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Gameday Report: June 22, Week 16

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 06/22/19, 7:00PM EDT

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Republic FC hit for six; Phoenix earns seventh consecutive win

The Tampa Bay Rowdies got back to winning ways after a narrow 2-1 defeat over Bethlehem Steel FC at Goodman Stadium saw them pick up three points for the first time since June 1. Elsewhere, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and Indy Eleven picked up home wins over New York Red Bulls II and Atlanta United 2 respectively, while Louisville and Charlotte produced a one-all draw at Slugger Field.

Nashville and Ottawa duelled to a three-all draw at First Tennessee Park with forward Cameron Lancaster putting the hosts in front after 70 minutes only for Fury FC's Wal Fall to equalize from distance in the 81st minute to level the match for the final time. Saint Louis FC capped off a high-drama week with captain Sam Fink scoring a late equalizer to earn a draw with North Carolina FC just days after scoring the winner in stoppage against FC Cincinnati to advance to the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals. The silver lining for North Carolina FC? Their unbeaten run is extended to six.

In the west, Timbers 2 also extended their unbeaten run to six games with a 2-0 win over Orange County SC away from home thanks to goals from Roy Miller and Brayan Hurtado, and Phoenix earned their seventh consecutive victory after a 4-1 dismantling of Energy FC in Oklahoma City. Meanwhile, Las Vegas Lights FC ended El Paso Locomotive's nine-game unbeaten run by picking up their first road win of the season, 0-1, at Southwest University Park.

Sacramento Republic then capped off a full Saturday slate by defeating Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 6-0, at Papa Murphy's Park thanks to braces from midfielder Cameron Iwasa and forward Stefano Bonomo.

 

sacramento republic fc (6) v tulsa roughnecks fc (0)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC displayed their offensive firepower in a 6-0 win over Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Papa Murphy’s Park with braces from Cameron Iwasa and Stefano Bonomo. Republic FC kickstarted the match with a goal in eight minutes as defender Mitchell Taintor headed home a corner from midfielder Villyan Bijev, and that lead would hold until the 44th minute when the midfielder Iwasa scored the first of his two goals, this time cleaning up a deflected cross in the penalty area and beating Tulsa goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar. Sacramento found their third of the night three minutes into the second half when Iwasa turned from scorer to provider as he intercepted a poor pass from Tulsa and fed the forward Bonomo, who slotted home with ease. The hosts then capitalized on a flurry of three goals in ten minutes as Iwasa and Bonomo each scored their second and midfielder Sam Werner added the team’s sixth when he skipped past a defender on the break and finished through the legs of Stajduhar. The win is Sacramento’s third straight after wins over New Mexico United and San Antonio FC in the last three weeks.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Cameron Iwasa, Sacramento Republic FC – Iwasa scored a pair of goals and added an assist while creating one additional chance in Republic FC’s biggest win of the season so far.

 

LA Galaxy ii (1) v new mexico united (1)

CARSON, Calif. – Days after advancing to the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal round, New Mexico United were held to a one-all draw against LA Galaxy II at Dignity Health Sports Park. United nearly found a way through after the half-hour mark when midfielder Santi Moar danced around a pair of defenders at the top of the box and whipped an effort from just outside the area at LA goalkeeper Justin vom Steeg, who dove to his left to make the save. Three minutes later, it was instead LA on the scoresheet when defender Nicholas DePuy settled a flicked on header off a corner kick and lashed an effort from five yards out into the back of the net. However, the hosts would only hold that lead until the 40th minute when on-fire forward Kevaughn Frater finished an Alex Bruce pass off a breakaway to pull level. LA had an opportunity to steal all three points in the 86th minute when Galaxy II forward Frank Lopez headed a cross on goal only for United goalkeeper Cody Mizell to collect in the center of the box. The point leaves United with just one win in their last five games in Championship competitions.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Kevaughn Frater, New Mexico United – Frater once again lifted his name up in the race for the Golden Boot by netting United’s lone goal while also creating an additional chance in the draw. 

 

el paso locomotive fc (0) v las vegas lights fc (1)

EL PASO, Tx. – El Paso Locomotive FC’s extensive nine-game unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday night when Las Vegas Lights FC stole all three points thanks to a first half goal from Preston Tabort Etaka. With a free kick on the right side of the field, Lights FC forward Pablo Cruz lifted a ball to the back post for Tabort Etaka, who headed powerfully into the back of the net after 42 minutes. In the second half, El Paso had repeated attempts for the likes of Nicholas Ross, Sebastián Contreras, Omar Salgado, and others all shut down by Lights FC goalkeeper Thomas Olsen or squeeze just wide of goal as Las Vegas picked up their first away win of the year and second straight victory in total.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Thomas Olsen, Las Vegas Lights FC – Olsen was a central figure for Lights FC in the win, making four saves including three in the second half to keep a clean sheet for the visitors.

 

okc energy fc (1) v phoenix rising fc (4)

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Phoenix Rising FC added a seventh win in a row when it rode the influence of forward Solomon Asante to a 4-1 win over OKC Energy FC at Taft Stadium on Saturday. Asante’s abilities were on display early on when he caused an Atiba Harris own goal in the 15th minute before scoring one of his own three minutes later to give Phoenix a two-goal lead in the span of four minutes. Phoenix’s game plan was adjusted slightly after defender Joseph Farrell was sent off after 29 minutes for a second yellow on a handball inside the box that resulted in an OKC penalty. Energy FC midfielder Rafael Garcia converted the spot kick to give the hosts a way back into the game. However, in the 54th minute, Phoenix’s Jon Bakero sank a free kick from a good distance to give the visitors a third goal and Asante added a second of his own in the 79th minute to effectively end the contest and help Rising FC maintain their place at the top of the Western Conference.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Solomon Asante, Phoenix Rising FC – Asante was once again the best player on the field, scoring a brace that saw him reach the 10-goal mark while also creating an additional chance for the juggernaut Rising FC attack.

 

colorado springs switchbacks fc (1) v real monarchs slc (2)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Col. – Real Monarchs SLC earned their second straight win after beating Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on the road at Weidner Field. After a scoreless first half, the hosts were first on the scoresheet after 55 minutes when a calculated passing move eventually saw midfielder Jordan Schweitzer find forward Mike Seth in the center of the six-yard box, and Seth turned and finished calmly to go ahead just before the hour mark. However, two goals in five minutes from the Monarchs changed the game in its entirety as substitute Kyle Coffee had a deflected shot find its way past Switchbacks goalkeeper Andre Rawls in the 81st minute before midfielder Justin Portillo delivered a stunning free kick to the back post and in from the left side of the field. The loss is Colorado’s second straight after picking up a pair of wins in the two weeks before.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Jordan Schweitzer, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Schweitzer was the most influential player on the field, providing an assist on Colorado’s lone goal and creating two chances while winning 8 of 11 duels.

 

birmingham legion fc (2) v hartford athletic (2)

BIRMINGHAM, Al. – Birmingham Legion FC and the Hartford Athletic produced a two-all draw that saw a late disallowed goal for Hartford keep the points split between the pair. The visitors scored first after 13 minutes when midfielder Hugh Alexander Dixon picked out forward Harry Swartz in the center of the box where he poked his shot past Legion FC goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel and in. Birmingham battled back when forward Chandler Hoffman scored his team’s first goal after lifting a left-footed effort past Hartford netminder Frederik Due, but the Athletic restored their lead just before halftime when defender Logan Gdula met a Mads Jorgensen free kick two yards out and stuck out a foot to see the ball over the line. Birmingham scored the final goal of the evening after 52 minutes when midfielder Mikey Lopez cleaned up a loose ball in the box by directing a laser effort into the side netting from 19 yards out to bring the game to two-all. In the 78th minute, Hartford had a goal disallowed after a free kick from substitute Philip Rasmussen was squared by Gdula and put in by fellow sub Jose Angulo only for the offside flag to go up on Gdula and thwart any efforts at a late winner.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Mikey Lopez, Birmingham Legion FC – Lopez scored Birmingham’s second goal and created an additional two chances across 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw.

 

charleston battery (1) v swope park rangers (1)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery drew their second straight game after a 1-1 draw against Swope Park Rangers was delayed but inclement weather for nearly 75 minutes. Jumping into the contest, the hosts first solid look on goal came when forward Arthur Bosua forced a point-blank save from Swope Park Rangers goalkeeper Adrian Zendajas after plucking a pass out of the air and volleying on goal from close range. Just after the hour, Charleston would open the scoring when defender Jarad van Schaik sent a low cross into the box that forward Kotaro Higashi was right to dummy, leaving the ball instead for midfielder Romario Piggott to finish from inside the penalty area. However, Swope would find an equalizer in the 82nd minute when midfielder took a chance from just outside the penalty area and ended up curling an effort off the inside of the far post and in. The match soured in the dying seconds of the match when Battery forward Ian Svantesson was sent off for a high boot challenge before the shotstopper Zendajas was sent off on a second yellow card for an altercation after the incident. 

USL Championship Man of the Match

Jarad van Schaik, Charleston Battery – van Schaik recorded the assist on Piggott’s goal and created an additional chance while also winning 8 of 11 duels including two of three in the air in the draw.

 

Orange county sc (0) v portland timbers 2 (2)

IRVINE, Calif. – Portland Timbers 2 continued their impressive form with a 2-0 win over hosts Orange County SC that saw two late goals earn the three points. It would take until the 87th minute, but Timbers 2 found their first goal when defender Roy Miller headed home midfielder Cristian Ojeda’s corner kick to establish the lead. Four minutes later, Portland would put the game to bed when substitute Brayan Hurtado produced a powerful finish after being played over the top by midfielder Jose Carlos Anguiano. The result moves Portland’s unbeaten streak to six games.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Roy Miller, Portland Timbers 2 – Miller scored the game-winning goal but also contributed 11 clearances and won five of six duels in T2’s away win.

 

saint louis fc (2) v north carolina fc (2)

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – Saint Louis FC stunned visitors North Carolina FC when a stoppage time penalty from captain Sam Fink helped the hosts to a two-all draw at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. The visitors scored the game’s first goal when forward Ulrich Ewolo peeled off to the far post and headed a pass from Miller across goal and past Saint Louis FC goalkeeper Tomas Gomez in the 32nd minute and NCFC held onto that advantage into the halftime break. Just two minutes into the second half, though, the hosts equalized when midfielder Guy Abend fed substitute Albert Dikwa and the Cameroonian forward finished well to the far post. Looking for something to separate the two sides, the forward Miller took a shot at goal in the 82nd minute that deflected off a defender and past Gomez to score. However, North Carolina FC’s Viktor Igbekoyi was judged to have fouled Saint Louis FC midfielder Kadeem Dacres in the penalty area, leaving Fink to convert from the spot and recover a point. For North Carolina FC, the result sees them extend their unbeaten run to six straight games.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Steven Miller, North Carolina FC – Miller scored one, assisted on another, and created four chances while winning all four aerial duels while leading the line for NCFC.

 

nashville sc (3) v ottawa fury fc (3)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville SC and Ottawa Fury FC produced a six-goal thriller which saw the sides split the points at First Tennessee Park. Nashville took an early lead when forward Daniel Rios finished from three yards out after teammate Lebo Moloto put the ball on a platter. However, Ottawa defender Carl Haworth scored a gorgeous free kick from just outside the penalty area on the edge of halftime to bring his side level into the second half. The visitors punched their way in front five minutes into the second half when forward Cristiano Francois pushed an impressive side-footed effort to the far post and in, but Nashville responded quickly with forward Ropapa Mensah heading in a free kick from defender Justin Davis just five minutes later. Nashville forward Cameron Lancaster entered the game in the 70th minute and immediately put the hosts in front when a failed clearance by the Ottawa defense left the ball in front of goal for the Englishman, who still did well to beat Ottawa goalkeeper Callum Irving. Ottawa would not go away, though, and midfielder Wal Fall levelled the scoring for the final time when he cut inside and left a defender hanging before curling an effort from distance past Nashville goalkeeper Matt Pickens for the game’s final goal. 

USL Championship Man of the Match

Wal Fall, Ottawa Fury FC – Fall’s all-around performance saw him chip in a goal and create three chances while also making three tackles and two clearances for Fury FC in the draw.

 

pittsburgh riverhounds sc (3) v new york red bulls ii (0)

PITTSBURGH, Penn. – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC handled a visit from New York Red Bulls II well, dispatching the away side 3-0 with Red Bulls II going down a man for the final 25 minutes. It took 40 minutes for Pittsburgh to get off the mark, but forward Neco Brett’s chip over NY goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu was well worth the wait to open the scoring. Six minutes after the halftime break, the hosts doubled their lead when forward Steevan Dos Santos turned provider to scorer as he turned in midfielder Kenardo Forbes’ corner kick. Pittsburgh found their third in the 58th minute, again off a corner kick, as a headed effort from Dos Santos was saved from close range only for defender Thomas Vancaeyezeele to knock in the rebound. New York’s evening got worse when midfielder Jean-Christophe Koffi was sent off on a second yellow card after receiving both cautions within three minutes. Pittsburgh’s win marks the second consecutive victory in which they scored at least three goals.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Steevan Dos Santos, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Dos Santos assisted Pittsburgh’s first, scored their second, and caused their third after heading down the corner that resulted in Vancaeyezeele’s goal while also creating one chance in the win.

 

louisville city fc (1) v charlotte independence (1)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville City FC clawed back from down a goal to earn a 1-1 draw with the Charlotte Independence on Saturday night at Slugger Field. The Independence were quick to jump out to a lead when a turnover in midfield saw defender Joel Johnson slipped in down the right-hand side where he would square a pass for midfielder Dominic Oduro to touch over the line from two yards out. Louisville’s best look in the opening 45 minutes came as the half was coming to a close when midfielder Niall McCabe’s free kick from 20 yards out barely missed the crossbar on its way over. After 77 minutes, Louisville would break through when forward Luke Spencer was first to pounce on a muffed clearance in the penalty area and curled a low effort past Charlotte goalkeeper Brandon Miller to level the scoring. Late pressure on the Charlotte goal would require discipline and focus from the Independence, but the visiting side held on and earned an impressive point at the two-time USL Cup champions.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Dominic Oduro, Charlotte Independence – Oduro scored Charlotte’s lone goal and created one additional chance in 70 minutes of action. 

 

Indy eleven (1) v atlanta united 2 (0)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indy Eleven earned its fourth consecutive win on Saturday night when they edged out Atlanta United 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Both goalkeepers were equal to everything with Indy goalkeeper Jordan Farr making three saves and ATLUTD2 shotstopper Dylan Castanheira repelling five shots, but Indy changed that with the game’s lone goal in the 84th minute. Midfielder Tyler Pasher was played in on the left side of the penalty area and immediately squared a pass for substitute Alioune Diakhate to tap home. Indy shut down the final six-plus minutes to hold their one-goal advantage and collect their third one-nil win of the season.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Jordan Farr, Indy Eleven – Farr’s three saves kept ATLUTD2 at bay but also showed his ability to play with the ball at his feet and act as the last line of the defense with a pair of clearances from outside his penalty area. 

 

bethlehem steel fc (1) v tampa bay rowdies (2)

BETHLEHEM, Penn. – A physical encounter between the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Bethlehem Steel FC saw the Rowdies edge Steel FC despite a late push by the hosts. Tampa Bay’s goals came in the first half with midfielder Juan Tejada opening the scoring in the 13th minute after getting on the end of a set-piece by midfielder Zach Steinberger and beating Steel FC goalkeeper Matt Freese from a few yards out. In the 34th minute, Tejada created another golden opportunity that led to a goal when he hit the post after a well-worked move that started with Steinberger and ended with forward Sebastian Guenzatti slotting home the rebounded effort off the iron. Working their way back into the match, Bethlehem applied late pressure on the Rowdies when midfielder James Chambers converted a penalty in the 91st minute of the match. Another late call for a penalty by the hosts was denied, though, and the Rowdies clinched the win thanks to their pair of goals in the first half.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Juan Tejada, Tampa Bay Rowdies – Tejada won’t formally be credited with the assist on Guenzatti’s goal, but he scored the Rowdies’ opener and created an additional chance to help see his team over the line.

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