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News from USL

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    Charlotte Eagles News Release -- www.charlotteeagles.com

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles are looking to get build off a last-minute draw against the Charleston Battery when the Chicago Fire Reserves come to town on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET for the first in a two-game series between the two teams this season. 

    Drew Yates scored in stoppage time to tie the game at 2-2 on June 5th against longtime rival Charleston. Stephen Okai opened the scoring with a chip over goalkeeper Odisnal Cooper to give the Eagles an early lead, but the Battery scored twice in the second half to take the lead. Yates salvaged a point for the Eagles in the last minute of stoppage time as he put home the equalizer at the left post.

    Charlotte is looking to get back in the win column, after getting off to a fast start with a 3-0-4 record, they only have one point in their last three league matches. With his late game goal Drew Yates became the ninth different Eagles player to score this year.

    Friday night's matchup is the first of two games against the Fire Reserves thanks to a partnership that was struck between major League Soccer and USL PRO back in January. Every player on the Fire's first team roster, along with the club's Developmental Academy and guest players, are eligible for 2013 MLS Reserve League play, so fans should expect to see at least a few of the players that the Fire brought down for the previous meeting between the two teams last month in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round at Winthrop. The Fire Reserves are led by First Team assistant Leo Percovich.

    The Fire Reserves last played on May 14th against the Houston Dynamo Reserves, and fell 2-0. Chicago's first team is coming off a fourth-round victory in the U.S. Open Cup on Thursday afternoon against the Columbus Crew, but will still provide a formidable challenge for the Eagles as Charlotte looks to bolster its playoff chances.

    For more details or to buy tickets for the Fire match CLICK HERE.


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    FASA News Release - www.fasasoccer.org

    By Charles Boehm

    Friday, June 14, 2013

     

    SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. - It’s been years since the big plans for the gorgeous new soccer-specific complex in Spotsylvania, Va. – dubbed the Spotsylvania Sportsplex at New Post – were first unveiled by the Virginia Youth Soccer Association and the Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association, partners in the ambitious 16-field project known throughout the local community as “the field of dreams.”

    This weekend, competitive soccer will finally be played in earnest on the site, as a slate of USL Super-Y League matches will mark what FASA is calling the fields’ “soft opening,” in anticipation of a much bigger celebration further in the future when more of the construction is completed.

    “There’s still a great deal of work to be done – the complex is far from finished,” FASA general manager Pete Cinalli told SoccerWire.com this week. “But the first section of fields are ready to go and we’re just so happy to get the kids out there playing on them.”

    VYSA’s section of the facility, which will eventually comprise its headquarters building – including locker rooms, classrooms for coaching and refereeing courses and other amenities – as well as several all-weather artificial-turf fields and a small showcase stadium, is on a different schedule from FASA’s and will not be completed for some time.

    But putting the first 10 or so fields into use is nonetheless a major milestone for Cinalli and his colleagues at the Fredericksburg club, who have been working towards this moment for the better part of a decade.

    FASA’s rapid growth has contributed to a constant shortage of field space – a common refrain across the Northern Virginia youth soccer scene – and bringing their section of the new complex online provides timely relief. It will also host a sizeable chunk of the Washington Invitational, a new tournament jointly hosted by FASA and Chesterfield United FC later this summer, on August 17-18 and 24-25.

    Cinalli cautions that the site will look very different by then, noting that the parking lot and other points of infrastructure remain fairly rudimentary at the moment. But he’ll still be smiling come Saturday, when an important chapter in his long-running dream finally materializes.

    “The grass looks great, the goals are up and the fields are lined,” he said. “We’re ready to play.”


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  • 06/15/13--09:26: Rapids Comeback Falls short
  • Colorado Rapids Women News Release - www.coloradorapids.com/women

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    DENVER, CO – The Colorado Rapids scored two goals in the second half but could not complete the comeback against the Seattle Sounders Women, who scored three in the first hour to win 3-2 on a windy night in Denver.

    The Rapids Women had a flurry of chances to begin the first half but the Sounders Women scored first when Rachel Mercik flicked the ball into the Rapids goal after 14 minutes. The Sounders Women doubled their lead in the 39th minute when midfielder Tafara Pulse hit a low shot into the bottom corner from outside the box.

    The Rapids Women outshot the Sounders 8-5 in the first half but the Sounders had the two-goal lead at halftime.

    The Sounders Women added to their lead after the halftime break when Mercik tallied her second goal of the game, assisted by Jaelene Hinkle. Colorado head coach Daniel Clitnovici made a series of substitutions to spark the Rapids, bringing on forwards Anna Evans and Jessie Ayers, who both helped to pick up the Rapids' energy.

    In the 72nd minute Rapids midfielder Chloe Roberts won the ball and played Kristen Hamilton through on goal. Hamilton finished past Sounders goalkeeper Erin McNulty to make it 3-1.

    The Rapids Women fought hard for another goal and got it late. Hamilton took the ball down the right side and into the box, and finished into the top corner for her second goal of the game and her third goal of the season. The goal came too late, though, and the Sounders held on to win the game 3-2.


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  • 06/15/13--12:17: Piranhas Head To Face Royals
  • Virginia Beach Piranhas News Release -- www.vbpiranhas.com

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Virginia Beach PDL Piranhas will hit the road this Saturday as they travel to West Field High School in Chantilly Virginia to take on in-state rival the Northern Virginia Royals. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

    The Piranhas are currently 1-2-1 with four points and the Royals are looking for their first win at 0-2-2. Saturday night's game is the second meeting of the season between the two teams, with the first ending in a 1-1 draw at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex on May 25. The Piranhas took the lead in that contest as Patrick Thompson found the back of the net off a chance created by JerJer Gibson, but the Royals were able to hit back with 14 minutes to play through A.J. Sheta to earn a point.

    “We are looking forward to visiting Northern Virginia this Saturday,” said Piranhas head coach Matt Busch. “With this past weekend off from competition the boys are eager to get back on the field and with all players available we are excited for our rematch.”

    The Piranhas will be back at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex for only their second home match of the season so far on Wednesday night as they face the defending South Atlantic Division champions the Carolina Dynamo. For ticket, camp, and sponsor information please visit www.vbpiranhas.com. 


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    Pittsburgh Riverhounds News Release -- www.riverhounds.com

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds welcome defending USL PRO Champions, the Charleston Battery, to Highmark Stadium on Saturday night for their final meeting of the regular season. Carrying a seven-game undefeated streak into the match against the third-place Battery, the eighth-placed Riverhounds enter Saturday night knowing that a win will continue their ascent up the USL PRO standings. The top eight teams in the league will advance to the USL PRO Playoffs, which commence in late August. The match will complete a six-game home stand for the Riverhounds and is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kick off.

    “This match brings us to the mid-point of the season and the team has played very well over the last month or so,” said Head Coach Justin Evans. “With the defending champions coming to town, this will be a good test for us.”

    The two clubs met at Blackbaud Stadium in late April, seeing the Battery’s Mike Azira convert a goal in each half to defeat the Riverhounds 2-0. Since that loss to the Battery, the Riverhounds have maintained an undefeated record in USL PRO play.

    The Battery opened Blackbaud Stadium in 1999 as the first-ever privately funded soccer stadium in North America and will travel to the Nation’s newest privately funded soccer stadium, in Highmark Stadium, during Father’s Day weekend. Not only do the two franchises share this accomplishment, but both, the Riverhounds Head Coach Justin Evans and CEO Jason Kutney played for the Battery in 2004 and 2005. With so many close ties between the clubs, Saturday night’s match-up will be tremendous for the history of soccer in North America.

    “Charleston is where I learned to be a professional on and off the field, and Blackbaud Stadium inspired Highmark Stadium in many ways,” said Kutney. “The Battery is a first-class organization and they are defending champs and as such, a Riverhounds win on Saturday night would mean four points to me!”

    The Riverhounds return to Highmark Stadium next Sunday, June 23, when they host the Antigua Barracuda FC for the second leg of the 2013 regular season. During the game, the Riverhounds are hosting the ‘Hounds Beach Bash’ to celebrate the start of summer. A variety of fun free activities will be available for kids in attendance. To purchase tickets, visit Riverhounds.com or call the Highmark Stadium Box Office at (412) 224-4900.


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    Reading United News Release -- www.readingunitedac.com

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    READING, Pa. – The Premier Development League Mid Atlantic Division's most competitive rivals renew acquaintances this Saturday at Exeter's Don Thomas Stadium. The two PDL heavyweights have met a total of 26 times, a history few rivalries in the PDL can match. The marquee match-up between Reading United (4-0-1) and the Ocean City Nor'easters (4-0-0) will be for first place in the division. Both teams enter the match with unbeaten records, with United holding a one-point lead in the standings.

    Ocean City leads the series 13-9-4, but Reading has dominated in recent years. Under Head Coach Brendan Burke, United have never lost to the Nor’easters. Reading currently own a four match winning streak over their Jersey Shore rivals and have not lost a match in the series since May 2007.

    Reading United team president Art Auchenbach spoke of the rich history of the rivalry. “Ocean City is one of the most storied franchises in the PDL. Our respective clubs competitive history can be traced to the former USISL D3 days (precursor to today’s USL PRO) and it has always been a battle between our two sides. I am hoping our 2013 squad will continue the success that Reading has enjoyed against Ocean City since Brendan has been our head coach. It’s hard to find quality derbies like this in the PDL, and we are relishing the opportunity to host them with first place in the division on the line.”

    United enter the match on a five-match unbeaten run in league play, having allowed just two goals in those matches. In their last match, Reading defeated F.A. Euro-New York Magic, 3-2. Darius Madison opened the scoring in the 60th before Larry Ndjock scored twice in a five minutes span to stake United to a three-goal lead. Sloppy defending allowed the Magic to rally and score two very late goals.
    United will be without the services of defender Damion Lowe, who be serving a one-match suspension after being shown a red card against FA Euro-New York Magic.

    Reading captain Steve Neumann will also be back in the squad after a week-long training stint with Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers.

    Ocean City travels to Reading ready to defend their perfect record. The Nor’Easters earned a clinical 3-1 victory on the road over a very good Baltimore Bohemians side. In the match, Anthony Asante notched his fourth goal of the season and leads Ocean City in scoring. Zoncher Dennis also scored in the match and has now scored 13 goals in 18 career PDL matches. Though the Ocean City defense has failed to keep a clean sheet in league play, goalkeeper Brian Billings has helped to stabilize the backline with his 0.800 goals against average.

    Reading United return to Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium on Sunday, June 30th to for an important divisional match against the Jersey Express. Tickets are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Reading United offer 2013 Game Day Youth Packages, Group Discount Packages, Birthday Parties and Fundraising Ticket Packages. Contact Denise Strohmayr at denise@readingunitedac.com for all your group needs.


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  • 06/15/13--12:19: Wolves Welcome RSL Reserves
  • Phoenix FC News Release -- www.phoenixfc.com

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    PHOENIX -- The Phoenix FC Wolves return to Tempe this Saturday night after two weeks and four matches on the road to host the Real Salt Lake Reserves of Major League Soccer (MLS). This is a match that counts in the USL PRO League standings for the Wolves as well as the MLS Reserve League standings for Real Salt Lake, as determined in an agreement the two leagues reached earlier this year.

    The first meeting of these two teams was highlighted by a first half brawl that earned three red cards: goalkeeper Andrew Weber and defender Renan Felipe Boufleur were ejected for Phoenix FC; and defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe for Real Salt Lake. Following a missed Real Salt Lake free kick attempt, a scuffle at the edge of Phoenix FC's box quickly turned into both teams fighting.

    Phoenix FC was outmanned 10 - 9 for the remainder of the game. Real Salt Lake attacked furiously in the second half with the advantage, but Phoenix FC's defense made key stops when needed. Goalkeeper Sheldon Parkinson, who was in for Andrew Weber, survived numerous wide shots and made some spectacular saves to keep Real Salt Lake from reaching the back of the net.

    With time running down, Real Salt Lake pushed its side for one last offensive effort but came up empty after five minutes of stoppage play. Despite registering 24 shots to Phoenix FC's four shots, the match ended in a draw.

    Phoenix FC is coming off of a winless road trip on the East Coast in which the Wolves played four matches in two weeks. It was a frustrating road trip that was highlighted by close games and missed opportunities, and the Wolves are hungry to get back home for a chance to earn some regular season points with a healthy roster and no major injuries.

    The Real Salt Lake reserves team features a number of players who start for and have significant playing time with the club's MLS lineup, including defenders Abdoulie Mansally and Carlos Salcedo, midfielders John Stertzer and Sebastian Velasquez, and forwards Joao Plata and Robbie Findley.

    Phoenix FC has started a number of different lineups in recent weeks, looking for the right on-field combination since the return of standout forward Darren Mackie to the lineup after an early season injury. Mackie has returned to playing form as of late and is beginning to jell with the team, and his presence and experience will be needed as the Wolves look to pick up some points against a solid Real Salt Lake squad.

    This week's matchup will be played at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe, this Saturday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT, and tickets can be purchased at www.phoenixfc.com.


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  • 06/15/13--23:07: Dayton Tops Charlotte 2-1
  • Charlotte Lady Eagles News Release

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    CHARLOTTE, NC - The Charlotte Lady Eagles were unable to hold a second half lead against the Dayton Dutch Lions in W-League action on Saturday night.  Charlotte scored in the 70th minute off a strike from Macky Wingo but Dayton equalized a minute later.  Dayton scored the game winner four minutes from the end to escape with the three points.
     
    Charlotte started the game with good offensive pressure as Gloria Douglas created a handful of chances in the first 15 minutes.  Dayton created their first and only real chance of the first half with a shot from the top of the box but the Lady Eagles defense was able to block it away for a corner.
     
    Jamie Achten and Gloria Douglas were dangerous all night up and down the wings. Achten found Macky Wingo in the 44th minute but her shot was just high of the Dutch Lions goal and the match would go to halftime scoreless. The Lady Eagles enjoyed a 7-0 shot advantage and a 6-1 corner advantage in the first half.
     
    The second half was more of the same as Charlotte mounted more pressure from the early going.  Leah Fortune found herself one on one with Dutch Lions goalkeeper Brooke McCurdy but the goalie was able to make the save.
     
    Charlotte was able to take advantage of their sustained offensive pressure in the 70th minute as Macky Wingo struck from just outside the penalty area and curled it around McCurdy to give the Lady Eagles the 1-0 lead. 
     
    The lead was short lived however as Elizabeth Soto was able to get on the end of a cross from Juliana Libertin to even the score a minute later. Dayton found the winner on a through ball from Libertin to Emilie Fillion in the 84th minute, Robyn Jones was able to get a hand on it but couldn't stop the ball from crossing the goal line off the post. 
     
    Charlotte's last gasp at the equalizer was an Amanda Naeher header off of a Whitney Brannan cross but her header sailed over the bar and the game ended with the Dayton Dutch Lions 2-1 winners. 
     
    Charlotte had good offensive pressure all night but weren't able to capitalize on decisive 19-4 shot advantage. 
     
    The Lady Eagles will return home next Saturday night to face VSI Tampa Bay FC at 7 p.m. ET at Queens Sports Complex.
     

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  • 06/16/13--07:36: MBS Daytona Kicks Off
  • MBS News Release

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -
    The overcast conditions of Daytona Beach provided a perfect cover for the first day as Major Beach Soccer kicked off its 2013 summer series on the white sand. Fortunately for the players the shady conditions made for a comfortable temperature, and while some teams struggled to adjust to sand instead of turf, others jumped at the challenge and breezed through the first day of action.

    At least 50 teams are competing in this year's Major Beach Soccer Daytona Beach qualifier throughout the multiple divisions, with a spot at December's MBS Championships. The games kicked off in the morning with the youth and ended in the evening with the adults.

    Beach soccer is a different kind of soccer beast that features more than just speed and strength, requiring a certain mental and technical skill on the ball that separates the champions from the rest. Goalkeepers face a difficult task as they try to deal with the awkward bounces balls tend to take on the sand. After a game or two the keepers found the slow ground rollers easier to parry away than the 25-yard bombs some teams found themselves taking.

    The unique rules and roles of beach soccer intrigued spectators as well as fans and family members, and each of the five fields enjoyed a good crowd.

    Some of the players took advantage of the open free kicks and fired shots on frame from distance, and others tried to lob chipped balls to forwards downfield. The Daytona Beach tournament will wrap up Sunday as the finals begin to shape up.


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    Washington Spirit Reserves News Release - www.washingtonspirit.com

    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    BOYDS, Md. -
    On a day featuring cool temperatures and clear skies, the Washington Spirit Reserves offense found the conditions at the Maryland SoccerPlex ideal, scoring early and often throughout Saturday afternoon. The Spirit Reserves notched eight goals against the New Jersey Wildcats, extending their win streak to four games.

    The victory puts the Spirit Reserves in a deadlock with Long Island Rough Riders for second place in Northeastern Conference standings, but each team has a game in-hand against the current frontrunner, the Virginia Beach Piranhas. Washington and Long Island meet this week for the first time this season to clarify the early-season conference lead.

    Portuguese National Team member Monica Mendes got things going early for the Spirit Reserves by scoring on a free kick near the onset of the match. Mendes’ shot from a few yards outside the penalty box curled precisely around the wall and tucked itself neatly in the side netting for the 1-0 advantage in the seventh minute.

    Making her Spirit Reserves debut, former D.C. United Women member Molly Menchel blasted a finishing shot from a Jordan Grant cross in the 13th minute to double the home side's lead.

    Leading the league in assists, Washington forward Amber Stobbs split the New Jersey defense with a driven pass to send striker Tiffany Brown in on goal. Brown fired low past keeper Sage Dovale for the 3-0 lead in the 32nd minute.

    New Jersey refused to go quietly, and grabbed a goal back just before the halftime break when Jesse Fuccello drilled home a quality through-ball from Claudia Vasquez to get the Wildcats on the scoreboard.

    After the break, Washington again found their attacking stride as Kara Wilson scored two goals in less than a minute for the Reserves. Wilson rifled home a pass from Alex Doll in the 58th minute before finishing a cross from the assist-specialist Stobbs less than 60 seconds later.

    Stobbs also added to her total points total as she tallied a goal of her own in the 68th minute off of a Brown assist, seemingly returning the previous favor from the first half.

    Second-half substitute Morgan Reuther picked up where she left off in the previous match, scoring two late goals to cap the scoring for Washington. Reuther fired home an unassisted shot in the 85th minute before following it up four minutes later by knocking home a cross from teammate Andi Sullivan.

    “I think there is little doubt our offense was clicking,” Spirit W-League Director Tim Schweitzer said. “The Wildcats are not a soft team, we were just firing on all cylinders today.

    “The stage is set for a battle with Long Island this week. The Rough Riders are a great side and I am looking forward the matchup.”

    The Spirit Reserves' showdown with the Rough Riders happens Thursday at 7 p.m.. The match will be held as a special event at Howison Homestead Complex in Woodbridge, Virginia.


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    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rhinos played to a 1-1 draw with the Charleston Battery in a USL PRO regular season match at Sahlen's Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Rhinos midfielder Lance Rozeboom opened the scoring off a corner kick from left back Danny Earls in the first half. The Battery found the equalizer in the second half when center back Shawn Ferguson finished off an assist from Amadou Sanyang.

    Neither side was able to create many chances in the early going, with the first good chance for the Rhinos arriving in the 27th minute as JC Banks played a ball over the top of the Battery back four to Tyler Rosenlund. The midfielder took the ball down the right side of the Battery penalty area to the goal line where he was tackled by Ferguson. Rosenlund went to ground, but match referee Steve Montanino had a good look at the play, and ruled that it was a Rhinos corner kick. Earls hit an inswinging corner kick that the Battery were able to clear over the goal line for another corner. On his second effort, Earls played a his corner kick to the near post, and Rozeboom beat the Battery defenders to the near post and touched Earls' service past Charleston goalkeeper Kevin Klasila for the opening goal.

    The Battery found the equalizer in the 47th minute. Quinton Griffith had the ball with his back to goal 25 yards out when Rhinos idfielder Ross LaBauex was ruled to have fouled him. Sanyang whipped the ensuing free kick into the back post where Rhinos center back Troy Roberts headed the ball away. Robert's clearance found Battery midfielder Michael Azira on the left flank, and Azira took a touch before he served the ball back into the Rhinos box. Azira's service found Sanyang, making a run at the back post, and his header back in front of goal came to Ferguson, who finished past Rochester goalkeeper Kristian Nicht from six yards out.

    The draw leaves the Charleston Battery level on points with the Richmond Kickers for third place. The point leaves Rochester in sole possession of 11th place in the USL PRO table – four points behind the Dayton Dutch Lions for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Dutch Lions host fifth place VSI Tampa Bay FC on Sunday night.

    The Rochester Rhinos will host Antigua Barracuda FC in their next home match on Friday night at 7:35 p.m. at Sahlen's Stadium. Individual tickets are currently available, and they can be purchased by calling (585)454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Individual tickets, group tickets and flex packages for the 2013 USL PRO season are also on sale now.


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    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    READING, Pa. – In a match that lived up to the week-long build-up, Reading United and the Ocean City Nor’easters entertained the large crowd at Don Thomas Stadium in a thrilling 1-1 draw on Saturday night. The Mid Atlantic Division rivals put on a clinical display of attacking soccer, solid defending and clutch goalkeeping. Ocean City’s Anthony Asante staked the Nor’Easters to a lead at the half, but United substitute Jason Plumhoff buried a headed goal in the 86th minute to help rescue a draw for the home side.

    Ocean City was on the front foot from the opening whistle, with Asante nearly slipping in on goal in the first minute of the match. United handled the early pressure and began to settle, controling possession for broad spells of the first half. John McCarthy and his Ocean City counterpart, Brian Billings, each made several clutch saves to keep the game scoreless.

    As the first half entered stoppage time, United found themselves on a counterattack into the Ocean City end of the field. A poor pass to switch the field was picked off by the Nor’easters defense. Racing down the middle of the field, Asante picked up a ball as miscommunication along the United defense allowed the speedy forward to stay onside. With just McCarthy to beat, Asante chipped the ball into the net seconds before referee Ian Bongaardt blew for halftime.

    It was a sucker punch to United and their fans. Recognizing his team had played well in first half, Reading Head Coach Brendan Burke said, “that goal was totally against the run of play. We got a numbers up situation wrong and we got counter-attacked.” Burke continued, “They have very good athletes across the front three, and that’s how they get a lot of their goals.”

    With United in search of an equalizer, the second half was an exciting mix of fluid attacking soccer and moments of defensive brilliance. Back from his week of training with Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers, Reading captain Steve Neumann led United’s fight for a tying goal. Neumann led several brilliant build-up moves that were just lacking the final, decisive pass that would have opened up the Ocean City back line.

    It was nearly disaster for United in the 64th minute, when McCarthy let a Nor’easters corner go through his hands and drop near the goal line. A heads up play by Fatai Alashe got the ball out of danger and kept Ocean City’s advantage a just one goal.

    Burke used his final substitution to get United’s top scorer Jason Plumhoff (9 points from 2 goals and 5 assists) into the match. After a wild scramble occurred in Ocean City penalty area, Shane Campbell lofted a ball across the front of the Ocean City goal. Plumhoff rose up and headed the ball past Billings to level the score at 1-1. Plumhoff credited the great ball from Campbell.

    “It was great service and I just rose up and put it in the corner and equalized,” Plumhoff said.

    With the match level, each side went in search of a winning goal. After making his 10th save of the night, McCarthy started a Reading United attack with a long throw out of the back. United quickly transitioned and the ball fell to Mario Pinto, who had a clean look at goal. The Brazilian forward hit a stinging volley that Billings did well to save to preserve the 1-1 draw.

    “I’m proud that our boys kept playing soccer, kept playing out of tight spaces, kept playing through the windows, kept playing fast and kept the right tempo," Burke said. "I’m really pleased with our team’s performance. The scoreline aside, I’m really pleased with the way we approached the game.”

    Based on the night’s performance, Burke sees good things ahead for his team. “If we continue to play that way, at that level, we’re going to win games.”

    Reading United hit the road for two matches before returning to Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium on Sunday, June 30th for an important divisional match against the Jersey Express. Tickets are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Reading United offer 2013 Game Day Youth Packages, Group Discount Packages, Birthday Parties and Fundraising Ticket Packages. Contact Denise Strohmayr at denise@readingunitedac.com for all your group needs.


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    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders improved to 4-1 in their last five games and moved firmly into second place after a 3-1 win over the Antigua Barracuda FC on Sunday at Skyline Sports Complex. The Islanders were able to bounce back from a loss last week to the Colorado Rapids Reserves with a strong showing against the Barracudas. Sainey Touray netted his seventh goal of the season, moving him to third in the league in scoring.

    Antigua came out playing very defensively, keeping eight players behind the halfway line for the majority of the first half. The Islanders had a few early chances but were not able to get any quality chances on net.

    The opening goal came in the 30th minute when Islanders’ forward Morgan Langley drove down the middle of the pitch after a pass from midfield opened up the field. Langley had team leading scorer, Touray, to his left but decided to keep it to him self and take the shot. The initial shot was saved by Antigua’s goalie, Molvin James, but he was not able to control it. The ball came right back to Langley’s feet, and he struck it into the net for his fourth goal of the season.

    The next goal came off a botched play by the Antigua defense. The ball was punted high in the air to Touray, who controlled the ball off his chest, only for it to fall to the Barracudas' Karanja Mack. The Antigua defender tried to control the ball, but Touray slipped around the defense and tapped the ball that dribbled across the line for the second goal of the game and ultimately the game-winning goal.

    Within the first two minutes of the second half the Barracudas cut the Islanders’ lead in half with a goal from Orlando Mitchum. The ball fell to Mitchum, who took a shot that deflected off Nick Noble into the air. Mitchum jumped and got his head on the ball, which then floated over Noble for Antigua’s first goal against the Islanders.

    The pivotal point in the game came when Antigua's Eugine Kirwan came streaking down the field and put a shot through the goalmouth. The cross fell to Mitchum, who was unable to get his shot on target to keep the Islanders up by one.

    The final goal of the game came off of a laser shot by Yann Ekra from a knifing pass from Lucky Mkosana, who redirected a pass to Ekra from the top of the penalty area; Ekra took one step and struck the ball hard and true, and the shot blew past the outstretched James, who never had a chance, and to the back of the net.

    The Islanders next home match will be against their major league affiliate the Philadelphia Union in the annual Battle for the Capital friendly on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The next league game for the Islanders will come this Friday night at 7 p.m. against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium in the latest edition of the Keystone Derby.

    For tickets and information about the Harrisburg City Islanders visit www.cityislanders.com or call (717)-441-GOAL.


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  • 06/16/13--21:31: Dayton Holds Off Tampa Bay
  • Sunday, June 16, 2013

    DAYTON, Ohio -- The Dayton Dutch Lions took a 2-1 victory against VSI Tampa Bay FC on Sunday night at Beavercreek Stadium as goals by Remco Klaasse and Tjeerd Westdijk moved the Dutch Lions into seventh place in the USL PRO standings. Dayton jumped past the Charlotte Eagles, as it took its fifth victory of the USL PRO season and extended its undefeated streak in league play to six games.

    Klaasse pounced on an early and untimely VSI Tampa Bay FC (7-5-1) mistake when a misplaced goalkick dropped to his feet 10 minutes into the match. Without hesitation, his sliding shot started the Dutch Lions (5-2-3) on their road to victory. 

    Twenty minutes later, Westdijk took his turn on VSI Tampa’s second defensive breakdown and nailed another goal to put Dayton up 2-0. The opportunity came about when Tampa Bay goalkeeper Alex Horwath was challenged for possession in the penalty area, and the ball came loose to Westdijk to finish in the left side of the penalty area. Tampa’s determination was evident with increased intensity and stronger possession following the second goal. VSI hit back quickly as Sal Bundu nailed a header into Dayton’s goal from Shawn Chin’s corner to make the score 2-1. Dayton was able to maintain the lead as the teams left the field for the end of the first half.

    Tampa Bay came out strongly in the second half, with several opportunities that the Dayton defense had to work to deny. But work is what Dayton’s Shintaro Harada and Gregory Preciado did, while managing to hold onto control in spite of constant pressure by Tampa’s Bundu and J.T. Noone. Dayton stayed organized and alert, with their heads up, keeping their possession-oriented style of play alive. Coach Patrick Bal was complimentary of VSI, citing their strength at midfield and their style, similar to the Dutch Lions.

    “Today, they were better than us, making it harder, especially in the second half,” Bal said, “Normally it makes it easier for us, because if they want to play soccer in that style, then we get space to move the ball around. Today we couldn’t keep the ball, especially the second half. Especially after our first goal, it looked like we were sitting back. The second half was completely theirs.”

    Tampa’s pressure on the Dayton defense had a streak of luck later in the second half when Tampa’s Sean Reynolds almost jammed a cross from Noone into Dayton’s goal but the ball skidded just outside the right post. Tampa’s Chin took a shot in the 85th minute which Matt Williams punched out, once again saving Dayton from a Tampa equalizer. Good field spacing by both teams provided little opportunity for advancement, in spite of the fresh legs that substitutions by Bal brought on late in the second half.

    “All the guys who came in did exactly what was expected of them, and that says something about the team,” Bal said.

    The Dutch Lions head west for two games next weekend, starting with the Phoenix FC Wolves (2-9-4) on Friday night, and then traveling to Los Angeles to face the LA Blues (5-5-5) next Sunday.

    Dayton returns home for a doubleheader, beginning with the club's W-League team (3-1-1) against the Atlanta Silverbacks (3-2-1) at 5:30, followed by the men’s Dutch Lions matchup with the Charlotte Eagles (3-2-5). For season and individual game tickets, visit the Dutch Lions website.


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  • 06/17/13--11:42: MBS Daytona Beach Wraps Up
  • Major Beach Soccer News Release - www.majorbeachsoccer.com

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – The Major Beach Soccer Daytona Beach tournament finished strong Sunday, with division-winning teams having clinched a berth at the MBS National Championship at Clearwater Beach in December and many more teams well on their way to Clearwater, having racked up a substantial amount of points.

    Each final drew a crowd and remained hotly contested until the final whistle Sunday, but according to the spectators, the best displays of the growing sport were the Women’s Open final, the Men’s Open final, and the Co-ed Open final.

    The Co-ed Open final was a rematch of an earlier game. A physical match with plenty of goal-scoring chances saw Sand Blind clinch a spot at Clearwater with a 3-2 win against the Ocala Storm thanks to a golden goal in overtime from Josh Bruno. With the win, Sand Blind finished the tournament undefeated. The match reached its climax when, in overtime, the Ocala Storm goalkeeper just managed to push a penalty kick onto the bar. After a few more moments of back-and-forth action, Bruno slotted the ball away on a counter for the win.

    “It was fun,” an exhausted Bruno managed to say after the game.

    In the Women’s final IABS-Pink donned their bright neon jerseys to take on the Futbol Freaks. The Freaks ultimately prevailed 2-1 after a series of end-to-end bursts and some great defending. IABS was disappointed to fall short, but Coach Bob Klemczak still had a bright disposition.

    “It wasn’t what we wanted, but man wasn’t that a great game? Every year we’ve been coming here and the other tournaments and we always seem to find them in the finals,” Klemczak said. “It’s great every time. Sometimes beating them, sometimes them beating us… It’s good to have such a rival. It’s something we look forward to.”

    In the Men’s final La “U” and Los Perros managed to squeak into the final match off a head-to-head tiebreaker. La “U” got the better of Los Perros, 6-2, thanks to an early barrage of four goals from Oscar Carmona and a couple of key saves from the acrobatic Carlos Carcamo.

    “This is our first time at Daytona, but we have been coming for forever,” Carmona said. “It started with the old guys – the coaches now – and now they have brought us into it… We play pretty much whenever and wherever we can.”

    USL National Technical Director and Major Beach Soccer Founder Peter Mellor was pleased with the professional showing from all the teams involved.

    “It was great to see familiar and new faces; good to catch up with the old guard and good to meet some of the new. I think now as we continue this thing we can see how the game is helping train and develop players,” Mellor said. “The sand game is different from the turf, but the skills carry over. As beach soccer catches on and more and more coastal areas begin to participate, we can see the teams getting better each year.”

    The next qualifying tournament will be the flagship tournament on July 12 at Clearwater Beach in Florida.


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  • 06/17/13--17:41: USL Mourns Death Of Heasley
  • United Soccer Leagues News Release

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer League is saddened to hear of the passing of Paul A. Heasley, the founder of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, who died at his home this past Saturday.

    Heasley led the Riverhounds in the club’s inaugural season in the A-League in 1999, with the club’s current coach Justin Evans being the Riverhounds’ first-ever selection in the A-League Draft. Heasley’s support for soccer in Pittsburgh never diminished, even after the sale of the club to Sports Facility LLC in 2004, as it began its journey to the creation of Highmark Stadium.

    “Paul will be remembered as one of the most positive figures in USL during his ownership of the Riverhounds,” USL President Tim Holt. “While we mourn his passing, his vision for the club was remarkable, and the work he began is continued today by Jason Kutney and the rest of the Riverhounds’ organization.”

    In the club’s history, the Riverhounds have only retired one number, No. 99, in honor of Heasley and the year of the club’s establishment. 


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    Long Island Rough Riders News Release -- www.liroughriders.com

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    PLAINVIEW, N.Y. -- The Long Island Rough Riders will host the Ocean City Nor’easters on Wednesday night at Cy Donnelly Stadium. Kicking off at 7 p.m., the undefeated Rough Riders will try to bring the first loss to the 2012 Mid Atlantic Division Champions.

    The Rough Riders traveled to Central Jersey this past weekend and brought home three points after defeating the Central Jersey Spartans 4-2. After a difficult first half, Ben Arikian and Stephan Barea gave the Rough Riders a 2-1 lead. Kevin Knowles secured the Rough Riders’ win with two goals in his first appearance for the team.

    The Rough Riders are currently in fifth place in the Mid Atlantic Division, only three points behind division leader Reading United AC, with a game in hand. The Rough Riders are eager to continue their winning streak and improve their position in the division.

    The Ocean City Nor’easters are continuing where they left off in the 2012 season with dominant performances thus far. The Nor’easters are undefeated in the division (4-0-1) and have played challenging teams early such as the Baltimore Bohemians, Jersey Express and Reading United.

    This past weekend Ocean City battled against Reading United for the top spot in the division. Forward Anthony Asante scored in the last minute of the first half to give the Nor’easters the lead going into halftime. The game was equally matched with both sides creating goal scoring opportunities. With four minutes left in the match, former Ocean City player Jason Plumhoff headed the ball into the back of the net off of a cross from the flank ending the game in a 1-1 draw.

    Ocean City has a dominant attacking force with forwards Asante, Zoncher Dennis and Frank Tweneboa consistently scoring goals. Asante, Dennis and Tweneboa have a combined total of eight goals in the 2013 season. The Rough Riders will have to be focused on defense to shut down the forwards from valuable chances.

    Long Island and Ocean City met once in the 2012 PDL season at Cy Donnelly Stadium. On June 27th, the Nor’easters narrowly defeated the Rough Riders 2-1. Keith Detlj scored in the 39th minute to give the Rough Riders the lead. Just five minutes later the Nor’easters came back when forward Emmanual Kollie shot 30 yards out past the Rough Riders keeper Tommy Booth. Ocean City came out firing at the start of the second half when Dennis beat Booth and scored in an empty net. The rest of the match was even with both teams creating opportunities but the Rough Riders could not capitalize.

    The Rough Riders are anticipating an intense match as both teams are in the running for one of three playoff spots. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.liroughriders.com/tickets or at the Rough Riders ticket box on game day (box opens 60 minutes before kick-off).


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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week 13 of the season on Tuesday, with Rochester Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht earning Player of the Week honors after conceding just once in two games as the Rhinos took four points from the weekend’s action. Nicht, the 2012 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year, played a key role in both the Rhinos’ victory against Tampa Bay and a draw with Charleston.

    Nicht put in a standout performance in the Rhinos’ 3-0 win against VSI Tampa Bay FC on Friday night, recording a five-save shutout to help his side take its second win of the season. Nicht made three second-half saves and commanded his penalty area well as VSI outshot Rochester 17-8 for the night, only to be denied. The 6-foot-5 German continued his outstanding form on Sunday, making five second-half saves to preserve a 1-1 draw with the Charleston Battery.

    Joining Nicht in the Team of the Week is his teammate Tam McManus, who had a goal and an assist in the Rhinos’ victory against Tampa Bay. The Scottish forward made good runs throughout the game, and scored his third goal of the season in the 53rd minute to give Rochester a two-goal cushion. McManus then set up Blake Brettschneider for the Rhinos’ third goal, which capped a fine performance.

    Joining McManus in the Team of the Week attack is Los Angeles’ Chris Cortez, who had a big impact as a substitute for the Blues as he scored the game-tying goal in a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy Reserves. Jose Angulo also earned a place as he scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with the Charleston Battery.

    The Battery’s goal scorer in that contest, Jose Cuevas, leads the midfield selections, with his beautiful curling shot one of the standout moments of the weekend’s action. He is joined by Wilmington’s Daniel Steres, who scored the only goal as the Hammerheads defeated the New York Red Bulls Reserves, and Richmond’s Brian Ownby, whose two goals led the Kickers past Antigua on Friday night. Dayton’s Joel DeLass completes the quartet after a strong two-way performance in the Dutch Lions’ 2-1 win against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

    Charlotte’s Ben Newnam leads a trio of defenders that complete the team, with the rookie scoring the game-winning goal – his first as a professional – against the Chicago Fire Reserves. Harrisburg’s Stephen Basso also earned selection after a good performance in a 3-1 win against Antigua, as does Phoenix’s Devon Grousis, who featured strongly in the Wolves’ 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake Reserves.

    The USL PRO season continues with four games on Friday night with the renewal of the Keystone Derby as the Harrisburg City Islanders host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Skyline Sports Complex at 7 p.m. ET. Also on Friday, the Charlotte Eagles host VSI Tampa Bay FC at Queens Sports Complex at 7 p.m. ET, while the Rochester Rhinos host Antigua Barracuda FC at 7:35 p.m. ET at Sahlen’s Stadium. The Dayton Dutch Lions and Phoenix FC cap the night’s action at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium at 10:30 p.m. ET.

    Saturday night sees interleague action, with the Richmond Kickers playing host to the Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves at 7 p.m. at City Stadium. Tampa Bay completes its trip to the Carolinas with a visit to the Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET, while Charlotte moves on to face the Wilmington Hammerheads at Legion Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.

    The weekend concludes on Sunday, with Antigua Barracuda FC visiting the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium at 3 p.m. ET, and the Los Angeles Blues hosting the Dayton Dutch Lions at 7 p.m. ET at Titan Stadium. Every game of the USL PRO season can be seen on USLNation.com, with live updates also available via Twitter (@USLPRO), Facebook and Google+.

    USL PRO Team of the Week

    Pos

    Player 

    Team

    Highlights

    GK

    Kristian Nicht

    Rochester

    Made 10 saves in two games as Rhinos claimed four points

    D

    Devon Grousis

    Phoenix

    Played key role in Wolves’ 0-0 draw against RSL Reserves

    D

    Stephen Basso

    Harrisburg

    Solid defensively, also had impact getting up flank against Antigua

    D

    Ben Newnam

    Charlotte

    Had game-winning goal in comeback victory against Chicago Reserves

    M

    Daniel Steres

    Wilmington

    Scored only goal as Hammerheads defeated Red Bulls Reserves

    M

    Brian Ownby

    Richmond

    Two goals led Kickers to victory against Antigua

    M

    Jose Cuevas

    Charleston

    Standout strike helped Charleston earn draw in Pittsburgh

    M

    Joel DeLass

    Dayton

    Strong two-way game helped Dutch Lions defeat Tampa Bay

    F

    Chris Cortez

    Los Angeles

    Had late game-tying goal in Blues’ 1-1 draw with Galaxy Reserves

    F

    Tam McManus

    Rochester

    Had a goal and assist as Rhinos defeated Tampa Bay 3-0

    F

    Jose Angulo

    Pittsburgh

    Seventh goal of season earned Riverhounds a point with Battery

    Honorable Mention: Antigua – Orlando Mitchum, Eugine Kirwan; Charleston – Shawn Ferguson, Odisnel Cooper; Charlotte – Christian Ramirez, Nate Thornton; Dayton – Tjeerd Westdijk, Matt Williams; Harrisburg – Morgan Langley, Yann Ekra; Los Angeles – Rodrigo Lopez, Mohammad Mohammadi; Phoenix – Donny Toia; Pittsburgh – Matt Dallman, Sterling Flunder; Richmond – Jason Yeisley, William Yomby; Rochester – Blake Brettschneider, Tyler Rosenlund; Tampa Bay – J.T. Noone; Wilmington – Troy Hernandez, Gareth Evans.


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    Sounders FC U-23 Feature -- www.soundersu23.com

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    During the 2013 Sounders FC U-23 campaign, Dave Clark will be contributing stories about the team, league, and where the side fits in the soccer pyramid. Dave Clark is the founder and managing editor of SounderAtHeart.com, a site dedicated to soccer in the Greater Puget Sound with a focus on Sounders FC, tactics, analytics, passion and humor. Dave is a Sounder by birth and spent the vast majority of his life in South King County.

    TACOMA, Wash. -- When the Sounders U23s take the field, some are in Rave Green for their first time. Others are continuing a tradition of green that goes back years. At this time those newer to the Sounders’ colors are getting more playing time as Coach Darren Sawatzky balances winning games with developing talent.

    "These guys [former Sounders Academy players] are coming back as sophomores and freshmen and they’re on the younger side of the PDL age group," Sawatzky told SoundersU23.com earlier this month. "They’re playing against juniors and seniors. It’s important to get a balance of seniors and older, local veteran guys to help them along."

    One of those local veterans is former Sounders pro, current coach and sometime player Ben Dragavon. He is not the only one helping the youngest players take that next step in their playing careers. The roster has soon to be drafted into MLS seniors, former youth pros and some youth national team players.

    Each match the roster choice is about finding those wins in order to make the Playoffs and challenge for a PDL Championship while also developing talent. The U23s are an intermediary step on what every player and coach hopes will be a long soccer journey.

    "It’s incredibly important that young players play against men in the developmental process," Sawatzky says. "Not everybody believes in that system, but from what I’ve seen the best players in the world develop by playing with and against men. When you have older guys within the varying levels of the system it definitely helps those younger guys learn."

    That is also true for training. Development is not just about games, nor is it just about playing skills. This is the age when players develop as adults as well. They become young men. The challenges they face to earn playing time, continue their education and behave as professionals will mold their futures whether that is within soccer or not.

    Sitting at 13 points in eight games played the balance of winning and development is on track for a late season push. Friday’s road match against Vancouver can go a long way to help the Playoff goal. Every game, every training session, helps the players improve their own futures.


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    Orlando City Feature -- www.orlandocitysoccer.com

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Saturday’s international friendly against Brazilian Champion Fluminense FC is an important game for Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath’s club. Not just because the Lions are playing a legendary club like Fluminense, but the challenge it brings along with it.

    “We’re delighted to host a club like Fluminense,” said Heath. “It’s not very often you get to play one of the biggest clubs from Brazil. They have some great players playing for them and it’s just a great opportunity for our players and fans alike to see them play. People around Central Florida who love soccer will come and watch a great football club play.”

    When asked about ranking the numerous international friendlies Orlando has hosted in its short three years of operation, Heath says Fluminense ranks right at the top.

    “Obviously because the EPL (English Premier League) is so popular around the world, games like Bolton and Newcastle United were great successes and captured the imagination of the Brits in town. Now we capture a whole different angle of South Americans. It’s huge for the club. It’s good for us as a staff to watch a team that’ll cause different types of trouble that we haven’t experienced before.”

    Heath has also said numerous times that he takes every match one game at a time, but with a quarterfinal match against the Chicago Fire looming next week, that’s not a guarantee.

    “With the last two results we’ve had (in the Open Cup), we’ve put ourselves in great position,” Heath continued. “We’re one game away from having a home draw in which could play in the Open Cup final. That would be incredible.

    “Everyone on our squad will see playing time on Saturday as the most important thing would be getting ready for the Chicago Fire on Wednesday in the Open Cup."


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