt was blocked and eventually cleared to safety. Lights FC wasn’t so lucky five minutes later when Duke Lacroix’s left-wing cross for Hertzog was turned into his own net by center back Javan Torre. Danny Musovski had a great chance to double 1868 FC’s lead five minutes after halftime when Lindo Mfeka found him in some space on the right side of the box, but the forward dragged his shot just wide of the far post. Olsen made a low save to deny Mendiola from a similar area in the 52nd minute and collected Musovski’s header from a corner kick four minutes later as Reno continued to push for more. Las Vegas nearly responded immediately at the other end as Ferrety Sousa tried his luck with a right-footed effort that was parried away by Matt Bersano and the 1868 FC goalkeeper was lucky in the 61st minute when Bryan de la Fuente’s left-footed blast from a tight angle bounced back into play off the post. Preston Tabort Etaka wasted a quality chance six minutes later when Christian Torres played him in on Bersano, but the forward leaned back at the decisive moment and skied his shot over the crossbar. Reno got the all-important next goal in the 76th minute when Kevin Partida played Siad Haji in down the right wing and the substitute snuck a right-footed finish inside the far post from a very tight angle to give his side some breathing room. Musovski thought he had headed home a third form Seth Casiple’s free kick three minutes later, but he was ruled to be in an offside position. Sousa missed the target with one last quality chance for Las Vegas with four minutes remaining to sum up a disappointing night for the hosts.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Kevin Partida, Reno 1868 FC – Partida recorded an assist, completed 91 percent of his passes and 4 of 5 dribbles, while also winning 8 of 16 duels and making 10 recoveries to help Reno claim the Silver State Cup for the second consecutive year.

 

tacoma defiance (2) v colorado springs switchbacks fc (0)

TACOMA, Wash. – Two goals in second-half stoppage time helped the Defiance to victory over the Switchbacks. The visitors carried the play for most of the night but couldn’t create many clear-cut chances as Saeed Robinson forced a save out of Trey Muse with a long-range shot midway through the opening half and the Tacoma goalkeeper did well to stick a leg out to stop Cesar Romero’s effort from a tight angle in the 73rd minute. The Defiance thought they took the lead in the 90th minute when Danny Leyva’s through ball sprung Marlon Vargas in behind, but the substitute was ruled to be offside when he squared across for Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez to tap home from six yards out. However, Tacoma would find its winner three minutes later when Josh Atencio headed Robles’ in-swinging corner kick past Switchbacks goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez. Robles went on to add a second goal on the break deep in stoppage time to seal the three points for the home side.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Josh Atencio, Tacoma Defiance – Atencio scored the game-winning goal in the 93rd minute, completed 83 percent of his passes and won 7 of 11 duels to help Tacoma climb off the bottom of the Western Conference.

 

saint louis fc (0) v pittsburgh riverhounds sc (1)

FENTON, Mo. – The Hounds maintained first place in the East and put a dent in Saint Louis’ playoff hopes with a late road victory at West Community Stadium. Kadeem Dacres tried to give the hosts an early advantage, but his looping volley in the 14th minute sailed just wide of the far corner. Pittsburgh produced the best chance of the first half from a corner kick ten minutes later as Joe Greenspan headed Kenardo Forbes’ delivery off the left post. Greenspan had the ball in the back of the net from another corner kick five minutes after the restart, but the goal was ruled off for a foul on the attacking player. Pittsburgh came close to opening the scoring again in the 80th minute as STLFC goalkeeper Jake Fenlason missed an attempted punch and the ball fell to Steevan Dos Santos, who fired a right-footed shot on target only for it to be saved on the goal line by defender Phanuel Kavita. The Hounds finally broke through with two minutes remaining as Fenlason made an initial save on Mark Forrest from a corner kick scramble, but Dos Santos arrived to head home the rebound from close range and give the visitors all three points.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Steevan Dos Santos, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Dos Santos scored the late goal to earn Pittsburgh its club record 18th win regular-season win of the year, while also recording four shots and winning 16 of 25 duels in a strong attacking performance.

 

tulsa roughnecks fc (2) v new mexico united (1)

TULSA, Okla. – A 96th-minute goal from Janú Silva gave the 10-man Roughnecks a dramatic late win over New Mexico United at ONEOK Field. The hosts got off to the perfect start in the 10th minute when Tobenna Uzo produced a sensational overhead kick to beat NMU goalkeeper Cody Mizell from six yards out and give his side the lead. New Mexico nearly found its response just after the half-hour mark when a nifty bit of build-up play led to Chris Wehan trying his luck with a curling right-footed shot from just inside the box, but Sean Lewis was able to palm it to safety. The Tulsa netminder made another strong stop six minutes into the second half when he dove to his left to keep out Santi Moar’s deflected shot from outside the box. Moar played a vital role in creating United’s equalizer, cutting to the byline on the left wing and squaring the ball between Lewis and a Tulsa defender for Devon Sandoval to tap home from close range in the 68th minute. Things looked to be going the way of the visitors as the Roughnecks were reduced to 10 men five minutes later as Marlon picked up his second yellow card, but it was the hosts that had the best chances late on. Mizell made a strong save to deny Christian Altamirano in the 93rd minute but was left helpless three minutes later after Silva produced a great individual effort to nutmeg a defender and quickly stab a left-footed finish past the goalkeeper to earn Tulsa all three points at the death.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Tobenna Uzo, Tulsa Roughnecks FC – Uzo scored a brilliant overhead kick, recorded four shots overall, won 11 of 16 duels and 2 of 2 tackles to help the Roughnecks play spoiler against a playoff hopeful.

 

nashville sc (2) v north carolina fc (0)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville secured a top-two finish with a shutout victory over North Carolina at Nissan Stadium. After a slow start from both teams, the hosts began to pile on the pressure as Bolu Akinyode tested Alex Tambakis with a long-range shot in the 28th minute and the NCFC goalkeeper made a great reaction save to deny Ropapa Mensah’s volley from a corner kick moments later. Mensah made the most of another corner kick in the 32nd minute however, heading home Lebo Moloto’s delivery at the back post. Moloto looked to grab a goal of his own with a long solo run just before the break, but Tambakis was able to parry the midfielder’s right-footed shot to safety. North Carolina looked to start the second half on a stronger foot as Ben Speas forced a diving save out of Matt Pickens four minutes after the restart and the NSC goalkeeper was lucky Forrest Lasso was on hand to clear his spilt rebound right in front. The hosts doubled their lead with 20 minutes to play as they capitalized on a three-on-three break with Taylor Washington picking out Moloto’s run and putting the ball on a platter for him to head past Tambakis into the bottom-left corner. Washington came close to adding another insurance goal on late, but Nashville wouldn’t need it as it extended its winning streak to three games.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Lebo Moloto, Nashville SC – Moloto was involved in both of Nashville’s goals, scoring one and setting up another, while also completing 83 percent of his passes and winning 5 of 6 duels to lead his side to victory.

 

memphis 901 fc (1) v charlotte independence (2)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Independence earned their third straight win over nine-man 901 FC to move the hosts to the brink of elimination. Memphis probably should’ve taken the lead in the 14th minute when Cam Lindley picked out Brandon Allen with an in-swinging driven cross from the left wing, but the forward glanced his header just wide of the target. Instead, it was Charlotte that opened the scoring with six minutes remaining in the first half through Jorge Herrera, who cleaned up the rebound after 901 goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell had kept out a stunning bicycle kick attempt from Niki Jackson. Caldwell did well to come off his line quickly to thwart a shot from Jake Areman three minutes after the break and his side found an equalizer in the 73rd minute as Allen converted from the penalty spot after Marcus Epps was taken down in the box by Independence defender Hugh Roberts. Allen’s celebrations didn’t last long as he was sent off two minutes later for violent conduct and Charlotte capitalized almost immediately as Jackson headed Enzo Martinez’s free kick over an onrushing Caldwell and in off the underside of the crossbar. 901 FC had a penalty shout in the 81st minute when Independence goalkeeper Brandon Miller failed to collect a cross and looked to have bumped Wesley Charpie on his way through, but referee John Griggs waved play on. Valentin Sabella nearly extended Charlotte’s lead moments later as he raced down the left wing and fired a powerful shot that Caldwell somehow directed onto the crossbar. Things got worse for Memphis in stoppage time as Pierre Da Silva was sent off for violent conduct, summing up a tough night for the hosts.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Niki Jackson, Charlotte Independence – Jackson was involved in both of Charlotte’s goals, scoring one and setting up the rebound for another, and completed all 20 of his passes to help the Independence to their third straight win.  

 

tampa bay rowdies (1) v indy eleven (1)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Eleven retained third place in the Eastern Conference after battling back for a road point against the Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium. The hosts nearly took the lead through a bit of luck in the 18th minute as Leo Fernandes’ left-wing cross lofted over Indy goalkeeper Jordan Farr and struck the far post, bouncing out to Sebastian Guenzatti, but the forward blasted his shot over the crossbar. Farr did well to keep out a low stinging drive from Malik Johnson just after the half-hour mark and was bailed out by his defense five minutes later as Pape Diakite won the initial header from a corner kick and Guenzatti looked to poke the ball over the goal line, but Eleven defender Paddy Barrett was able to clear it off the line after a goalmouth scramble that saw the ball strike the post again. Barrett made another strong defensive play in first-half stoppage time to head Johnson’s curling effort out of play as whizzed toward the top-right corner, but then gave away a penalty moments later as he was whistled a handball as he slid in to block a cross on the left side of the box. Guenzatti stepped up to the spot and coolly sent Farr the wrong way from 12 yards to give the Rowdies the lead heading into the half. Farr palmed Kwadwo Poku’s shot from the top of the box over his crossbar moments after the restart and Afrim Taku side-footed over from the center of the area in the 49th minute as Tampa Bay continued to apply pressure. However, it was the Eleven that grabbed the all-important next goal as Mitchell Osmand won the ball near the midfield stripe and played the ball to the left wing for Tyler Pasher, who cut into the box and squared for Dane Kelly to power past Rowdies goalkeeper John McCarthy from close range to level the contest with 18 minutes remaining. Neither side could create a clear-cut opportunity for a winner in the late stages as the two teams settled for a point apiece.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Jordan Doherty, Tampa Bay Rowdies – Doherty was impressive in the center of the park for the Rowdies, completing 94 percent of his passes, making seven recoveries and winning all five of his duels as well as 2 of 3 tackles to help Tampa Bay earn a draw.

 

louisville city fc (8) v swope park rangers (3)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville scored eight straight goals to earn a comeback victory over the Rangers in its final regular season game at Slugger Field. Swope Park took the lead seven minutes into the contest thanks to an error from Louisville goalkeeper Chris Hubbard, who hit Zé Pedro with an attempted clearance and had to watch the ball roll back into his net after making an awkward initial save on a shot from the Rangers midfielder. The visitors doubled their advantage 12 minutes later when Felipe Hernandez intercepted a pass just inside his own half and dribbled into the LouCity box before cutting the ball back for Gianluca Busio, who powered a right-footed shot from the edge of the area past Hubbard into the bottom-left corner. The Rangers found a third in the 34th minute when Zé Pedro slid a pass to Ethan Vanacore-Decker on the right side of the penalty area and the forward picked out the bottom-left corner to silence Slugger Field. It didn’t remain quiet for long, though, as Louisville got a goal back just two minutes later through Napo Matsoso, who produced a first-time finish to Antoine Hoppenot’s layoff that beat Rangers goalkeeper John Pulskamp from just outside the box. The hosts continued to push forward and were level by the halftime whistle as Alexis Souahy cleaned up Niall McCabe’s left-wing free kick in the 40th minute and Hoppenot provided a sliding finish to Brian Ownby’s pass on the right side of the box to complete the comeback with LouCity’s third goal in seven minutes. Ownby gave Louisville the lead nine minutes into the second half, capping off a quick counterattack with a left-footed shot that deflected off a Swope Park defender on its way past Pulskamp. Magnus Rasmussen joined the party with a pair of goals to extend the home side’s lead to three, outmaneuvering Pulskamp on the left side of the box before tucking a left-footed shot into the bottom-left corner in the 72nd minute and then tapping home Souahy’s headed pass from in close six minutes later. The hosts continued to pour it on late as Richard Ballard tucked a shot into the bottom-left corner for his first goal of the season with five minutes remaining and George Davis IV fired Spencer’s cutback in off the underside of the crossbar from six yards out two minutes later to put a bow on a sensational performance.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Magnus Rasmussen, Louisville City FC – Rasmussen scored twice, recorded two key passes while completing 76 percent of his passes overall and made 10 recoveries to help Louisville earn a resounding comeback victory.

 

ottawa fury fc (1) v bethlehem steel fc (1)

OTTAWA – Steel FC battled back to earn an away draw with Fury FC on a rainy afternoon at TD Place. Mour Samb looked to have given the hosts the lead in the 20th minute when he picked out the bottom-right corner from the top of the box, but the goal was ruled out as the forward handled the ball moments before beating Bethlehem goalkeeper Todd Morton. Samb came close again six minutes later from a right-wing free kick, curling a left-footed shot just over the frame of the goal from a narrow angle. Ottawa finally opened the scoring with five minutes remaining in the first half when Hadji Barry did well to ride a challenge on the left side of the box and cut the ball back from the byline for Samb, who touched it onto Carl Haworth to fire home from six yards out for his 10th goal of the season. Steel FC looked to get back into the game after the break and nearly took advantage of a Fury FC mistake in the 50th minute as Faris latched onto Jamar Dixon’s sliced clearance but rifled his volley just wide of the target. The Bethlehem forward made amends in the 71st minute as Ottawa again failed to clear its lines, allowing Faris to reach a bouncing ball before goalkeeper Callum Irving and play it to himself before heading into open goal from eight yards out to tie the game. The visitors had the best chance to snatch a winner in the final 20 minutes as Faris played Shanyder Borgelin through on goal, but Irving dangled out a leg to keep out the forward’s right-footed shot and ensure his side secured a point.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Mour Samb, Ottawa Fury FC – Samb assisted on Ottawa’s lone goal and was dangerous in attack all afternoon, recording four shots and three key passes to help Fury FC earn a point.

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