skip navigation

Gameday Report: October 19, Week 33

By, 10/19/19, 4:15PM EDT


New Mexico, LA punch playoff tickets in the West; Charleston, Birmingham close playoff race in the East

The final Saturday of the regular season kicked off with the Charleston Battery punching its ticket to the postseason with a 5-1 win over Bethlehem Steel FC in the club's final game at MUSC Health Stadium. Later, Real Monarchs SLC defeated Sacramento Republic FC, 3-0, at Zions Bank Stadium to guarantee a fourth place finish in the Western Conference and at least one home playoff game, while Republic FC will play again Wednesday night in the Play-In Round of the Championship Playoffs. Reno 1868 FC then secured second place in the West with a dominant 3-0 win over Tulsa Roughnecks FC thanks to a brace from forward Corey Hertzog.

In the evening matches, the Charlotte Independence, the Hartford Athletic, and North Carolina FC all produced late winners to defeat Ottawa Fury FC, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and Saint Louis FC respectively, dealing blows to all three's playoff standings. NCFC's win and Ottawa's loss means the former enter the Play-In Round as the No. 7 seed, while Ottawa will enter as the No. 8 seed. Then, Loudoun United FC and the New York Red Bulls II played to a 10-goal thriller that saw the hosts close out the regular season with a 7-3 win at Segra Field. Elsewhere, Nashville SC temporarily climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference ahead of #PITvBHM on Sunday evening with a 3-0 win over ATLUTD2, while Louisville City FC clinched a home playoff game for the fifth straight season thanks to Hartford and Loudoun United's results on top of a 2-1 win over Memphis 901 FC at AutoZone Park. Intensifying the playoff race, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC recovered from a two-goal deficit to draw honors even with San Antonio FC, 2-2, putting SAFC out the playoff race with the result. In Albuquerque, New Mexico United joined other Western Conference expansion sides Austin Bold FC and El Paso Locomotive FC by clinching a playoff place after a 2-0 win over Las Vegas Lights FC at Isotopes Park. To end the night, LA Galaxy II secured the final place in the playoff race with a 2-0 win over El Paso Locomotive FC, Orange County SC ended the season on a winning note after a 2-0 win over Fresno FC at home, and the Tacoma Defiance finish the season on a five-game unbeaten run after defeating Austin Bold FC, 3-1, at Cheney Stadium.


tacoma defiance (3) v austin bold fc (1)

TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Defiance rounded out their 2019 regular season on a five-game unbeaten streak after beating Austin Bold FC, 3-1, at Cheney Stadium thanks to goals from Azriel Gonzalez, Marlon Vargas, and Jesse Daley. Gonzalez was first to strike in the 20th minute when Tacoma’s Handwalla Bwana slide a pass to the center for the midfielder, who calmly slotted past Bold FC goalkeeper Juan David Remirez for the game’s first goal. Tacoma would keep that one goal advantage until a one-two punch late on saw the hosts score twice in three minutes. First, substitutes Marlon Vargas and Shandon Hopeau combined when Vargas swept in a ball across the box from Hopeau in the 77th minute before Jesse Daley roofed a shot from distance following a pass by Vargas to all but seal the result. In the 82nd minute, Bold FC substitute Kris Tyrpak was able to pull one back after a scramble at the goalmouth saw the forward poke home a loose ball, but the goal was simply consolation as Austin’s focus shifts to Play-In Round on Wednesday night. 

USL Championship Man of the Match

Marlon Vargas, Tacoma Defiance – Vargas picks up the Man of the Match award for his goal and assist that ultimately carried Tacoma over the line against Austin, with the kicker that he came on for only the final 16 minutes of the match.


orange county sc (2) v fresno fc (0)

IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC defeated Fresno FC, 2-0, at Championship Soccer Stadium on Saturday to close the regular season with back-to-back victories after securing a fifth-place finish earlier this week. The hosts’ first real opportunity in the match came as Michael Seaton directed a looping header on goal that Foxes FC defender Michael Daly cleared off the line by inches to keep the score level. The game took a turn in OC’s direction when Fresno’s Qudus Lawal was sent off for an offense that led to his second yellow card, leaving the visitors down to ten men for nearly 50 minutes. Then, Orange County appeared determined to go into the halftime break ahead with midfielder Aodhan Quinn picking out the head of forward Harry Forrester, who directed Quinn’s corner Fresno goalkeeper C.J. Cochran to open the scoring. Orange County continued to push forward in the second half and nearly got their second goal when Jerry van Ewijk’s effort from just outside the box was pushed away by Cochran to keep the game tight. Toward the end, though, Orange County’s pressure became too much when Foxes defender Ramón Del Campo was sent off for a handball on the goal line that resulted in a penalty for the hosts. In the 87th minute, Quinn stepped and converted from 12 yards out to seal the result and prepare his side for a playoff run.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Aodhan Quinn, Orange County SC – Quinn was an all-star again for Orange County on Saturday, registering the assist on their first goal and scoring their second while creating an additional chance and completing nearly 87 percent of his passes in 90 minutes.


la galaxy ii (2) v el paso locomotive fc (0)

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy II booked the final place in the Western Conference playoffs with a 2-0 win over El Paso Locomotive FC to close the season on a winning note. Not taking long to settle in, the Galaxy II first scored after just 15 minutes when Kai Koreniuk lifted a well-placed ball to the back post for Ethan Zubak, where the forward rose above his challenging defender and nodded the ball down to the far post and in. Keeping the slender lead through halftime, the hosts then doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Koreniuk again provided a cross from a wide position that bounced through everyone to the back post where Mohammed Kesselly Kamara was waiting to bundle it into an open goal to provide a two-goal cushion. El Paso attempted to claw back though, and forward Josué Gómez put a scare in LA’s hearts when he latched onto a through pass heading away from goal but managed to rattle the post with a powerful shot that beat LA goalkeeper Justin vom Steeg. Seven minutes later, vom Steeg came up big again when he denied an acrobatic effort by Locomotive FC forward Omar Salgado that was destined for goal. Seeing the match through, the Galaxy II finished off the season with all three points and finishes in ninth place in the Western Conference heading into the Play-In Round on Wednesday night.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Kai Koreniuk, LA Galaxy II – Koreniuk provided both assists on the Galaxy II’s goals, accounting for his two key passes, but also won 8 of 12 duels in a full 90 minutes. 


new mexico united (2) v las vegas lights fc (0)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico United claimed one of the final playoff places in the Western Conference with a 2-0 win over Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday night in front of a packed house at “The Lab” in Albuquerque. The hosts were off to a quick start and Santi Moar was first to test Lights FC goalkeeper Adam Hobbs with a hard-hit effort toward the far upper corner that the shotstopper had to beat away to safety. Two minutes later, United had an effort from midfielder Chris Wehan cleared off the line by Lights FC’s Javan Torre to keep the score level. The hosts continued to push Lights FC in attack as the first half wore on, but they were gifted the opening goal when Lights FC goalkeeper Thomas Olsen, who replaced the injured Hobbs in the 12th minute, collided with one of defenders and dropped the ball in front of goal leaving Wehan a tap-in on a platter. Olsen made up for his first half error with a good save on Wehan just after the hour mark, but New Mexico got the last laugh when forward Devon Sandoval scored the game’s final goal in the 87th minute to send his side to the postseason.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Chris Wehan, New Mexico United – Wehan was one of United’s biggest influencers in attack, scoring the winner and creating an additional two chances while completing over 84 percent of his passes in 78 minutes of action. 


san antonio fc (2) v colorado springs switchbacks fc (2)

SAN ANTONIO, Tx. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC recovered from a two-goal deficit to comeback and earn a 2-2 draw against San Antonio FC, potentially putting the hosts out of playoff commission with the result. It took until the half-hour mark for the hosts to find the back of the net but the goal came in impactful fashion after Switchbacks FC defender Abdul Rwatubyaye was sent off for a foul on Brian Gómez in the penalty area, leaving midfielder Pecka to convert from the spot and give the hosts the lead. Then, SAFC had a chance to double their advantage when forward Ever Guzmán was played in on goal by midfielder Jack Barmby, but 17-year-old Switchbacks FC goalkeeper Abe Rodriguez was smart to the chance and rushed off his line to smother Guzmán’s shot. Just into the second half, Colorado Springs again ran into trouble when midfielder Jordan Schweitzer conceded the team’s second penalty of the night for a foul on Guzmán, and this time Barmby converted from 12 yards out to give the hosts a two-goal cushion. However, San Antonio let Colorado Springs back into the match in the 68th minute when defender Ebenezer Ackon slid the ball into his own net trying to prevent an attacking chance for the visitors. As pressure piled on the SAFC goal, Switchbacks FC then found its equalizer when Ish Jome swung in a free kick from the right side of the field that found Tucker Bone in the center of the box, and Bone directed his header to the far post and in to put a potential dagger in the hosts’ playoff hopes. In the 88th minute, San Antonio’s continued pressure saw forward Frank Lopez put the ball in the back of the net only for the offside flag to go up on the near side, dashing the hosts’ chance of finding a late winner. In the end, Colorado Springs held on through the fire for a 2-2 draw, leaving San Antonio FC out of the playoff race after results for LA Galaxy II and New Mexico United.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Jordan Schweitzer, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Despite conceding a penalty, Schweitzer put in a shift defensively winning 9 of 12 duels and making two clearances and collecting one interception to help Switchbacks FC earn a point.


memphis 901 fc (1) v louisville city fc (2)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Louisville City FC overcame unlikely odds on Saturday to secure a home game in the Championship Playoffs for the fifth straight season after a 2-1 win over Memphis 901 FC, on top of results elsewhere, helped them maintain that streak. Memphis hopped out to an early lead when on-loan midfielder Marcus Epps unleashed a powerful strike from distance after nine minutes that left LouCity goalkeeper Chris Hubbard with little chance to stop it as it rippled the back of the net. However, the visitors were able to get one back in the 37th minute when midfielder Niall McCabe swung in a free kick to the center of the box where midfielder Devon “Speedy” Williams was waiting, and Williams got enough on his header to beat 901 FC goalkeeper Scott Levene to level the scoring. Into the second half, Louisville City looked the more likely to break the deadlock and nearly did in the 56th minute when midfielder Brian Ownby played a tidy one-two that saw him break in toward goal only to see his shot bounce off the outside of the post and over the endline. However, in the 78th minute, Ownby proved catalyst when he glided toward the endline before crossing a ball into the box that bounced off forwards Abdou Mbacke Thiam and Antoine Hoppenot before eventually finding its way into the back of the net. The goal, which was credited to Hoppenot, was enough to see LouCity over the line with the three points carrying them into fourth place in the Eastern Conference after the regular season finale.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Niall McCabe, Louisville City FC – McCabe collected the assist on Williams’ header in the first half with the Irishman creating a total of five chances while winning 3 of 5 duels and completing 80 percent of his passes in 77 minutes.  


nashville sc (3) v atlanta united 2 (0)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville SC ended another impressive regular season campaign with a X-X win over ATLUTD2 on Saturday to put pressure on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, with Riverhounds SC in action on Sunday against Birmingham Legion FC. The hosts controlled the play early on and persistence paid off in the 23rd minute when defender Forrest Lasso headed in a corner kick by Ropapa Mensah to open the scoring. Nine minutes later, Nashville doubled its lead when a ball played over the top set Daniel Ríos in on goal where the forward had little problem poking a shot past ATLUTD2 goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira. Then, in the 39th minute, Ríos showed impressive strength to hold off a trio of ATLUTD2 defenders at the top of the before before unleashing a powerful low effort that beat Castanheira for the hosts third and final goal of the night. With the win, Nashville temporarily goes atop the Eastern Conference and could stay there pending Pittsburgh’s result against Birmingham on Sunday evening.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Daniel Ríos, Nashville SC – Ríos showed why he is one of the most lethal strikers in the Championship, scoring twice on three total shots and creating one additional chance in his 63 minutes on the field.


loudoun united fc (7) v new york red bulls ii (3)

LEESBERG, Va. – Loudoun United FC exploded for seven goals to beat New York Red Bulls II, 7-3, in a 10-goal thriller to close out the regular season at Segra Field on Saturday night. The hosts jumped out to a lead after just five minutes when Alioune Ndour settled a cross and toe-poked an effort past Red Bulls II goalkeeper Evan Louro from close in for the game’s first goal. Eight minutes later, Antonio Bustamante etched his name on the scoresheet when he collected a centered pass near the top of the box and clipped a shot that may have taken a deflection on its way to the top right corner past Louro to double the lead. However, New York pulled one back through Jared Stroud in the 16th minute when the midfielder cleaned up a well-saved shot by Loudoun’s Calle Brown, putting the rebound in from two yards out. Then, the floodgates opened for the hosts as Kyle Murphy converted a spot kick in the 33rd minute before scoring a second just three minutes later. Following up, Loudoun forward Gordon Wild then scored a rebound goal of his own in the 42nd minute for the hosts’ fifth goal of the half. Picking up where they left off at the start of the second half, it took Loudoun just 14 seconds to score their six as Elvis Amoh ran through the New York defense before rolling a shot past Louro. The Red Bulls II did manage a second goal just after the hour mark when forward Mathias Jorgenson, who missed a penalty in the 38th minute that could have changed the game’s momentum, bundled a Janos Loebe cross over the line to cut the deficit back to four. Then, New York had another chance from the spot with midfielder Vincent Bezecourt stepping up, but again the visitors could not convert as another penalty was missed. Rebounding momentum, Loudoun put the icing on the cake when forward Gordon Wild pounced on a loose ball in the box before sending a shot past Louro to the far post for Loudoun’s seventh and final goal of the night in the 72nd minute. Not going down without one more punch, though, the Red Bulls II scored a third goal in the lone minute of stoppage time through substitute Omar Sowe, but they will be disappointed not to have helped their standing in the Championship Playoffs race with New York resigned to sixth after losing four out of their last five games.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Kyle Murphy, Loudoun United FC – Murphy scored Loudoun’s second and third goal of the night while registering one assist, creating two total chances, and winning 6 of 8 duels in 69 minutes of play.


north carolina fc (1) v saint louis fc (0)

CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC ended its regular season with three points at home against Saint Louis FC thanks to a late winner from forward Robbie Kristo. NCFC appeared the more attacking of the two sides from the get-go with forward Marios Lomis, who recently returned from a long-term injury, testing Saint Louis FC netminder Tomás Gómez from close in only for Gómez to get an important hand on the effort to send if over the bar. Then, seconds before the whistle for halftime, NCFC were thwarted again by Gómez when midfielder Dre Fortune’s powerful shot on the turn was palmed away to safety as the pair went scoreless into the break. In the second half, Gómez continued to spoil NCFC’s plan for three points in the regular season finale by producing two fine saves—both on NC captain Steven Miller—in the 49th and 74th minutes to preserve the stalemate. When all looked done, North Carolina responded when a set-piece from Dre Fortune on the left side of the field saw him connect with forward Robbie Kristo, who placed his header toward the bottom left corner to beat Gómez and collect a final three points of the regular season. The win is a fitting tribute to North Carolina FC captain Austin da Luz, who is set to retire at the end of the year and played his final regular season game with the club.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Tomás Gómez, Saint Louis FC – Despite the result, Gómez was incredible in goal for the visitors tallying four saves and three punches while winning 2 of 2 duels.


hartford athletic (2) v tampa bay rowdies (1)

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Hartford Athletic left it late but found an all-important winning goal through Wojciech Wojcik to beat the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-1, at Dillon Stadium. A first half of few chances saw Hartford come close in the 16th minute when Hartford’s Sebastian Dalgaard took a pass from teammate Jose Angulo and whipped an effort to the far post that went just wide of Rowdies goalkeeper John McCarthy’s post. One minute halftime, though, Hartford broke through as midfielder Ryan Williams settled a long cross to the left side of the box and fired a low effort to the opposite side that dinked off the post and in to give the hosts the lead. Midfielder Danny Barrera then created another good opportunity in the 51st minute when he forced McCarthy into action again, who parried the effort to safety to keep the game close. The game turned in the 68th minute when Rowdies midfielder Malik Johnson was sent off after a second cautionable offense, leaving the visitors down a goal and down a man. However, Tampa Bay then responded by leveling the scoring in the 74th minute when forwards Sebastian Guenzatti and Lucky Mkosana combined with Mkosana sliding his shot past Hartford shotstopper Frederik Due. After repelling the visitors a couple more times in the final minutes, Hartford were then rewarded with a late winner when Wojciech Wojcik powered a header to the far post past McCarthy in the fourth minute of added time to cap off a historic inaugural season.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Ryan Williams, Hartford Athletic – Williams was immense in Hartford’s win, scoring a goal and creating one chance while completing over 93 percent of his passes, including over 85 percent in the opposition half, and winning 4 of 7 duels in 90 minutes.


charlotte independence (2) v ottawa fury fc (1)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Independence sent Ottawa Fury FC home packing with a late winner from Enzo Martinez securing a 2-1 win to keep all three points at home in the regular season finale. The hosts jumped out to an early lead when forward Niki Jackson produced a nifty bit of footwork to dance around the byline before finding midfielder Dominic Oduro near the center of the six-yard box, and though Oduro’s shot took a deflection it had enough to sneak past Fury FC goalkeeper Callum Irving. In the 26th minute, Fury FC’s Christiano Francois was played in on goal by midfielder Wal Fall, but he could not beat Charlotte goalkeeper Brandon Miller from close in as Charlotte clung to its lead. Still facing the deficit through halftime, Fury FC would eventually find its equalizer on the hour mark when Francois found midfielder Hadji Barry in the box, who produced a bullet of an effort to beat Miller. Working for a winner, Charlotte nearly reestablished its lead in the 71st minute when forward Jorge Herrera attempted to get on the end of a curling pass from Jackson toward goal, but Herrera’s touch could not squeeze between Irving and goal as it fell narrowly wide. As the game came closer to a close, Charlotte found its winner when Enzo Martinez put home an Abdoulie Mansally cross to stun Ottawa and collect all three points. With the loss and North Carolina FC’s win, Ottawa Fury FC will enter the Play-In Round as the No. 8 seed.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Niki Jackson, Charlotte Independence – Jackson tallied the assist on Charlotte’s first goal and created three chances in total while completing over 86 percent of his passes and winning 6 of 13 duels in 90 minutes of action.


tulsa roughnecks fc (0) v reno 1868 fc (3)

TULSA, Okla. – Reno 1868 FC locked in second place in the Western Conference standings with a 3-0 win over Tulsa Roughnecks FC to end the regular season run at ONEOK Field. The visitors were able to claim an early lead when Roughnecks FC defender Mallan Roberts was judged to have brought down 1868 FC’s Aidan Apodaca in the penalty area, leaving forward Corey Hertzog to step up and convert from the spot to go one-up inside 15 minutes. Just three minutes later, Reno nearly added a second when Lindo Mfeka tried to finish off a counterattack with a sweeping effort past Tulsa goalkeeper Sean Lewis, but defender Luca Lobo was there to clear the shot off the line. However, after drawing a penalty earlier in the match, Apodaca then bagged a goal of his own when midfielder Seth Casiple played the forward in on goal where he finished at the far post past Lewis to double the lead in the 22nd minute. Tulsa’s best look on goal came a few minutes after the break when midfielder Manny Gonzalez collected a one-two inside the penalty area, but his powerful effort from close in was palmed away to safety by Reno goalkeeper Matt Bersano. Then, finishing off the match with a third goal in the 83rd minute, midfielder Raul Mendiola found Hertzog at the back post where he slid in to see the ball over the line and secure all three points for Reno.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Corey Hertzog, Reno 1868 FC – Hertzog scored twice off three shots in total to help 1868 FC end the regular season with three more points, with the forward also winning his lone aerial duel and completing over 82 percent of his passes in 90 minutes of play.  


real monarchs slc (3) v sacramento republic fc (0)

HERRIMAN, Utah – Fans of Real Monarchs SLC will see their team at least once more in 2019 with the Monarchs clinching a home playoff game thanks to a 3-0 win over Sacramento Republic FC at Zions Bank Stadium. The first half saw little created by either side, but the Monarchs were able to get on the board approaching the halftime break when defender Kalen Ryden headed a set-piece chance off the crossbar before seeing the ball come his way again, this time producing a lighter headed effort that looped over Republic FC goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and in. After taking 45 minutes to break the deadlock, it took the hosts just five minutes to score in the second half when midfielder Tate Schmitt found teammate Luke Mulholland in full sprint heading into the box, and Mulholland toe-poked an effort from close in past Shuttleworth to double his team’s advantage. Just after the hour mark, the contest went from bad to worse for the visitors when the Monarchs increased their lead to three goals after defender Matt Mahoney was judged to have passed a ball back to Shuttleworth that the netminder collected, resulting in an indirect free kick for the hosts. Stepping up, a simple set-piece routine saw the Monarchs’ Justin Portillo tap the ball forward for forward Douglas Martínez, who ripped a low effort on goal past the scrum of Republic FC defenders for the team’s third goal of the afternoon. With the win, the Monarchs clinched fourth place in the Western Conference, while Republic FC can finish as high as 7th place and as low as ninth, pending other results across the final weekend of the regular season.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Kalen Ryden, Real Monarchs SLC – Ryden scored the winner for the Monarchs, also making seven clearances and collecting two interceptions while winning 4 of 7 duels and completing just shy of 83 percent of his passes.


charleston battery (5) v bethlehem steel fc (1)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery became the ninth team in the Eastern Conference to punch its ticket to the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs with a 5-1 win over Bethlehem Steel FC in the club’s final game at MUSC Health Stadium. The Battery, who were able to guarantee a place in the postseason, stuck through a tense opening 20 minutes before finding the game’s first goal through forward Arthur Bosua after 23 minutes. The hosts would hold the slender lead through halftime and began to find their groove in the 67th minute when Bosua scored his second of the afternoon after quick linkup play between forward Ataulla Guerra and midfielder Kotaro Higashi saw Higashi put the ball on a plate for Bosua. Then, just seven minutes later, the Battery earned a penalty as Zeiko Lewis was brought down by Steel FC’s Nathan Harriel, leaving the forward Guerra to step up and convert from 12 yards out to give the hosts a three-goal lead. However, Steel FC’s Faris Pemi Moumbagna made things interesting when he put his name on the scoresheet in the 78th minute after producing a powerful, curling effort that beat Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky at the far post to pull one back. Charleston responded quickly though, and twice, both times through defender Taylor Paterson who first looped a header over Steel FC shotstopper Matt Freese in the 81st minute before again beating the netminder with a low effort to the far post in the 84th minute. The win puts Charleston firmly in the postseason, where it could finish as high as ninth place pending later Championship results with Saint Louis FC and Birmingham Legion FC.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Arthur Bosua, Charleston Battery – Bosua’s brace carried the Battery into the playoffs with the forward contributing a total of three chances created while also winning 7 of 12 duels in 86 minutes of action.

Follow the USL Championship

Most Recent News

Most Read News

Latest Videos