Charlotte, Richmond reach USL-2 Final
Brief reports of United Soccer Leagues play this weekend. USL First Division Wednesday, August 16 Charleston Battery 1 at Montreal Impact 0 A strike from Jamaican international Omar Daley in stoppage time handed the Impact their first loss at home this season. Dusty Hudock made three stops for the Battery shutout against the league leaders. Friday, August 18 Miami FC 3 at Virginia Beach Mariners 0 Defender Walter Ramirez opened the scoring with his first of the campaign in the 53rd minute on an assist from Fabian Sandoval, who pushed the lead to 2-0 in the 67th. Yaikel Perez also got his first of the year, putting the road win in hand in the 89th. Eric Kronberg made four saves for the clean sheet. Toronto Lynx 1 at Rochester Raging Rhinos 1 Rey Martinez notched his first goal of the season in the 58th minute to give the Rhinos the advantage only to see a penalty from Jamie Dodds in the 83rd set the match as a second straight 1-1 draw between the two sides. Puerto Rico Islanders 0 at Portland Timbers 3 Byron Alvarez doubled his account on the year with a pair of goals, scoring eight minutes in and putting the match away at 3-0 in the 57th. He also created the 47th minute own goal with a cross that Thomas Queeley sent into his own goal. Goalkeeper Bayard Elfvin made five saves, including a penalty in the 55th to secure the shutout victory. Saturday, August 19 Miami FC 1 at Atlanta Silverbacks 2 Midfielder Josh Smith had a big night, scoring his first goal of the year less than a minute into the match and his second in the 59th for the game-winner. Rodrigo Rios assisted on both. Zinho leveled the game in the 11th minute for Miami. Vancouver Whitecaps 0 at Seattle Sounders 2 Andrew Gregor gave the Sounders the lead 32 minutes in on an assist from Leighton O'Brien, who helped secure the victory in the 65th with the conversion of a penalty awarded when league-leading scorer Cam Weaver was taken down in the box by Vancouver keeper Tony Caig. Chris Eylander posted seven saves for the shutout. Sunday, August 20 Puerto Rico Islanders 1 at Minnesota Thunder 3 Terry Alvino gave the Thunder the lead in the 38th minute with Nathan Knox following it up immediately a minute later to double the advantage. Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy found Alen Marcina with a punt in first half stoppage to cut the lead in half only to see Knox find Leo Gibson nine minutes into the second half to put the game away. Rochester Raging Rhinos 1 at Toronto Lynx 1 For a third straight time, the pair finished in a 1-1 draw. Despite playing a man down since the fifth minute from a Gordon Chin ejection, the Lynx got out in front first with Kevin Jeffrey notching the go-ahead goal in the 21st. Midfielder Aaran Lines scored his first of the season to give Rochester the point to pull them out of the three-way tie for second. USL Second Division The defending champion Charlotte Eagles advanced to their third consecutive USL Second Division Final with a dominating first-leg performance on the road at Pittsburgh Friday night in which four different players scored to give them a 4-0 lead. Dan Benton recorded 10 saves. The Eagles secured their spot the following night at home in a 2-1 victory with Andriy Budnyy scoring his second of the playoffs for the match-winner, although the club was already ahead on the aggregate total 5-1 at the time. USL First Division finalists a year ago, the Richmond Kickers dominated the USL Second Division for the regular season championship only to find a tough test against Cincinnati in the semifinals. Richmond grabbed a 1-0 lead when league Scoring Champion Robert Ssejjemba set up Matt Watson in the 40th minute only to see Josh Barton level for the visiting Kings five minutes later. Mike Burke gave the Kickers the lead heading to Cincinnati with a penalty on the hour mark for Richmond, who will host the championship match, set for 7:00 pm ET Saturday, August 26, following their scoreless draw in the second leg.