After Week 5 got underway last night with Hartford Athletic’s 3-1 victory in its home opener against Loudoun United FC, we’ve got plenty to catch up on with our Morning Tea today.
Two goals, consecutive nights, a big impact provided by both.
There are certain set piece routines that no matter what find ways to succeed. Saint Louis FC and the LA Galaxy II showed that off again this weekend, and it made all the difference in their respective road victories against Louisville City FC and San Diego Loyal SC, which provided a new twist in the path to the playoffs in both Group E and Group B under the reconfigured season alignment.
Just look at the similarities between these finishes by Tyler Blackwood for STLFC and Jesus Vazquez for Los Dos.
You can certainly point to Saint Louis’ victory against LouCity – its first road win all-time in Louisville in the Kings’ Cup rivalry – as the bigger of the two. And considering how close the hosts came in the first half to taking the lead with Cameron Lancaster hitting the woodwork twice on his 100th regular-season appearance, STLFC had to hold on a bit to earn their victory.
But now it’s them sitting in second place in the group standings ahead of another big game this Sunday night against Group E leader Indy Eleven, with Louisville in third and still waiting for its first points at Lynn Family Stadium.
“It was a fantastic effort by the entire squad against a strong team,” said STLFC Head Coach Steve Trittschuh after the game. “The work they put in defensively was massive.”
But don’t discount the impact Los Dos’ victory will have. Not only are the Galaxy II now right in the thick of the action with six points from three games, they’ve made Group B far more interesting ahead of Orange County SC’s clash with Phoenix Rising FC and San Diego’s return to action against Las Vegas Lights FC, both on Saturday night.
And expect we’ll see variations of the set plays above featured at more key points this season.
I’m excited to announce I’m partnering w/ @HealCharlotte1 for the remainder of the @USLChampionship season to raise money each game for their amazing organization. I would love to get as many people as possible to commit to matching me for the season. Who is in?! @Independence pic.twitter.com/07zUS4mcdQ— Brandon Miller (@DVOtwosix) July 20, 2020
- Harry Swartz was among the scorers as Hartford Athletic took their second consecutive victory to start 2020 on Monday night in a 3-1 win against Loudoun United FC. Beyond the result, the Hartford Courant's Shawn McFarland writes, Swartz was thrilled to have family and friends in the stands at Dillon Stadium for the club's home opener.
- The results of four games over the past weekend were decided in second-half stoppage time, with maybe the most breathtaking of the finishes that by Rio Grande Valley FC’s Taiberson against San Antonio FC on Sunday night. You figure that’s going to set up a great rematch at Toyota Field this Saturday night.
- Of all the teams yet to return to play, the Charlotte Independence have had one of the longest layoffs. That ends this weekend when Head Coach Mike Jeffries side gets to head to Memphis to face 901 FC at AutoZone Park looking to build off an opening weekend victory.
- The Patriot’s Point Soccer Complex looked grand on Sunday night for the Charleston Battery’s home opener at its new home, but Birmingham Legion FC just had enough to take victory and spoil the Battery’s homecoming as they wrapped up a very good of their own.
- New USL Championship Power Rankings No. 1 Indy Eleven and No. 3 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC aren't in the same group under the league's reconfigured structure for the season, but the bigger picture is clearly in view when the Group E and Group F leaders meet on ESPN2 on Wednesday night.
- Sonny Guadarramma is one of Austin Bold FC's local standouts, but there's a great story behind the No. 33 he wears now having previously done so at the last stop of an extensive professional career in Mexico. The Austin American-Statesman's Chris Bils has the story.