Portland keeps on rolling
After posting back-to-back wins at home, the Portland Timbers took their league record unbeaten streak on the road and added two more victories to the ledger to extend the run to 22 games and a record of 13-1-9 for the season. At the close of play for the weekend, they held a four-point margin on their counterparts, the biggest lead anyone has had all season.
The Timbers opened the trip Wednesday in Canada against the Montreal Impact and appeared to be headed to a scoreless stalemate when Ryan Pore tallied in his fourth straight contest seven minutes from time to give the visitors the victory. The win, however, also proved costly as just a few minutes later defender Cameron Knowles suffered a season-ending broken leg injury.
Portland overcame the loss of Knowles with a resounding performance in Rochester Saturday. Ryan Pore set up Takayuki Suzuki in the first half for the lead, then opened a second half blitz with 16 minutes remaining to extend his scoring streak to five games. Following his strike, Keith Savage pushed the lead to 3-0 in the 80th. Rochester's Warren Ukah spoiled the shutout in the 86th with Mandjou Keita closing the contest with a 90th minute tally for a 4-1 victory, giving Portland its first-ever win in Rochester and handing the Rhinos their worst-ever defeat at home.
USL First Division
Charleston Battery 4, Cleveland City Stars 1
The Battery briefly moved to the top of the table Tuesday with the dismantling of Cleveland. Tsuyoshi Yoshitake scored twice in the contest, converting from the spot in the 20th and capping the night in the 86th. Scott Buete opened the scoring just two minutes in and Stephen Armstrong made it 3-0 in the 24th. Leo Gibson had Cleveland's lone goal in the 35th on a penalty.
Minnesota Thunder 1, Miami FC Blues 0
In Friday's lone contest, the Thunder picked up their first victory on the road this season with a 68th minute header from Melvin Tarley as Nic Platter made seven saves for the shutout.
Montreal Impact 0, Puerto Rico Islanders 0
The Islanders posted their seventh shutout in their last eight matches with Bill Gaudette making eight stops Saturday for his seventh straight shutout in USL-1 and ninth consecutive including Champions League play. Defender John Krause provided the lone goal in the 37th minute.
Carolina RailHawks 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Caleb Patterson-Sewell made seven saves Saturday on the road to give the RailHawks a share of the points as Jay Nolly only needed three saves to record the clean sheet at the other end.
Minnesota Thunder 2, Austin Aztex 2
Jean Alexandre gave the hosts the lead four minutes before the break Sunday and would set up another go-ahead goal in the 74th minute for Austin via Sullivan Silva. Minnesota's Melvin Tarley notched the initial equalizer eight minutes into the second and repeated the feat for his third of the week in the 89th minute for the draw.
USL Second Division
The Wilmington Hammerheads posted a 2-0 victory over Real Maryland Wednesday to move into a tie with Richmond atop the table. On Saturday, the two sides clashed in a first-place showdown, but a pair of Matthew Delicate goals were not enough for the host Kickers as a 2-2 draw gave the Hammerheads the regular season crown on tiebreakers. Western Mass closed out the season with a 2-1 win Wednesday over playoff-bound Harrisburg before falling on the road 3-0 Saturday to Charlotte, who is also headed to the postseason. Pittsburgh closed out their season with a 1-0 win at home against Baltimore.