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USL PRO Update

June 17, 2013 - USL PRO (USL PRO)

WILMINGTON N.C. - Daniel Steres' second-half goal and a standout six-save performance by goalkeeper Troy Hernandez gave the Wilmington Hammerheads a 1-0 win against the New York Red Bulls Reserves on Saturday night at Legion Stadium.

Wilmington came out on the front foot, and Paul Nicholson got an opportunity in the eighth minute, only to be denied on a breakaway by Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara. The Red Bulls' first effort on goal went wide from distance as Wilmington was able to have the better of the first 25 minutes, forcing a handful of corners the Red Bulls were able to withstand.

Meara was again forced into a good save for the Red Bulls after a good move at the top of the penalty area sprang a Hammerheads' midfielder into the left side of the area, but the game went to the halftime break scoreless.

Wilmington was able to open the scoring just before the hour mark as Steres was able to finish off a chance, and the Hammerheads stayed on the offensive as they looked to add to their lead. The Red Bulls regained a foothold in the game with 20 minutes to go, though, and Hernandez and his defense had to be sharp to withstand the pressure.

The Hammerheads came close to adding to their lead with 13 minutes to go as Steres' header from eight yards was well saved, but New York looked more likely to score in the final 10 minutes. Wilmington scrambled away a close-range chance with six minutes remaining, and Roberts had to make a good save soon after, turning a shot from the top of the penalty away for a corner. The Hammerheads held onto their lead, however, to take their fourth win of the season.

FRIDAY

RICHMOND 4, ANTIGUA 0: Brian Ownby had a pair of goals, and Nate Robinson a goal and an assist, as the Richmond Kickers took victory against Antigua Barracuda FC at City Stadium.

Richmond had the better of the early going, with a finish by Jason Yeisley called offside in the second minute. Antigua had a good chance through Tamorley Thomas in the 11th minute, only for his shot to go over the crossbar from 15 yards, and Richmond almost struck a minute later, as Yeisley's shot was blocked by George Dublin and cleared.

Richmond took the lead in the 24th minute as Yeisley picked up possession inside the left side of the penalty area and cut a low cross to the back post where an onrushing Nate Robinson was on hand to finish. The score remained the same until the halftime break, but seven minutes into the second half Robinson added an assist to his tally as his through-ball deflected off a defender and came to Ownby, who flicked his finish past an advancing Molvin James.

Antigua continued to try and push forward in search of a goal, but the Kickers' defense remained on top as it squeezed the Barracudas' space in the final third as they looked to use speed to get in behind. Richmond added to its lead as Ownby scored his second of the game with 13 minutes to go, putting home a rebound. Joseph Haboush added a fourth with five minutes to go, capping the scoring for the Kickers.

ROCHESTER 3, TAMPA BAY 0: Blake Brettschneider and Tam McManus each had a goal and an assist as the Rochester Rhinos defeated VSI Tampa Bay FC at Sahlen's Stadium. The win was the Rhinos' second of the season, and reversed a defeat by Tampa Bay by the same score in Florida earlier in the season.

The Rhinos grabbed an early lead as Brettschneider out-dueled Kyle Hoffer for possession and sent a low cross that found Tyler Rosenlund, who fired home to open the scoring in the fourth minute. Rosenlund came close to doubling Rochester's lead five minutes later, only for his rising shot from 16 yards to hit the crossbar and go out of play.

Tampa Bay then came into the game, and started to possess the ball well. Tony Donatelli had a good shot from the 16 yards out well saved by Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht, while Mauricio Salles had a pair of efforts from long range as VSI looked for an equalizer. Rochester almost doubled its lead again in the 37th minute as Tam McManus hit the outside of the right post on a counter-attack, but the score remained the same as the teams reached the halftime break.

Rochester doubled its lead early in the second half as McManus scored his third goal in as many games as he flicked home a finish after a good through-ball by J.C. Banks. Brettschneider then added a third in the 66th minute as he volleyed home a cross from the right by McManus from 10 yards out.

Tampa Bay tried to rally in the final 20 minutes, and was able to apply some good pressure as it forced a number of corners. The Rhinos defense was able to withstand the pressure, and Gabe Latigue almost added a fourth for Rochester as he hit the post with four minutes to go. Nicht was forced into another good save by Sallieu Bundu in stoppage time, but the Rhinos were able to close out their victory as Nicht recorded his fourth shutout of the season.

CHARLOTTE 2, CHICAGO RESERVES 1: Second-half goals by Christian Ramirez and Ben Newnam allowed the Charlotte Eagles to rally past the Chicago Fire Reserves at Queens Sports Complex. Quincy Amarikwa gave the Fire Reserves the lead late in the first half, but the Eagles surged back to win their first game since May 14.

Charlotte's Jorge Herrera had the first big opportunity of the game in the 13th minute as he broke into the right side of the penalty area. Chicago goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi made a good first save, but Herrera got the rebound, only for a defender on the line to clear his second effort away to safety.

Chicago took the lead just before the halftime break, with Amarikwa heading home a good cross by Michael Videira, but Charlotte came close to tying the game moments later, with Nate Robinson firing a low shot into the right side-netting.

Charlotte went hunting for an equalizer early in the second half as Sam Asante forced a save from Tornaghi. Stephen Okai and Ferrera also both went close for the Eagles from free kicks, and Drew Yates and Okai also forced good saves from just inside the penalty area, with Tornaghi making a pair of kick saves to keep the Fire ahead.

The Eagles finally broke through with 20 minutes to go as Ramirez was able to slide home a falling finish into the left corner of the net. Five minutes later, they grabbed the lead as a long-distance effort by Newnam eluded Tornaghi from 35 yards, giving Charlotte the lead.

Charlotte went close to adding to its lead late, but was able to see out the win, its first in the league since taking a 1-0 win against the Charleston Battery exactly one month ago.

SATURDAY

PITTSBURGH 1, CHARLESTON 1: Jose Angulo's second-half goal earned the Pittsburgh Riverhounds a point as they drew 1-1 with the Charleston Battery on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium. Jose Cuevas had given the Battery the lead in an entertaining contest that had plenty of chances at both ends.

The game was open from the start, with Dane Kelly and Nicki Paterson both having early efforts for the Battery inside the first five minutes. Pittsburgh also looked dangerous going forward, with Kevin Kerr playing in Darren Amoo down the left, only for the forward to have his shot saved by Odisnal Cooper.

Pittsburgh again went close in the 17th minute as Seth C'deBaca's volley from 15 yards thumped against the crossbar, and Cooper had to make another good save nine minutes later on a shot from distance. The Battery that struck first, however, as Cuevas curled home a fine finish from 25 yards in the 37th minute.

Paterson almost doubled the lead in the 43rd minute, with his free kick curling just over the crossbar, and he also went close with a header off a good cushioned cross by Zach Prince, but the Battery went to the break one goal to the good.

Pittsburgh opened the second half well, pressing forward in search of an equalizer. An early cross by Matt Dallman was bundled away to safety by the Battery's defense, while C'deBaca had a good curling shot saved by Cooper in the 57th minute. The Riverhounds again went close as Jose Angulo had a point-blank header brilliantly saved by Cooper in the 65th minute.

The Riverhounds' pressure finally paid off with 18 minutes to go as Angulo flicked home a near-post delivery of a corner from the left by Dallman. The goal was Angulo's seventh of the season, and Dallman's league-leading eighth assist. The Riverhounds almost took the lead five minutes later, but Cody Ellison did enough to prevent Mike Seth from putting home a rebound after Cooper had saved an initial shot.

Both teams continued to press forward in the final 10 minutes, but neither was able to find the back of the net again, leaving the game even.

PHOENIX 0, RSL RESERVES 0: Phoenix FC and the Real Salt Lake Reserves played to a second scoreless draw of the season at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Both sides had chances to grab all three points, but the game finished scoreless as both defenses were able to frustrate their opposing attacks.

Phoenix had a pair of chances from crosses in the opening 20 minutes, with Travis Bowen flicking a header wide from Scott Morrison's corner and Donny Toia going close after good work by Isaiah Schafer. RSL also created chances, forcing Andrew Weber into a save in the 22nd minute, but the Wolves again went close 10 minutes later as Morrison curled a free kick just wide of the left post.

Darren Mackie proved dangerous in both halves and almost created the opening goal four minutes before the halftime break as his low cross just eluded the onrushing Wolves eight yards out. The former Aberdeen man also went close in the 64th minute, only for his shot to get blocked away for a corner.

RSL had a better second half as former USL PRO Most Valuable Player Yordany Alvarez had a shot saved by Weber. Neither side was able to find a breakthrough late, however, as the teams finished with the same score line as at Rio Tinto Stadium earlier this season

LA BLUES 1, LA GALAXY RESERVES 1: A last-minute goal by Chris Cortez earned the LA Blues a draw against the LA Galaxy Reserves at the StubHub Center. Cortez, who came on as a second-half substitute, scored his sixth goal of the season as the Blues solidified sixth place in the USL PRO standings.

The Galaxy Reserves were hit by an early setback, with goalkeeper Brian Perk having to be replaced by Brian Rowe after a collision with Blues forward Aaron Horton as they both went for a low cross. The Blues were able to find success down the flanks, but were unable to find a finish to take the lead in the opening 15 minutes.

The Galaxy Reserves came into the game more fully as the half went on, with Robbie Rogers having an effort saved in the 25th minute. Rogers also went close again five minutes later, sending a shot wide of the net, and Chandler Hoffman forced a good save by Mohammad Mohammadi in the 31st minute. The Galaxy's pressure paid off three minutes before the halftime break as Charlie Rugg was able to clean up his own rebound from close range to put his side up at the halftime break.

The game continued in a similar vein in the second half, with the Galaxy Reserves looking to add a second goal. The Blues defense was able to withstand the pressure, though, and in the final minute Cortez was able to finish from close range off a low cross by Rodrigo Lopez. Cortez had another chance in stoppage time, only to shoot just wide, leaving honors even.

SUNDAY

ROCHESTER 1, CHARLESTON 1: An early second-half goal by Shawn Ferguson earned the Charleston Battery a draw against the Rochester Rhinos at Sahlen's Stadium. The point allowed the Battery to take two points from their weekend road trip to the northeast and pull even with Richmond for third place in the USL PRO standings.

Charleston opened the game the brighter of the two teams, but neither side was able to threaten the others' goal much in the early going. Rochester gradually came into the game more as the half wore on, and was able to take the lead just before the half-hour mark as Lance Rozeboom flicked home Danny Earls' near-post corner from the right, the ball taking a hard bounce off the turf and into the roof of the net.

The Battery were able to hit back from a set piece of their own two minutes into the second half as center back Sean Ferguson was on the doorstep to put home a finish after a free kick had been sent into the penalty area. Heviel Cordoves went close four minutes later, forcing a good save from Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht with a fierce shot from 20 yards.

Rochester got back into the game near the hour mark, but neither side was able to create much in the way of clear chances. The Battery almost stole a goal with 10 minutes to go as a counter-attack that came to Bryce Alderson, but his shot from 12 yards was tipped over the crossbar by Nicht. The German goalkeeper again had to be sharp in the final minute, turning a shot from 20 yards just wide of the left post, but the game ended even.

HARRISBURG 3, ANTIGUA 1: The Harrisburg City Islanders moved back into second place in the USL PRO standings as they took victory against Antigua Barracuda FC at Skyline Sports Complex.

The City Islanders started the game strongly, with Andrew Ribeiro having a header go just over the bar in the first 10 minutes. Sainey Touray squandered another chance, pulling his shot wide of the left post after breaking in on goal. Harrisburg took the lead in the 29th minute as Morgan Langley broke into the right side of the penalty area and was able to put away a second effort after his initial shot was partially blocked by Molvin James.

Harrisburg continued to press forward, with Coady Andrews also going close from a corner, and Touray added a second before the halftime break as he was able to take advantage of a miscommunication between James and Karanja Mack that allowed him to poke a finish home.

Antigua pulled a goal back two minutes into the second half as Orlando Mitchum beat Nick Noble to a through-ball and flicked the ball past the goalkeeper, leaving him to finish into the empty net. Mitchum went close again in the 57th minute as Eugine Kirwan's counter-attack and cross found him alone at the right post, but the forward was unable to finish.

Harrisburg restored its two-goal advantage in the 67th minute as Yann Ekra picked up possession 30 yards from goal and drove a fine shot into the right corner of the net. Andrews almost added a fourth, only for his header to go off the right post and be cleared by Antigua's defense. Antigua continued to press, with Mitchum continuing to threaten, but the City Islanders were able to maintain their advantage and claim all three points.

DAYTON 2, TAMPA BAY 1: The Dayton Dutch Lions took victory against VSI Tampa Bay FC at Beavercreek Stadium. The win moved the Dutch Lions into seventh place in the standings as they set a new club record for regular-season wins in USL PRO.

Dayton took the lead in the ninth minute off a miscue from a Tampa Bay goal kick, with Remco Klaasse the beneficiary as he was able to finish off the opportunity. VSI had the better of the possession, putting pressure on the Dayton defense, but the Dutch Lions doubled their lead at the half-hour mark as Alex Horwath was unable to claim a ball into the penalty area under pressure from a Dayton attacker, and the loose ball came to Tjeerd Westdijk, who made it 2-0.

Tampa Bay hit back four minutes later from a corner as Chad Burt's delivery from the left was flicked home by an unmarked Sallieu Bundu in the right corner. VSI continued to play brightly as the second half began, and Shawn Chin had a good chance from a free kick just outside the penalty area that he sent over the crossbar.

VSI continued to press for an equalizer throughout the second half, with Dayton trying to hit on the counter-attack. Bundu came close to a second off another corner, with his header going wide on this occasion, and Matt Williams had to make a good save to deny another opportunity. Mauricio Salles, brought on as a second-half substitute, also came close, with Williams parrying his shot to safety as the Dutch Lions held on for victory.

RESULTS

Friday, June 14

Charlotte 2, Chicago Reserves 1

Richmond 4, Antigua 0

Rochester 3, Tampa Bay 0

Saturday, June 15

Pittsburgh 1, Charleston 1

Wilmington 1, New York Reserves 0

Phoenix 0, Real Salt Lake Reserves 0

LA Blues 1, LA Galaxy Reserves 1

Sunday, June 16

Harrisburg 3, Antigua 1

Rochester 1, Charleston 1

Dayton 2, Tampa Bay 1

SCHEDULE

Friday, June 21

Tampa Bay at Charlotte, 7 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh at Harrisburg, 7 p.m. ET

Antigua at Rochester, 7:35 p.m. ET

Dayton at Phoenix, 10:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, June 22

Vancouver Reserves at Richmond, 7 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay at Charleston, 7:30 p.m. ET

Charlotte at Wilmington, 7:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, June 23

Antigua at Pittsburgh, 3 p.m. ET

Dayton at Los Angeles, 7 p.m. ET

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USL PRO Stories from June 17, 2013


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