USL Wrap: Changes in Montreal
It was quite a week in Montreal. After falling 1-0 to Toronto FC of Major League Soccer Tuesday, the club announced the dismissal of coach John Limniatis and promotion of assistant Marc Dos Santos to interim manager.
Dos Santos had immediate work to do with the Charleston Battery visiting Friday evening. Having allowed seven goals in the previous three league matches, the Impact returned to their famed defensive form with a shutout against the Battery, but were unable to find the back of the net despite numerous opportunities. The two sides played to a scoreless stalemate as they had done in their opener in Charleston.
On Sunday afternoon, the Impact took advantage of a makeshift Austin lineup to win 4-0. Struggling again to finish opportunities, the halftime break proved fruitful as Roberto Brown broke the dam six minutes into the second half. Another six minutes later Brown turned provider to double the advantage, assisting on Joey Gjertsen's goal.
Following a poorly cleared ball from the Aztex defense, midfielder Tony Donatelli netted the third goal at in an 11-minute span in the 62nd minute. On the sequence, Donatelli cannoned a left-footed shot from about 20 meters out. Simon Gatti scored the last goal of the game in the 89th minute. Rocco Placentino, who had started his run from before the midfield line, gave the ball to Gatti inside the box. Gatti scored with a left-footed one-timer that hit the crossbar before entering the net.
USL First Division
Thursday, May 14
Portland Timbers 2-1 Rochester Rhinos
Brian Farber put the home side up five minutes before the break and Rhinos defender Darren Kenton provided the equalizer off the bench in the 66th. The game would be decided on a controversial penalty call in stoppage time. Ryan Pore converted from the spot to give Portland the victory.
Saturday, May 16
Minnesota Thunder 0-1 Cleveland City Stars
The promoted City Stars earned their first-ever USL First Division victory in a tight contest. Joshua Boateng came off the bench to tally the winning strike in the 63rd minute with assistance from Pato Aguilera. Goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap made seven saves for the shutout.
Miami FC Blues 0-2 Carolina RailHawks
The hosts were upended by two Luke Kreamalmeyer goals as he put the visitors on top five minutes before the interval and doubled the advantage in the 58th. Diego Serna received his second red card in four games played in the 70th minute.
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 Rochester Rhinos
Johnny Menyongar connected with Chris Nurse for the opening goal 17 minutes in to give Rochester the lead. He found the back of the net himself in the 37th minute on an assist from Taiwo Atieno to put the Rhinos up two. Dever Orgill, a call-up from Vancouver PDL squad, struck in the 90th minute, but it proved too late for the Whitecaps.
USL Second Division
In an unusually busy week, the Wilmington Hammerheads played to a scoreless draw and a 1-0 victory in Bermuda Friday and Sunday, respectively, against a Hogges squad that continues to show well in their third season. On loan from New York Red Bulls, Matthew Mbuta was helpful for his former club, scoring the lone goal in Friday's 1-0 win for Crystal Palace Baltimore over Western Mass. But his opening tally against Charlotte was not enough as the Eagles rallied for a 2-1 win on a stoppage time penalty Saturday.
The Eagles drew 1-1 on the road with the Richmond Kickers Friday on a late strike from Diego Martins that cancelled Matthew Delicate's early goal. Harrisburg edged Pittsburgh 1-0 on a goal from defender Cody Reinberg Saturday and Real Maryland cruised to a 3-0 win over visiting Western Mass on a goal and assist from Gary Brooks as they continue to enjoy an improved second campaign.
Premier Development League
US Open Cup qualifying continued in the next to last week before the May 25 deadline. St Louis and Des Moines, who will meet in a head-to-head showdown for their group's berth into the tournament, each posted two wins on the week. Des Moines dropped Springfield 3-1 Wednesday and clipped Real Colorado 1-0 Saturday. St Louis, meanwhile, blasted Springfield 5-0 Friday and won 4-2 in Kansas City Sunday.
With numerous former USL-1 players joining the rosters of the Northwest PDL sides, the competition is heating up. Portland drubbed Spokane 4-0 and Yakima 8-2, giving them the edge as Tacoma and Kitsap battled to a 1-1 stalemate.
Casey Nogueira led the Cary Lady Clarets to a 3-1 victory over Charlotte Friday with a goal and assist. Lindsay Vera struck for two and a helper in the contest. In a battle of Northwest rivals, Seattle and Vancouver played to a 1-1 stalemate with the host Whitecaps earning a share of the points on a last-minute Nikki Wright equalizer. The 2008 W-League champion Pali Blues blanked Real Colorado 2-0 and the runners-up FC Indiana Lionesses drubbed the Chicago Red Eleven 4-0 on a Laura Del Rio hat trick.