Four teams picked up their first wins of the USL eCup: FIFA20 Edition on Monday night to not only advance to the Semifinals in Division C on Wednesday but also secure promotion to Division B for next week’s action.
1. Memphis 901 FC needed something – anything, really – to find a groove. Thanks to Duane Muckette, they finally did so in a 4-0 victory with Austria against Loudoun United FC’s Elvis Amoh and Denmark, 901 FC’s first win of the tournament. You can definitely make an argument this was a closer game than the final scoreline indicated. Memphis didn’t have a big edge in shots or shots on target, and Loudoun actually held more possession over the contest. There’s no question, however, that Muckette made his chances count, and his two late goals to wrap up the win were the icing on the cake.
2. If you’re in Division C at this point, you’ve likely had a tough go of it in the opening two weeks. That was definitely the case for Memphis, and so too for FC Tulsa. But like the Scissor-tailed flycatcher in its logo, Tulsa and Panin Boakye soared on Monday night in a 4-1 victory against Orange County SC’s Kevin Coleman and Cameroon. A stretch of three goals in 12 minutes early in the second half put the game away for Tulsa, gave the side promotion to Division B next week and gave everyone a little more confidence at what the rest of the week might hold.
3. Having been allocated the lowest-seeded team in the tournament with Wales, Louisville City FC was always going to need something special to find a way to win. Thanks to Akil Watts pulling out a pin-point finish by Man of the Match Joe Allen early in the second half, LouCity did just that to earn a 2-1 win against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s Luke Ferreira and Paraguay. The short format of the eight-team group means LouCity will get a shot at Division B next week and be similarly upset-minded.
- As the game reached halftime, it looked like it was going to be a walk for North Carolina FC’s Caleb Smith with Turkey against Tacoma Defiance’s Chino Perez and Slovenia. That was the way it ended up too in a 5-0 result, but not before Tacoma showed a bit of spark early in the second half before NCFC extinguished its chances with a fourth goal. NCFC won’t be able to give up those kinds of chances if it’s going to advance from Wednesday’s Semifinals, though.
- This just isn’t how it was supposed to go for Loudoun United FC so far. They got a favorable draw with the No. 14 seed in Denmark, but have now lost three consecutive games to open the tournament and will remain in Division C next week. Whoever picks up the controller next for them is going to have to hope for better luck.
- Orange County SC didn’t get as good a draw as Loudoun did, getting No. 26 seed Cameroon in the pre-tournament allocation, but there just hasn’t been enough quality pressure so far. The five shots it took against Tulsa were all on target, but that was all the side managed while being put under greater pressure by Tulsa’s edge in possession and 91 percent passing accuracy rate.
- Three out of the four winners on Monday night? All wearing predominantly red uniforms, including Memphis as Denmark wore white instead of its primary colors.
FC Tulsa (United States) 4, Orange County SC (Cameroon) 1
Memphis 901 FC (Austria) 4, Loudoun United FC (Denmark) 0
Louisville City FC (Wales) 2, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (Paraguay) 1
North Carolina FC (Turkey) 5, Tacoma Defiance (Slovenia) 0