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Gameday Report: August 10, Week 23

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 08/11/19, 1:09AM EDT

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Rising FC earns 13th straight win; Red Bulls II leapfrog Rowdies for East lead

Solomon Asante's second-half penalty ensured Phoenix Rising FC's league record winning streak reached 13 games on Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over El Paso Locomotive FC at Casino Arizona Field. Elsewhere in the West, Fresno FC, Real Monarchs SLC, San Antonio FC and the LA Galaxy II scored important victories in their pursuit of playoff positions.

In the East, the New York Red Bulls II defeated Hartford Athletic 5-1 to go top of the Eastern Conference standings and leapfrog the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who suffered their second home loss of the season against a red-hot Birmingham Legion FC. Nashville SC joined Birmingham in taking its active shutout streak beyond 400 minutes of play, while Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and North Carolina earned important victories to keep pace in the race for a top-six finish.

Select a match below...

 

phoenix rising fc (2) v el paso locomotive fc (1)

PHOENIX – Rising FC extended its Championship record winning streak to 13 games with a win over 10-men Locomotive FC at Casino Arizona Field. The hosts opened the scoring in the 21st minute when José Aguinaga fired a low left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area past El Paso goalkeeper Logan Ketterer. The lead would last just five minutes as Locomotive FC took advantage of a misplaced pass by Amadou Dia and Edson Partida capped off the quick counterattack by blasting a left-footed finish past Zac Lubin into the left corner of the net. Ketterer made a fantastic save to keep the game tied in the 39th minute, getting down low to his left to keep out a driven free kick from Rising FC’s Jon Bakero. The visitors were reduced to 10 men right before halftime as James Kiffe was shown a straight red card for an elbow to the face of Phoenix’s Solomon Asante. The Ghanaian forward broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute after Drew Beckie committed a foul on Adam Jahn in the box. Bakero and Joey Calistri came close to adding an insurance goal late on, but Phoenix wouldn’t need it as its winning streak continued.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Solomon Asante, Phoenix Rising FC – Asante scored the game-winner from the penalty spot, made two key passes and won 7 of 8 duels to help Rising FC extend its winning streak to 13 games.

 

reno 1868 fc (1) v san antonio fc (4)

RENO, Nev. – San Antonio FC completed a season sweep of 1868 FC with a convincing win at Greater Nevada Field. The visitors took the lead in the 12th minute when Cristian Parano was afforded space to run into and did so before firing a left-footed strike from the edge of the penalty area past Reno goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski into the bottom-right corner. 1868 FC forward Corey Hertzog forced a strong diving stop out of SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone 14 minutes later with a right-footed shot from a tight angle and the rebound bounced graciously back into his grasp. Parano doubled San Antonio’s advantage with his second goal of the night just before halftime, driving at the Reno defense before finding the top-left corner from the right side of the box with the outside of his left boot. Things got worse for Reno after halftime as Eric Calvillo was sent off for his second yellow card five minutes after the break. SAFC piled on the misery for the hosts with two goals in a two-minute span, with Frank López dribbling through three defenders before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the bottom-right corner in the 57th minute and Jack Barmby taking Walter Restrepo’s layoff and passing it into the net moments later. Sam Gleadle ended Cardone’s shutout bid with a first-time shot from just inside the box in the 71st minute, but it was too little too late for Reno as it suffered its second home loss of the season.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Cristian Parano, San Antonio FC – Parano scored twice on four shots, made four key passes and completed 83 percent of his passes to lead San Antonio to its second road win of the season.

 

real monarchs slc (4) v tulsa roughnecks fc (1)

HERRIMAN, Utah – The Monarchs moved up to fourth place in the West with a big win over the Roughnecks at Zions Bank Stadium. The hosts looked threatening from the start and nearly opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Jack Blake picked out Luis Palma with a lovely cross, but the winger couldn’t direct his diving header on target. The Monarchs went on to take the lead just seven minutes later when Luis Arriaga smoothly worked the ball into the path of Damian German for the forward to finish past Sean Lewis from close range. The Tulsa goalkeeper did well to keep his team’s deficit at one heading into halftime as he prevented Palma from doubling that advantage in the 33rd minute with a near-post stop on a strong left-footed volley from a tight angle before making himself big to deny Luis Arriaga on a one-on-one opportunity just before the break. The Monarchs finally broke through for their second goal in the 56th minute as Blake fired a delightful free kick from 25 yards out over the wall and beyond the reach of an outstretched Lewis. Kalen Ryden added a third for the hosts with a header from the left side of the six-yard box with 13 minutes remaining and Maikel Chaing bagged a fourth in the 90th minute, beating Lewis with a left-footed shot after Blake’s initial effort had stuck the base of the post. Tobenna Uzo tapped Cristhian Altamirano’s cross home from close range a minute later to spoil David Ochoa’s clean sheet, but that was about all that went wrong for the Monarchs all evening.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Jack Blake, Real Monarchs SLC – Blake scored a goal on seven shots, made five key passes and completed 88 percent of his passes overall, while winning 7 of 11 duels to help the Monarchs earn their second straight win.

 

austin bold fc (1) v la galaxy ii (3)

AUSTIN, Texas – The Galaxy II battled back from a goal down to earn a road victory over nine-men Bold FC. The visitors fired a warning sign from a corner kick in the 15th minute when Tomas Hilliard-Arce flicked the initial delivery to Omar Ontiveros, who forced a strong save from Austin goalkeeper Diego Restrepo with a first-time volley from close range. Bold FC opened the scoring 10 minutes later from a corner kick of its own as Kris Tyrpak rose highest at the near post and headed Xavier Báez’s delivery past Eric Lopez into the bottom-right corner. The Galaxy II equalized in the opening minute of the second half when Carlos Harvey picked up the ball nearly 30 yards out and beat Restrepo with a wonderful swerving shot that flew into the bottom-right corner. The visitors took their first lead of the game just shy of the hour mark when Augustine Williams sent Restrepo the wrong way from the penalty spot after Austin’s Ema Twumasi had fouled Jorge Hernandez in the box. Austin nearly equalized from a corner kick in the 64th minute but Lopez came up with a fantastic double-save to deny Tyrpak and Francis Atuahene in a frantic sequence of play. Bold FC was reduced to 10 men in the 76th minute when Demar Phillips picked up his second yellow card and Jermaine Taylor compounded the problem with a straight red card five minutes later. Even with Austin down to nine men, Lopez had to make one more save to deny London Woodberry from a narrow angle in the 90th minute before Kai Koreniuk ensured the three points for Los Dos with a well-placed header past Restrepo in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Carlos Harvey, LA Galaxy II – Harvey scored a stunning goal, completed 85 percent of his passes and both of his dribbles, while making five recoveries to help Los Dos to a much-needed road win. 

 

okc energy fc (1) v fresno fc (2)

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Foxes battled back from a goal down against Energy FC for their seventh win in eight games. The hosts nearly opened the scoring from a corner kick in the 18th minute as Christian Ibeagha rose highest to meet Rafael Garcia’s delivery but his powerful header just flashed wide of the post. Energy FC would take the lead five minutes later, however, as Kyle Hyland timed his run perfectly to meet Alvin Jones’ angled delivery and beat CJ Cochran with a well-placed header into the bottom-right corner. The lead would last just four minutes as Fresno responded from a corner kick of its own, with Jaime Chávez applying an unstoppable diving header to Jemal Johnson’s delivery at the back post to tie the game. It remained that way until late in the second half when the Foxes grabbed the winner from another set piece as Ramón Del Campo won the initial header from Johnson’s free kick and a second Fresno header was blocked back into his path, setting the defender up to pick out the bottom-left corner with a low strike past Energy FC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi to claim all three points for the visitors.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Ramón Del Campo, Fresno FC – Del Campo scored the game-winning goal, won 8 of 13 duels, made seven clearances and six recoveries to help the Foxes continue their impressive run at Taft Stadium.

 

Saint louis fc (1) v charleston battery (1)

FENTON, Mo. – Saint Louis FC came back to earn a draw against the ten-men Battery at West Community Stadium. The hosts were inches away from taking the lead in the 26th minute when Matt Bahner’s shot from just outside the box beat Charleston goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky but rattled off the crossbar. The visitors had their first quality effort on goal 10 minutes later when Ian Svantesson tried a bicycle kick from about 10 yards out that was comfortably parried over by STLFC goalkeeper Tomas Gomez. The Battery opened the scoring off the resulting corner as Jarad van Schaik reacted quickly to hook a deflected cross from Zeiko Lewis into the bottom-left-corner to give his side the lead. Saint Louis was given a golden opportunity to equalize in the 68th minute when Tah Anunga fouled Russell Cicerone in the penalty area and Sam Fink converted from 12 yards to tie the game. The Battery were reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute when Leland Archer was shown a straight red card for violent conduct, but the hosts couldn’t take advantage down the stretch as the two sides settled for a point.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Sam Fink, Saint Louis FC – Fink converted Saint Louis’ goal from the penalty spot, completed 84 percent of his passes and won 3 of 6 duels to help his side earn a point against the Battery.

 

memphis 901 FC (1) v north carolina fc (2)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Nazmi Albadawi’s late goal helped North Carolina FC come back from a goal down to beat 901 FC at AutoZone Park. The hosts took the lead in the 20th minute when Brandon Allen swept the ball home from close range after Liam Doyle had won the initial header on Marc Burch’s free kick from near the midfield stripe. Leston Paul made sure 901 FC held its lead 10 minutes later with a block on the goal line to deny Yamikani Chester’s right-footed shot from the center of the box that looked destined for the bottom-right corner. Memphis nearly doubled its advantage from a corner kick in the 38th minute as Burch’s delivery found Marcus Epps at the back post but he redirected his header off the woodwork. North Carolina found an equalizer in first-half stoppage time as Donovan Ewolo’s acrobatic bicycle kick trickled past 901 FC goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, who was under pressure from Albadawi. Allen had the ball in the back of the net again for Memphis three minutes after the break, but he was ruled to have handled it as he tried to follow up on Epps’ initial shot that was well saved by NCFC goalkeeper Alex Tambakis. North Carolina went on to snatch all three points with just three minutes remaining as Albadawi curled a lovely left-footed effort past Caldwell from 20 yards out to silence the home crowd.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Ben Speas, North Carolina FC – Speas assisted on the game-winning goal, made three key passes and eight recoveries to help North Carolina keep pace in the race for the top-six in the East.  

 

nashville sc (0) v bethlehem steel fc (0)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville extended its club-record shutout streak to 466 minutes with a scoreless draw against Steel FC at First Tennessee Park. The visitors had the best chance of an uninspiring first half when Zach Zandi tried his luck with a left-footed drive from 20 yards out that was denied by an acrobatic diving save from NSC goalkeeper Matt Pickens. Nashville came inches away from opening the scoring in the 68th minute when Lebo Moloto rose highest to meet Taylor Washington’s left-wing cross, but his powerful header was stopped by Bethlehem goalkeeper Todd Morton and Walter Cortes executed a bicycle kick clearance to clear his team’s lines. The hosts pressed for a winner late as Ken Tribbett’s header from Moloto’s 88th-minute corner had to be cleared off the line by Issa Rayyan but that was as close as either side would come to breaking the deadlock.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Ken Tribbett, Nashville SC – Tribbett completed 86 percent of his passes, won 14 of 20 duels and all nine of his aerials to help Nashville keep its shutout streak going against Steel FC.  

 

colorado springs switchbacks fc (3) v rio grande valley fc (3)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Abdul Rwatubyaye’s late header saw the Switchbacks earn a dramatic point against Rio Grande Valley at Weidner Field. The hosts were inches away from opening the scoring in the sixth minute when Jordan Burt rose highest to meet Ish Jome’s corner kick, but saw his header come back into play off the post. The Switchbacks would take the lead six minutes later however, as Shane Malcolm took Tucker Bone’s pass at the top of the box and fired a low, left-footed shot into the bottom-left corner past RGVFC goalkeeper Nicolas Corti. Colorado Springs doubled its lead in the 20th minute when Jordan Burt made a fantastic hustle play, throwing himself at the ball to touch it over the line after Corti had made a pair of initial saves of Saeed Robinson and Mike Seth. The visitors cut the deficit in half seven minutes later when Michael Salazar played a brilliant one-two with Andrés Arcila before firing a lovely curling shot around Switchbacks goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez. After Tucker Hume fired a long-range effort just wide for Colorado Springs, RGVFC found its equalizer with three minutes remaining in the first half as Isidro Martinez played a fantastic through ball to Kevin Rodríguez, who got just enough on his shot to get it past Rodriguez and over the goal line before a pair of Switchbacks could stop it. Arcila gave RGVFC its first lead just shy of the hour mark when he caught Rodrguez cheating slightly on a free kick, directing it over the wall to the goalkeeper’s left from the left edge of the area. Corti made a big save to deny Burt in stoppage time but the visitors just couldn’t close the game out as the Switchbacks made the resulting corner kick count with Rwatubyaye providing a powerful header to Jome’s delivery to ensure a dramatic point for the home side.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Jordan Burt, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Burt scored a goal, completed 83 percent of his passes and made seven recoveries in a strong two-way performance for the Switchbacks on Saturday night.

 

tampa bay rowdies (0) v birmingham legion fc (1)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Legion FC extended its shutout streak to 465 minutes with an impressive road victory over the Rowdies. The home side started quickly as Leo Fernandes forced a save out of Matt Van Oekel from a tight angle in the eighth minute and Birmingham goalkeeper made another big stop two minutes later to deny Lucky Mkosana on a one-on-one opportunity. After surviving an opening blitz from the Rowdies, Legion FC grew into the game and had a handful of chances to take the lead before the break. Eddie Opoku tested Macklin Robinson with a high shot at his near post in the 28th minute and the Tampa Bay goalkeeper did well to deny Brian Wright on a breakaway 11 minutes later. Opoku had another one-on-one opportunity shut down by Robinson with three minutes remaining before the break and J.J. Williams just sliced a first-time shot wide of the target in first-half stoppage time. Birmingham carried that momentum into the second half as Opoku finally broke the deadlock with a superb left-footed finish from a tight angle that whizzed past Robinson into the roof of the net. Van Oekel made a spectacular reflex save to deny Juan Tejada’s first-time volley with 15 minutes remaining and Pape Diakite headed the resulting corner kick just over the crossbar as the Rowdies suffered their second defeat on home turf this season.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Eddie Opoku, Birmingham Legion FC – Opoku was lively in attack all evening long, completing all four of his dribbles, making four key passes and scoring the game-winning goal for Legion FC at Al Lang Stadium.

 

pittsburgh riverhounds sc (3) v swope park rangers (2)

PITTSBURGH – The Hounds picked up their fourth straight win against the Rangers at Highmark Stadium. The home side took the lead seven minutes into the contest when Christian Volesky headed Robbie Mertz’s corner kick past Swope Park goalkeeper John Pulskamp into the bottom-right corner. Pulskamp did well to keep the deficit at one in the 17th minute with a fantastic diving save to keep out Mertz’s curling effort from 20 yards out. The visitors equalized from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark with Gedion Zelalem sending Pittsburgh goalkeeper Austin Pack the wrong way after Tyler Freeman was fouled in the box. The Hounds restored their lead two minutes after halftime when Neco Brett provided a sliding finish to Jordan Dover’s cutback, just sneaking the ball inside the left post at full stretch. Anthony Velarde doubled the advantage in the 51st minute with a superb solo goal, skipping past Rangers defender Camden Riley before blasting past Pulskamp from close range. Zé Pedro marked his Swope Park debut with a curling strike in the 67th minute to cut the deficit in half, but the Hounds held on late to continue their climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Robbie Mertz, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Mertz recorded two assists, six key passes, nine recoveries and completed all five of his dribbles to lead the Hounds to another high-scoring win.

 

hartford Athletic (1) v New york red bulls ii (5)

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Red Bulls II rallied with five second-half goals to defeat the nine-men Athletic. The visitors nearly opened the scoring inside the opening five minutes when Jared Stroud tried his luck with a curling effort from outside the box that forced a diving save out of Hartford goalkeeper Frederik Due. Hartford responded well and took the lead just after the half-hour mark through Sebastian Dalgaard, who was given space to shoot and rifled a right-footed shot into the left corner from 25 yards out. The two sides traded chances before the break, but New York goalkeeper Evan Louro shut down Harry Swartz’s one-on-one opportunity in the 41st minute before Due denied Vincent Bezecourt’s free kick with a diving stop in first-half stoppage time. The visitors came out of the gates strong after halftime as Sebastian Elney raced through on goal twice in a four-minute span, first being denied by Due with a strong save before being taken down for a penalty kick in the 53rd minute by Hartford defender Alex Davey. The Athletic were then reduced to nine men as Davey was shown a straight red card for his challenge and Raymond Lee was sent off for violent conduct. Bezecourt missed the resulting penalty kick but New York found its equalizer in the 64th minute as Elney swept home Bezecourt’s cutback from close range. The Red Bulls II took the lead with 15 minutes remaining from a short corner kick with center back Sean Nealis heading home Chris Lema’s looping delivery at the back post. New York compounded Hartford’s misery with two more goals in quick succession as Bezecourt and Jared Stroud provided similar first-time finishes from the center of the box. The Red Bulls II rounded out the scoring in stoppage time as Janos Loebe rifled a left-footed free kick into the top-right corner to put a bow on an emphatic second-half performance.  

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Jared Stroud, New York Red Bulls II – Stroud scored a goal, added an assist, made nine key passes and completed 80 percent of his passes overall to help the Red Bulls II extend their unbeaten run to eight games.

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