The Rochester Rhinos opened the week just in front of last-place Puerto Rico on the strength of their draw against Miami last week only to see the Islanders jump back in front with a 3-0 win over Carolina Thursday. Rochester answered back on Friday with a stunning 3-0 victory over the league-leading Vancouver Whitecaps, avenging an embarrassing 3-0 defeat the Rhinos suffered in the championship at the very same PAETEC Park two years prior in the championship game.
Mauricio Salles shattered the Rhinos scoring drought with two goals and an assist on the night as Rochester's attack finally found some teeth. He opened the scoring with a 20-yard blast that took a slight deflection en route to goal in the 32nd minute of action.
The goal that arguably broke the back of the Whitecaps came just 11 seconds into the second half when the kickoff worked its way quickly back to goalkeeper Scott Vallow, who had and excellent night in goal. Vallow bombed the ball upfield to the left side, where Salles directly flicked it past the defense for an onrushing Johnny Menyongar to put past Jay Nolly.
Ze Roberto, who set up the initial goal and had a shot ring off the just before the break, found Salles again in the 62nd minute to put the match out of reach.
USL First Division
Thursday, June 12
Carolina RailHawks 0 at Puerto Rico Islanders 3
The Islanders improved on a run of three straight draws with the victory over Carolina to momentarily move out of the basement. Kendall Jagdeosingh opened the scoring on an assist from Jonathan Steele 13 minutes in and Noah Delgado doubled the advantage in the 23rd. Steele found Krause in the 61st to secure the win as Bill Gaudette registered the shutout.
Atlanta Silverbacks 2 at Portland Timbers 2
In a wild game, the Timbers took the initial lead in the 14th minute on a goal from Chris Bagley, but saw Tom Poltl sent off just three minutes later and gave Atlanta the equalizer on an own goal in the 29. Defenders Scot Thompson and Justin Thompson ignored the shortage and teamed up to re-establish the lead in the 39th with Justin Thompson heading in the free kick. Scot Thompson's heroics gave way to a red card in the 68th and as the Timbers fought to hold onto the lead, the win slipped away two minutes from time with a goal by Nathan Knox.
Friday, June 13
Charleston Battery 0 at Montreal Impact 1
It was a night of firsts for Montreal. Rocco Placentino scored the first-ever Impact goal at the new Stade Saputo and the club held on courtesy of an eight-save performance by Matt Jordan to post their first victory in their new home in four league games, giving new head coach John Limniatis a win in his debut and ending the club's six-game winless run (0-4-2). Placentino's goal came in the 69th minute courtesy of Adam Braz, who would later be sent off in the 88th along with Charleston's leading scorer Randi Patterson.
Saturday, June 14
Atlanta Silverbacks 1 at Minnesota Thunder 1
Kevin Friedland gave the hosts the lead at the 31st minute mark on an assist from Ricardo Sanchez and the Thunder looked headed toward victory. Atlanta, however, spoiled the victory with a goal from late substitute Blake Camp, who netted the 84th minute equalizer just four minutes after entering.
Carolina RailHawks 0 at Miami FC Blues 2
Miami ended a three-game string of scoreless draws by posting their first home victory of the season in seven games. Leading scorer Alex Afonso took care of the scoring drought just a minute into the match and set up newcomer Leo Inacio Nunes in the 34th minute to secure the victory as Carolina would go down to nine men with the ejections of David Stokes in the 60th and Phil Long in the 76th.
USL Second Division
Crystal Palace Baltimore got back on track after dropping three straight with a 2-1 victory over fellow contender Cleveland Friday night as Wilmington played Western Mass to a scoreless tie. On Saturday, Harrisburg drubbed a Real Maryland side that won their postponed US Open Cup match in overtime the night before with Mo Oduor netting a goal and assist in the 4-0 win. Cleveland bounced back from defeat with a 1-0 victory at winless Pittsburgh on a strike from Adam Ruud and the Charlotte Eagles maintained their top spot with a 2-1 win over Western Mass on a Dustin Swinehart brace.
Also on Saturday, the Richmond Kickers blasted a make-shift Bermuda Hogges squad 4-1. The Hogges were missing numerous starters, who were on international duty for Bermuda. The league loss proved worthy as Bermuda would turn around and stun Trinidad & Tobago on the road 2-1 Sunday in the first leg of their CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier. Bermuda never trailed as longtime USL veteran John Barry Nusum scored eight minutes into the qualifier and after an equalizer from another USL alum Stern John, provided the winner in the 40th.
Premier Development League
In a relatively quiet week after the First Round of the US Open Cup Tuesday and a few thunderstorm-related postponements, a pair of club's suffered their first defeats of the year. The Southeast leaders Central Florida gave Bradenton their first loss Saturday 2-0 and the rising Newark Ironbound Express dropped the Barons in Ocean City 4-0 for their first loss. The Michigan Bucks (8-0-0) and St Louis Lions (4-0-2) are the two remaining unbeatens in the league.
In divisional chases, the Mid Atlantic leaders Fredericksburg and Reading split a pair of meetings in Reading with the Rage winning handily 5-0 Friday before falling 2-1 at home Sunday. In the Mid South, the defending champion Laredo kept pace with 7-1-1 Austin by posting 3-1 and 3-0 wins over Baton Rouge.
In a week of big showdowns, the action started Wednesday with unbeatens Minnesota and FC Indiana meeting. The Lightning and Lionesses would not settle anything with their 1-1 draw. Also on Wednesday, Hamilton earned their first-ever points against Toronto with a 1-1 draw. Minnesota would win a narrow 1-0 decision against Chicago Saturday as the defending champion Washington Freedom squeaked by New York 2-1.
The highlight night was Sunday. In a battle of unbeatens, Pali Blues crushed Vancouver 4-0 in the Western Conference and Washington, despite outshooting Northern Virginia 32-3 were only able to earn a 1-1 draw on a goal four minutes from time. Rochester avenged an earlier loss to Hamilton 2-0, but the headliner was Toronto earning their first-ever win against the Fury, a 2-1 decision in Ottawa.