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USSF D2 Roundup Week 2

This week’s D2 action featured three 1-0 games, with the NSC Minnesota Stars, the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Portland Timbers gaining victories by that margin.   In the other two games this weekend, Miami FC and Vancouver played to a scoreless draw and AC St. Louis fell to the Austin Aztex, 2-1, in their home opener.

Friday night NSC Minnesota visited the Carolina Railhawks.  Back up keeper Joe Warren, who hadn’t played in 4 years until summoned during last week’s game after starter Louis Crayton was injured, kept a clean sheet against the Railhawks.  Daniel Wasson scored for Minnesota in the 37th minute, giving the new team its first ever win and evening its season record at 1-1.

Crystal Palace Baltimore made its debut in USSF D2 at home against the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies, also opening their season.  Windy, rainy weather were a factor in the game.  After a scoreless first half, FC Tampa Bay’s Aaron King, who had come on as a sub three minutes earlier, notched the game winner for the Rowdies.  CP Baltimore MF Matthew Mbuta had a great chance to even the score, but his shot hit the woodwork.  Goalkeeper Daryl Sattler kept the clean sheet for FC Tampa Bay.

FC  Miami recorded its second draw at home this season in a scoreless match with the Vancouver Whitecaps.   Miami’s Paulo Araujo Jr. had two first half chances  — a shot that was blocked from a feed by former DC United star Christian Gomez and a 30 yard blast that Vancounver goalkeeper Jay Nolly was able to repel.   The Whitecaps blew a tremendous opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 56th minute.  FC Miami goalkeeper Caleb Patterson was able to save his clean sheet when he blocked the kick by Vancouver’s Marlon James.  Abe Thompson ripped a 77th minute shot for the Blues but hit the woodwork, and FC Miami had to settle for 1 point after drawing with Rochester last week at home.

The Portland Timbers won their season opener at home before a crowd of over 15,000 Saturday night, 1-0 over the Rhinos.  The game was scoreless until the 85th minute, when Rochester’s Troy Roberts was called for a handball in the box after a corner kick.  Portland’s 2009 All-League midfielder Ryan Pore notched the resulting penalty kick, and former LA Galaxy keeper Steve Cronin kept the shutout for the Timbers.  Forward Anthony Howie of Rochester had five of the team’s nine shots.  AC St. Louis travels to Portland for a midweek match Thursday before heading to Vancouver for Saturdays’ tilt against the Whitecaps.

Finally, AC St. Louis dropped its home opener. 2-1. to the Austin Aztex Saturday night before a crowd of 5,695.  AC St. Louis had several 1st half chances but couldn’t cash in before Austin’s English import Eddie Johnson opened the scoring on a deflected shot in the 37th minute.  AC St. Louis’ left back Anthony O’Garro notched the first ever goal in franchise history six minutes later on a rocket shot as the 1st half ended tied at 1-1.  In the 56th minute, however, Aztex’ defender Leonard Griffin fired a bullet from 30 yards out that AC  St. Louis goalkeeper Alec Dufty couldn’t handle and Austin kept the lead for a 2-1 win and 3 points.  Young Brazilian forward Alex Titton made his debut in the 70th minute for AC St. Louis but was not a factor as he was provided little service.

USSF D2’s Puerto Rico Islanders open their season at home Wednesday against NSC Minnesota.

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