The Austin Aztex regained the USL Conference lead by virtue of their 4-2 win over AC St. Louis Saturday evening and Miami FC’s dramatic 1-0 victory over the Rochester Rhinos earlier in the day. The Carolina RailHawks moved into a tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps by beating the Puerto Rico Islanders 2-1 and in the other USSF D2 Saturday game, the Portland Timbers downed Crystal Palace Baltimore 3-1.
Austin 4 -2 AC St. Louis
The Austin Aztex have slowed a bit the last weeks, losing to AC St. Louis last Saturday, and only winning once in their three prior games, but they showed the AC St. Louis and the rest of the league who is boss with a solid 4-2 win Saturday night. The Aztex jumped to an early lead against the expansion club at House Park with a goal by Michael Callahan off a corner kick in the 14th minute of the match. They doubled their lead at the half hour mark off another set piece, as defender Kieron Bernard powered a header past AC St. Louis goalkeeper Alec Dufty. The Aztex had just dodged a bullet minutes earlier, when Mechak Jerome cleared a Gauchinho shot off the Aztex goal line.
Down by two goals on the road, AC St. Louis showed spirit and got back into the game. Gauchinho, having his best game of the season, put AC St. Louis on the scoreboard in the 35th minute as squeezed a shot from the right past Aztex goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo. Five minutes later, Gauchinho made a fine run down the right side of the field, finding winger Luke Kreamalmeyer with a cross which Kreamalmeyer netted for his fifth goal of the season and a tied score.
Aztex’ Coach Adrian Heath must have had the right message for his players at halftime, though. Five minutes into the second half, forward Maxwell Griffin beat Dufty with a chipped shot for his ninth goal of the season. Austin pretty well had the run of play in the second half as the AC St. Louis team looked to run out of steam, although the big crowd at House Park had to be a bit worried, considering Austin’s penchant for giving up late goals recently. Former Crystal Palace Baltimore forward Randi Patterson put their fears to rest in stoppage time, though, as he beat Dufty one on one to give the Austin an insurance score and the win.
Miami FC 1-0 Rochester
The Miami FC Blues reeled off their fourth consecutive win, beating Rochester 1-0 Saturday at Lockhart Stadium. I can imagine what Miami fans are thinking — one goal here, another goal there to change two of their eleven draws to wins, and Miami FC would be on the door of the playoffs. Just two goals. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen but Miami fans can take great solace in knocking off the Rhinos and putting a streak together, passing Crystal Palace Baltimore, AC St. Louis and their Florida rivals, FC Tampa Bay, in the overall league standings.
The match between Miami FC and Rochester went scoreless for almost the entire afternoon, as the Rhinos only managed two shots on goal and Miami totaled eight. Rhinos goalkeeper Neil Kitson kept the Rhinos in the game, making six saves which including a fingertip denial of a 67th minute shot by Martin Nunez off a Brian Shriver cross. The game looked to go into the books as a scoreless draw, but former MLS MVP Christian Gomez instead gave the Blues a last-minute victory. In the 93rd minute, Gomez floated a header over Kitson for his sixth goal of the year and three points for his team. His goal opened the door for Austin to regain the USL Conference lead later in the day.
Carolina 2-1 Puerto Rico
At WakeMed Soccer Park, the Carolina RailHawks came back to beat the Puerto Rico Islanders 2-1. The three points tied them with the Vancouver Whitecaps, each with 44 points, for the NASL Conference lead. By losing, the Islanders will be the eighth-seeded team in the playoffs.
The Islanders struck first in the match. Forward Kendall Jagdeosingh took a backheel pass from Islanders’ captain Noah Delgado and beat Carolina goalkeeper Eric Reed in the 19th minute. Carolina was able to end the half on level terms, though, as Daniel Paladini placed a diagonal pass to midfielder Matt Watson, who shot past Islanders’ veteran Bill Gaudette right before intermission.
Carolina wasted no time gaining the lead for good in the second half. Two minutes in, forward Tom Heinemann delighted the crowd of over 2,800 as he knocked in a Josh Gardner corner kick to give the RailHawks a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Heinemann has scored three goals in five matches since signing from the USL-2 champion Charleston Battery.The RailHawks outshot the Islanders by a whopping 20-4 margin, as Martin Rennie’s club climbed atop the NASL Conference, alongside Vancouver, for the first time since opening day. The RailHawks are 12-9-8, while Vancouver are 10-5-14. The teams have drawn twice in their two meetings, and both have a plus-ten goal differential.
The Islanders have been in a bit of a funk since their big win over Austin on September 11. They have lost both league games since then, and lost to Toluca and drew with El Salvador team FAS in the CONCACAF Champions League. They will be the last seed in the playoffs, but if they end up drawing Austin that may not be so bad, as Austin has difficulty finding wins in Bayamon, Puerto Rico the last two years,and the Islanders are a tough tournament team.
Portland 3-1 Crystal Palace Baltimore
The Portland Timbers extended their unbeaten streak to nine games with a 3-1 win in Baltimore Saturday. Gavin Wilkinson’s Timbers are now 13-7-9, and are on a roll heading into the playoffs. The hapless Crystal Palace Baltimore team fell to 6-17-6, and have lost seven in a row.
Young Timbers’ forwards Bright Dike and Doug DeMartin connected twice in the first half to build a 2-0 Timbers lead. Dike got things started quickly, as he headed a cross from DeMartin in the game’s third minute past CP Baltimore keeper Mark Murphy. Late in the half, the duo connected again, as DeMartin centered a pass to Dike, which he left-footed into the Baltimore net for his ninth goal of the year.
The Timbers had a record of 497 consecutive shutout minutes ended in the 73rd minute of the match, as CP Baltimore’s Gary Brooks connected on a penalty kick for his fourth goal of the season. The last goal allowed by the Timbers was against the Austin Aztex on August 26. The Timbers added an insurance goal in the 86th minute on George Josten’s first 2010 goal to wrap up the victory. Wilkinson gave youngster Matt Pyzdrowski his second start of the season, in place of regular Steve Cronin, and the former Marquette University star came up with the win.
Austin Starting Lineup: Gallardo, Needham, Jerome, Brill, Bernard, L.Watson, Callahan, Alvarez, J. Watson, Johnson, M. Griffin Subs Used: Patterson, Hemming, Fuller, Yoshitake
AC St. Louis Staring Lineup: Dufty, Traynor, Bloom, Bauer, Videira, Kreamalmeyer, Gil, Gauchinho, Stisser, Salvaggione, Ambersley Subs Used: Cole, O’Garro
Miami FC Starting Lineup: Glaeser, Randolph, Lancaster, Hohlbein, Dias, Mayen, Celestino, Thompson, Shriver, Nunez, Gomez Subs Used: Martins, Veris, Chijindu, LePetit, Gbandi
Rochester Staring Lineup: Kitson, Sanfilippo, Roberts, Pitchkolan, Greenfield, Bellamy, Rosenlund, Motagalvan, Franks, Spicer, Kissi Subs Used: Versailles, Hamilton, Ferdinand, Nunez, Short
Carolina Starting Lineup: Reed, Woolard, Rusin, McKenney, Gilkerson,Watson, Paladini, Gardner, Davidson, Richardson, Heinemann Subs Used: Russell, Lowery, Barbara
Puerto Rico Starting Lineup: Gaudette, Villaroel, Martinez, Horst, Henry,Nurse, Miranda, Gbandi, Delgado, Allison, Jagdeosingh Subs Used: Fana, Hansen, Daniel, Telesford, Emory
CP Baltimore Staring Lineup: Murphy, Veeder, Texeira, Pejic, Marshall, Healey, Fusilier, Mbuta, Sanchez, Neto, Brooks Subs Used; Bumbut, Mark, Flores
Portland Starting Lineup: Pyzdrowski, Thompson, Goldthwaite, Danso, Cameron, Savage, Pore, McManus, Alhassan, Dike, DeMartin Subs Used: Josten, Muhamadu, Nimo, Brown, Gaudet
Filed under: AC St. Louis, Austin Aztex, Carolina Railhawks, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Miami FC, NASL General News, Portland Timbers, Puerto Rico Islanders, Rochester Rhinos, USSF Division 2 News, Website News | Tagged: Bright Dike, Christian Gomez, Gauchinho, Maxwell Griffin, Tom Heinemann |