W-League Championship, PDL semis set
Brief reports of United Soccer Leagues play this weekend. USL First Division Wednesday, July 26 Seattle Sounders 0 at Montreal Impact 1 Mauricio Salles' goal nine minutes into the match proved enough as the staunch Impact defense held for the shutout in front of Andrew Weber, who posted six saves in the shutout. Thursday, July 27 Portland Timbers 1 at Virginia Beach Mariners 3 The visitors got on the board first courtesy of a Luke Kreamalmeyer strike in the 39th minute. An own goal on the hour mark put the game on level terms with Kreamalmeyer missing out on a second goal seven minutes later with a saved penalty kick attempt by Matt Nelson. Second half sub Felix Brillant then came into the match to set up Greg Simmonds for the winner in the 80th and one of his own three minutes later on an assist from Nelson. Charleston Battery 1 at Minnesota Thunder 0 The defensive stalemate was broken five minutes from time with Ben Hollingsworth providing the winner on a penalty kick when Gavin Glinton was brought down in the box by goalkeeper Nicolas Platter after beating his defender. Dusty Hudock had four saves in the shutout. Friday, July 28 Montreal Impact 2 at Atlanta Silverbacks 1 The league leaders became the first side to hand the Silverbacks their first loss at their new home after an impressive 6-0-2 start. After a scoreless first half, consecutive penalties from Atlanta's David Hayes in the 55th and Montreal's Mauricio Salles in the 78th left the game tied heading into the final moments where veteran star Mauro Biello struck the winner in stoppage time for the Impact. Puerto Rico Islanders 2 at Miami FC 3 A pair of goals from Brazilian World Cup MVP Romario led the home side to the victory in a thrilling five-goal first half. Alen Marcina put the visitors up first nine minutes in with Romario notching his first in the 27th on an assist from Mario Rodriguez to tie the game. Rodriguez made it 2-1 five minutes later with one of his own. Puerto Rico's Kormac Valdeberito tied the game back up on a penalty in the 35th only to see Romario score what proved to be the winner in the 45th as the Miami defense held on in the second half for the win. Seattle Sounders 1 at Rochester Raging Rhinos 2 Cam Weaver scored his 14th of the season to give Seattle the lead 12 minutes in. Matthew Delicate leveled for the Rhinos two minutes before the break and Johnny Menyongar added the winner on the hour-mark. Saturday, July 29 Portland Timbers 0 at Toronto Lynx 0 The Timbers ended a seven-game losing streak with the draw as Josh Saunders posted six saves. Richard Goddard needed only one save to move the Lynx to 3-1-2 over their last six. Charleston Battery 0 at Virginia Beach Mariners 2 Greg Simmonds set up two Jacob Fenger strikes as the Mariners took advantage of a Battery squad resting several starters for Wednesday's upcoming US Open Cup match against FC Dallas. Fenger's first came in the 33rd with the second two minutes after the break as Matt Nelson posted four saves for a clean sheet. Sunday, July 30 Puerto Rico Islanders 1 at Miami FC 0 The Islanders avenged Friday's defeat by shutting down Romario and the Miami offense with Dan Kennedy needing to make just one save in the shutout. Alen Marcina was the lone scorer with his winner coming two minutes before halftime. It was his sixth straight game with a goal. Seattle Sounders 2 at Toronto Lynx 4 The Lynx moved to 4-1-2 over the last seven with the win over the defending champion Sounders, who took the early lead on a fourth-minute strike from CJ Klaas. Kevin Jeffrey and Matthew Palleschi in the 16th and 25th put Toronto up. Cam Weaver added his 15th of the season to send the game to halftime on level terms. Second half subs Damien Pottinger and Osni Neto scored back to back in the 85th and 86th to give Toronto the win. Atlanta Silverbacks 3 at Minnesota Thunder 2 Melvin Tarley scored the opening tally in the 35th minute with a flurry of action coming in the final six-plus minutes of the match as Warren Ukah tied the game in the 84th for Atlanta. Newcomer Ansu Toure gave the Thunder the lead back in the 88th only to see the Silverbacks score twice in the 90th with Fabian Dawkins setting up Maurice Hughes and scoring himself for the stunning win. USL Second Division The Charlotte Eagles edged the visiting Harrisburg City Islanders Saturday to secure a spot in the four-team USL Second Division postseason, joining league leading Richmond as playoff-bound sides. Patrick Daka had two goals in the game for Charlotte. Richmond suffered just its third loss of the season, 2-1 at home Wednesday, to Wilmington, who boasts two of the three wins over the Kickers. In other results, Wilmington fell 2-1 to Harrisburg Friday and Cincinnati drubbed Long Island Wednesday behind John Krause hat-trick. Pittsburgh dropped two on the road falling 2-0 at Western Mass and 2-1 at New Hampshire. Premier Development League It has become tradition for top seeds to make an early exit in the PDL playoffs and this year was no different as number seven overall seed Laredo was the lone team in the top eight to survive the Conference Championships over the weekend. The Heat downed Augusta 3-2 and Bradenton 1-0 to move onto the PDL semifinals. They will host the 11th-seeded Westchester Flames, who topped Virginia Beach 3-1 before eliminating the unbeaten (14-0-2) number two overall seed Cape Cod 2-1. Number nine Orange County rallied from 2-0 down to Abbotsford for a 3-2 win before advancing to the semifinals via penalties 4-2 after a 2-2 draw against BYU. They will visit the 13th-seeded Michigan Bucks, who stunned third-seeded Boulder 4-1 and fourth-seeded Chicago 4-0 in the Central Conference. Both semifinals will be Saturday, August 5. W-League Amy Vermeulen has become the star of the W-League playoffs, leading Ottawa to the W-League Championship weekend in Vancouver next week with six goals through three games. She opened the week with a pair and an assist in a 3-0 divisional playoff victory over Toronto. She added a third in a 3-0 win over Western Mass in the conference semifinal before stunning the defending champions with a natural hat-trick in a 3-2 win over New Jersey, avenging their 3-0 loss to the Wildcats in the championship game a year ago. The Charlotte Lady Eagles advanced from the Central Conference with a 5-4 six-round penalty kick decision over expansion Minnesota after a 1-1 draw in the semifinal. They then downed Richmond 1-0 on a penalty in the conference final to reach the league semifinals for a fourth time. After finishing second on the season to championship host and automatic semifinalist Vancouver, the Seattle Sounders Saints advanced from the Western Conference playoffs with a 1-0 win over visiting Mile High. Ottawa will play Charlotte in the first semifinal followed by Vancouver versus conference foe Seattle. USL Super-20 League The first season of the league comes to a close this coming weekend as 16 teams convene in Epping, New Hampshire for the USL Super-20 League North American Finals. The Men's field of 12 consists of three groups that include familiar names such as the New York Red Bulls and DC United while the four-team women's championship bracket includes the Washington Freedom. The Red Bulls are in Group B with HC United, the SCC Breakers and Ottawa Fury. DC is joined by Mequon United, host Seacoast United and the Brooklyn Knights in Group C. Group A is MPS Boston, JYSA United, West Kendall and the New York Rough Riders. The Freedom are joined by Parsippany SC, MPS Boston 19 and host Seacoast United.