USL First Division
It's taken seven years, but the Portland Timbers finally registered their first-ever victory over the perennial league power Rochester Raging Rhinos. With a 0-5-1 record against the New York side, the Timbers broke through into the win column Sunday night with a 2-0 shutout at home.
Andrew Gregor, who converted a penalty to complete a two-goal rally in a 2-2 draw against Seattle two nights earlier, helped lead the Timbers to the victory with a goal and assist against the Rhinos.
Gregor's fourth goal of the season came in the 24th minute to give the Timbers an early 1-0 lead. The play developed off of a throw in to forward Chris Bagley, who controlled the ball and delivered a quick pass to Gregor in the box. From 15 yards out on the left post, Gregor rifled a shot into the far upper corner.
The Timbers took a 2-0 lead eight minutes later on a 32-yard bomb by defender Leonard Griffin past Harrison along the left post. Gregor, out on the right wing, found Griffin running to space towards the top left side of the penalty area. With a right foot, Griffin netted his first goal as a Timber.
Friday, May 11
Montreal Impact 1 at Puerto Rico Islanders 1
Rookie Fred Moojen gave the visitors the lead two minutes before the break on an assist from Mauro Biello. Second half substitute Victory Herrera found fellow sub Alberto Zapata in the 76th minute to split the points.
Seattle Sounders 2 at Portland Timbers 2
Newcomer Sebastian Le Toux made quite a debut, scoring eight minutes into the match on an assist from Roger Levesque. Le Toux returned the favor to Levesque in the 77th minute to give the Sounders a 2-0 lead only to see an apparent victory fall away. A minute later a ball deflected toward goal off a Sounder defender in an aerial battle in the box and Bryan Jordan crashed the goal to ensure it found the back of the net. Three minutes from time, Jordan created an Andrew Gregor penalty for the tie when he was fouled in the box.
Saturday, May 12
Miami FC 0 at Charleston Battery 2
The Battery were the lone USL First Division side to win at home in four contests on the night. Stephen Armstrong put Charleston on the board in the 29th minute when a rebound off Miami keeper Pat Hannigan presented itself off a Gordon Chin shot. Chin officially set up the second goal to clinch the victory five minutes from time when he connected with Byron Alvarez.
Carolina RailHawks 2 at Atlanta Silverbacks 1
With three draws in their first four games, the RailHawks were in Atlanta looking for their inaugural victory and found it in a very heated contest that saw seven yellows and a red card issued. Kupono Low, who scored the team's first ever goal eight minutes into their first game, got things headed in the right direction with a strike nine minutes in Saturday. Defender Chad Dombrowski scored what proved the winner in the 29th minute as the RailHawks held on after giving up a goal to Justin Moore two minutes before the half.
Rochester Rhinos 3 at California Victory 1
The league home debut for the California side finished on a sour note courtesy of former Bay Area coach and player Laurie Calloway. His Rhinos took advantage of the wind five minutes in when relief goalkeeper Chase Harrison hit a long ball that bounced over the defense and allowed Johnny Menyongar to put it past Eric Reed for the lead. Defender Scot Palguta doubled the advantage in the 21st. California cut into the deficit in the 73rd minute courtesy of Kiel McClung only to go down a man two minutes later when Chris Schwarze was sent off. The Rhinos wasted no time putting the match away with a goal from Rey Martinez four minutes after the red was shown.
Vancouver Whitecaps 3 at Seattle Sounders 1
The defending champions remain one of two unbeatens on the season (Montreal 2-0-2) with a mark of 3-0-2 after a decisive win over their rivals. Seattle's Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar converted a penalty in the 27th minute to give the Sounders the lead. Eduardo Sebrango, who scored the 1-0 winner in the season opener between the two sides in Vancouver, tied the game 10 minutes later and helped put the visitors ahead five minutes after the break when he found David Testo. Tony Donatelli secured the victory three minutes from time.
USL Second Division
Two clubs mathematically secured U.S. Open Cup berths over the weekend. Despite a scoreless draw in New Hampshire Friday, the Harrisburg City Islanders got into the tournament with Wilmington's 2-0 loss at Charlotte in which Dustin Swinehart had a goal and assist. The following night, the expansion Cleveland City Stars kept their perfect start going with their third win, ensuring themselves a spot a 2-1 win at Cincinnati. Western Mass downed Harrisburg 2-0 and Crystal Palace Baltimore nearly got their first points only to see Trey Alexender score in the 90th to give defending champion Richmond the victory. The Bermuda Hogges, however, did secure their first point of the year earlier in the week with a 1-1 draw at home against Cincinnati.
Premier Development League
Only partway into qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup, everyone is still alive for a shot at glory. A few teams showing well in continuing form from last season are the St Louis Lions, Cape Cod Crusaders and defending regular season champion Carolina Dynamo.
A 12-game unbeaten run to end the season left expansion St Louis just shy of the playoffs last year, but the club opened their sophomore campaign with a win last week and an impressive 3-1 win this week over the Colorado Rapids U-23, who have been a dominant club in the division for years. Former league champions Cape Cod and Carolina both went unbeaten last season with 14-0-2 records. The Crusaders with a 4-1 win over Albany on a pair of goals from Ricardo Pierre-Louis and Carolina blanked Nashville 3-0.
Big scoring performances were turned in from two-time league MVP Tomas Boltnar, who led Des Moines to a 5-0 victory over Sioux Falls with a hat trick, and Andrew Wheeler, who led the expansion Hampton Roads Piranhas to a 4-0 win over Northern Virginia with all four tallies.
The season kicked off Friday night with a pair of rivals squaring off only to see Charlotte dominate the affair. The Lady Eagles blanked the Silverbacks from Atlanta 3-0 with Kelly Schmedes registering a goal and an assist. The following night, the New York Magic ended a seven-game winless run against Long Island opposition with a 2-0 win over the expansion Rough Riders while Jersey Sky Blue were dominant in their debut 4-0 over Western Mass on a pair of goals from Tobin Heath. The Richmond Kickers Destiny closed out opening weekend with a 2-0 win at Hampton Roads Sunday.