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Gameday Report: July 21, Week 19

By USLSoccer.com Staff, 07/22/18, 2:30AM EDT

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San Antonio stops Monarchs, FCC keeps rolling in front of more than 23,000


Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC

THREE THINGS THAT MATTERED

1. San Antonio FC took a crucial 4-2 victory against Real Monarchs SLC that snapped a four-game winless streak and gave the hosts a major boost toward the playoff position in the Western Conference. A standout strike by Ever Guzman proved the game-winner for SAFC, which now sits three points out of the playoff positions with at least three games in hand on both eighth-place Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – also a winner on Saturday against Tulsa Roughnecks FC – and ninth-place Fresno FC.

2. The loss by Real Monarchs SLC allowed FC Cincinnati to move into the lead in the race for the 2018 USL Regular Season Championship as Head Coach Alan Koch’s side took a 2-1 victory against the New York Red Bulls II in front of a crowd of 23,602 fans at Nippert Stadium. Goals by Forrest Lasso – his second in as many games – and Paddy Barret gave the hosts victory and extended the clubs’ winning streak to three games and its undefeated streak to 10 games, just two off the club record.

3. The Charleston Battery moved into second place in the other top-four matchup in the Eastern Conference as Ataulla Guerra’s late goal earned a 1-0 victory on the road against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, a goal that also snapped Pittsburgh’s shutout streak at 575 minutes, the second-longest in the league this season. Guerra’s goal was his 11th of the season and allowed him to move back into a tie with Orange County SC’s Thomas Enevoldsen at the top of the race for the USL Golden Boot.

GAME REPORTS

North carolina FC (3) VS. toronto fc ii (1)

CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC scored a pair of second-half goals to earn a 3-1 victory against Toronto FC II as Kyle Bekker and Daniel Rios each recorded a goal and assist for the hosts at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. Toronto took the lead in the 20th minute through Shaan Hundal, but North Carolina responded eight minutes later as Bekker set up Austin da Luz for the equalizer. Rios then converted a penalty kick 10 minutes into the second half before the Mexican forward set up Bekker for an insurance marker six minutes later, which allowed the hosts to wrap up all three points.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Daniel Rios, North Carolina FC
– The forward continued his push for the USL Golden Boot with the game-winning goal that helped the hosts snap a three-match winless streak

ottawa fury FC (2) VS. nashville sc (0)

OTTAWA – Ottawa Fury FC struck twice late to grab a dramatic 2-0 victory against Nashville SC at TD Place to move into the top eight in the Eastern Conference standings. Nashville had the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot with eight minutes to go after a handball by Fury FC in the area, but Alan Winn’s shot came back off the crossbar. The hosts took advantage of the reprieve in the first minute of stoppage time when Ottawa’s Tony Taylor fired home a first-time shot from 10 yards after a layoff in the penalty area by Jimmy-Shammar Sanon, and Kevin Oliveira added a second with a spectacular finish from 20 yards to earn Fury FC a massive win.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jimmy-Shammar Sanon, Ottawa Fury FC
 – An 83rd minute substitute, Sanon changed the narrative of what had been a stalemate, teeing up two late strikes to power the winning effort

pittsburgh riverhounds sc (0) VS. charleston battery (1)

PITTSBURGH – The Charleston Battery claimed their third consecutive victory and handed Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC just its second loss of the season, as Ataulla Guerra’s late goal earned a 1-0 victory at Highmark Stadium. Pittsburgh’s Christiano Francois twice hit the woodwork in the first half, and Riverhounds SC earned a penalty kick in the 53rd minute when Battery defender Leland Archer handled in the area, only for Neco Brett’s shot was saved by Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky. As the game appeared to be headed for a scoreless ending, though, Guerra’s diving header at the back post from Angelo Kelly’s cross gave the visitors all three points.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Atualla Guerra, Charleston Battery
 – Guerra provided the lone goal on the night, finding the back of the net for the second straight outing and the fourth in the Battery's last five

richmond kickers (1) VS. atl utd 2 (1)

RICHMOND – The Richmond Kickers and ATL UTD 2 played to a 1-1 draw at City Stadium that did little to help either club’s hopes of a trip to the postseason. The Kickers took the lead in the 38th minute when Brian Shriver scored his sixth goal of the season, but Atlanta battled back midway through the second half as Jon Gallagher provided the equalizer for the visitors on their only shot on goal of the contest to leave honors even.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Nicolas Caraux, ATL UTD 2
 – With the Kickers controlling the run of play, Caraux came up with four stops that were vital in ATL UTD 2 picking up its third road point of the season

tampa bay rowdies (3) VS. indy eleven (1)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Junior Flemmings recorded a goal and two assists as the Tampa Bay Rowdies took a big 3-1 victory against Indy Eleven before a crowd of 5,378 at Al Lang Stadium. The Rowdies struck twice early as Flemmings first set up Stefano Bonomo in the 12th minute with a slide-rule pass for a first-time finish from the left side of the penalty area, and then provided the cross for Georgi Hristov’s back-post finish. Indy pulled a goal back within a minute of Hristov’s goal, Eugene Starikov scoring at the near post from Tyler Pasher’s cross, but Tampa Bay held firm defensively from then on and got an insurance marker with a minute to go as Flemmings headed home from Hristov’s cross from the left.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Junior Flemmings, Tampa Bay Rowdies
– Flemmings was dynamic throughout and was rewarded with a goal and two assists in what was an essential home victory for the Rowdies.

fc cincinnati (2) VS. new york red bulls ii (1)

CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati claimed its third consecutive victory as it extended its lead at the top of the Eastern Conference to nine points with a 2-1 victory against the New York Red Bulls II before a crowd of 23,602 fans at Nippert Stadium. Forrest Lasso opened the scoring in the 17th minute off a corner kick by Emmanuel Ledesma, but the Red Bulls II hit back from a set piece of their own as FCC’s Danni König headed into his own net under pressure from New York’s Hassan Ndam eight minutes later. FCC regained the lead through Paddy Barrett 10 minutes before halftime as Emmanuel Ledesma recorded his second assist on the night and league-leading 10th of the season overall, and while New York’s Tom Barlow hit the crossbar in stoppage time as the visitors pushed for an equalizer the hosts held on for victory.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Forrest Lasso, FC Cincinnati
 – The imposing defender continually stopped the New York rush, totaling 13 clearances to go with a goal of his own

louisville city fc (4) VS. charlotte independence (1)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville City FC swept to a 4-1 victory against the Charlotte Independence before a crowd of 8,006 at Slugger Field to rebound impressively from its midweek defeat in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The hosts took the lead in the 21st minute as Niall McCabe fired home a clever pass by Ilija Ilic, and then Louisville pulled away in the second half as Ilic’s goal from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute opened up a run of three tallies in 15 minutes that also saw Cameron Lancaster notch his 10th of the season and George Davis IV find the net. Charlotte’s Jorge Herrera produced a fine consolation goal in the 90th minute, but Louisville wasn’t greatly troubled as its outshot its visitors 27-7.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Ilija Ilic, Louisville City FC
– Ilic finished with a goal and assist and recorded four key passes on a great attacking night for the hosts.

colorado springs switchbacks FC (4) VS. tulsa roughnecks FC (2)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC rallied from a first-half deficit to take a 4-2 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Weidner Field to break a four-game winless streak for the side. Tulsa took the lead in the 19th minute when Joaquin Rivas found the net but the Switchbacks went ahead just before halftime as goals by Marty Maybin and a penalty kick by Jordan Burt turned things in their favor. Maybin added his second with 20 minutes to go, and while the Roughnecks benefitted from was what ruled an own goal by Switchbacks goalkeeper Steward Ceus in the 79th minute the hosts restored their two-goal lead with three minutes remaining as Shane Malcolm wrapped up the victory.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Marty Maybin, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
– Maybin scored a pair of goals, the first leveling the score late in the first and the second proving the game-winner, in what was a must-win for the Switchbacks.

SAn antonio fc (4) VS. real monarchs slc (2)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC broke a four-game winless streak as it defeated Western Conference leader Real Monarchs SLC 4-2 before a crowd of 6,572 at Toyota Field. SAFC went ahead inside the opening minute on an own goal by Michael Gallagher that opened a back-and-forth contest that saw the Monarchs equalized through Sebastian Velasquez in the 16th minute before Omar Gordon restored the host’s lead 11 minutes later. Ever Guzman gave San Antonio the lead for good with a spectacular finish 11 minutes into the second half and while Velasquez responded with his second goal of the night for Real in the 61st minute, SAFC restored its two-goal lead on Charlie Ward’s free kick seven minutes later that allowed the hosts to see out the victory.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Charlie Ward, San Antonio FC
 – Ward pulled the strings from his midfield post, completing better than 90 percent of his passes before capping the night with a stunning finish

saint louis fc (2) vs. orange county sC (2)

FENTON, Mo. – Orange County SC twice took the lead only for Saint Louis FC to respond each time as the sides played to a 2-2 draw at Toyota Stadium – Saint Louis. The visitors took the lead on the half-hour mark through Mats Bjurman and held the lead well into the second half before an explosion of scoring that saw the sides exchange three goals in nine minutes. Saint Louis’ Kyle Greig tied the game with 20 minutes to go to open the sequence before Orange County regained the lead on Giovanni Godoy’s second goal in as many games six minutes later. The hosts earned a point, however, when Pierre Da Silva scrambled home the rebound after Wal Fall and Greig had both been denied by Orange County goalkeeper Luis Lopez.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Mats Bjurman, Orange County SC
 – The midfielder bagged a goal and completed over 90 percent of his passes against his former team to help the visitors earn a point

SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC (1) VS.  okc energy FC (1)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – OKC Energy FC earned a 1-1 draw with Sacramento Republic FC before a sellout crowd of 11,569 fans at Papa Murphy’s Park to extend the club’s undefeated streak to seven games. Sacramento took the lead in the 23rd minute as Cameron Iwasa put home a crisp finish from Christian Eissele’s helper, but the hosts were unable to add to their lead despite having more of the contest and with 12 minutes to go a close-range finish by Christian Volesky from Callum Ross’ cross from the right earned the visitors a point.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Christian Ibeagha, OKC Energy FC
 – Ibeagha finished with three  tackles and seven clearances as Oklahoma City kept Republic FC at bay to allow for the late equalizer

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