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News from USL

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    Charlotte Eagles News Release - www.charlotteeagles.com

    Friday, August 2, 2013

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Richmond Kickers used a second-half goal from Joe Ngwenya to defeat the Charlotte Eagles 1-0 and extend their USL PRO-record unbeaten streak to 24 games. The Kickers improved to 13-0-9 and sit six points ahead Orlando City at the top of the table, while the Eagles dropped to 8-4-10 and sit in fifth place. 

    With the victory, Richmond clinched a place in the USL PRO postseason and guaranteed itself a home date in the first round.

    The game’s first chance came from Charlotte’s Samuel Asante, whose shot traveled wide left in the 10th minute. Richmond enjoyed the balance of possession in the opening 15 minutes but was unable to convert.

    Jorge Herrera came close to opening the scoring for the Eagles in the 27th minute, but his left-footed shot was inches wide of the Kickers goal. Richmond had a few chances from set pieces in the final 15 minutes, but the Eagles defense stood tough and held the game scoreless into halftime.

    The second half started much like the first as both teams traded possession. Christian Meza came close to giving the Eagles the lead in the 59th minute, but his shot hit the outside netting of the goal.

    Ngwenya scored the game’s lone goal in the 72nd minute as his header found the back of the net. Eagles goalkeeper Eric Reed was caught between coming out or staying in, and that hesitation allowed Ngwenya to finish his header.

    Charlotte pressed hard for the equalizer in the final 25 minutes with center back Fejiro Okiomah moving up to play forward, but was unable to find the equalizer and the game ended 1-0.

    “They’re a good team, there is a reason they’re undefeated,” Eagles Head Coach Mark Steffens said. “Richmond is a deep team with good depth and is fast and tall in the back, so it was tough to get behind them.”

    The Eagles will travel to Harrisburg on Wednesday, August 7 before returning home to host Antigua Barracuda FC on Saturday, August 10.


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    PDL Game Report

    Friday, August 2, 2013

    AUSTIN, Texas – A brilliant strike by Sito Seoane lifted the Austin Aztex to a 1-0 victory against the Ocean City Nor’easters in the semifinals of the 2013 PDL Championship presented by Nike. Seoane scored early in the second half to send a crowd of 3,062 at House Park into celebration and put his side through to face the Thunder Bay Chill in the PDL Championship game on Sunday night.

    The Aztex had much of the play in the opening half, but it wasn’t until the seventh minute of the second half that they were able to find a breakthrough. Seoane received a throw-in from Zack Pope on the left side, and with the ball bouncing he struck a strong shot into the right corner of the net that left Nor’easters goalkeeper Michael O’Keeffe with little chance to save.

    “The ball was bouncing, but I didn’t doubt it,” Seoane said. “It’s awesome, tonight we’re going to enjoy it, but it’s not over, we’ve got one more game. Thunder Bay is a really good team, so we’re going to have to be ready.”

    Seoane’s goal was his third in as many PDL Playoff games, having scored the opening goal in both of the Aztex’s contests in the Southern Conference Championship a week ago.

    “He’s got clutch in the money part of the season,” Aztex Coach Paul Dalglish said. “At the beginning of the season he was playing wide sometimes, playing central, and we kind of settled on this combination up front, and he’s scored a lot of goals in the last few games of the season, important goals, and that’s the kind of player he is. He takes a lot of chances, some go in, some don’t, but I thought it was an unbelievable finish, deserving of a game of this magnitude.”

    The Aztex opened the game more brightly, and were able to put together some good passing moves, but were unable to find a breakthrough as the Nor’easters defended solidly. Aaron Guillen went close from a corner kick in the 13th minute, O’Keeffe making a good save from point blank range to deny the opportunity, and a shot by Andres Cuero from 20 yards was deflected away by the Nor’easters defense.

    Ocean City’s first chance didn’t arrive until the 37th minute, but it was a big one as Zoncher Dennis beat the Aztex’s offside trap and broke in one-on-one with Austin goalkeeper Devin Cook, only for the goalkeeper to hold his ground well and claim possession as Dennis tried to round him. A minute later Cook was forced into another good save as Ken Tribbett’s flicked header forced a diving stop.

    Cook was called into action again four minutes into the second half to deny Dwayne Reid from 12 yards, but overall chances were sparse in the second half. Austin was able to control possession well, but unable to find a second goal, and Ocean City pushed forward looking for an equalizer in the final 15 minutes. That opened the game up, and Ocean City’s Emmanuel Kollie had a good curling shot from the right side turned away by Cook, only for Austin to hit the post a minute later through Jesus Cortes.

    Ocean City’s best, and last, chance to tie the game came in the 87th minute as a good corner from the right side was met by Tribbett, only for his powerful header to go just over the crossbar. The Aztex held on to advance to Sunday’s semifinal, and a chance at the club’s first PDL championship.

    “It’s what we’ve worked all year for,” Dalglish said. “These guys have sacrificed a lot to play for the Austin Aztex this summer. You sometimes under-appreciate how much work these guys put in when they’re not getting paid. These are amateur guys who have given up their summer, their friends are in Cancun or down 6th Street, and these guys have sacrificed their whole summer to be successful for the great support that we’ve got, and it means a lot to me, it means a lot to them, and it means a lot to the fans here in Austin.”

     


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    VSI Tampa Bay FC News Release - www.vsi-fc.com

    Friday, August 2, 2013

    PLANT CITY, Fla. - VSI Tampa Bay FC fell 2-1 against the visiting Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Plant City Stadium Friday evening, allowing the Riverhounds to pull even with VSI in the USL PRO playoff chase.

    After a 45-minute weather delay the action started early as VSI Tampa Bay was able to penetrate through great combination between Chad Burt and Sal Bundu, only to have the Pittsburgh defense hold firm. As the possession continued, JT Noone managed to slip by his defender and find Tony Donatelli 25 yards out, only to see his left-footed shot narrowly miss the Pittsburgh goal.

    Pittsburgh countered in the first half from incredible individual play by league leading goal scorer Jose Angulo, only to have VSI keeper Alex Horwath calmly make the save. The opening goal happened in a flurry as VSI was able to pin the Riverhounds into their box. In the midst of the heavy traffic, Donatelli confidently put the home side up 1-0 by finishing low into the corner.

    With a crucial three points on the line, Pittsburgh proved why it is in the playoff race. With extremely determined efforts and at top pace, the Riverhounds unleashed a relentless attack that saw a first-time finish from Rob Vincent in the 58th minute as he hit the upper 90 of Horwath’s goal, equalizing the game.

    Sticking with the same strategy, Pittsburgh gained the lead after a properly weighted pass found Richard Costanzo in stride on the right flank. A great bit of individual skill allowed an opening for what proved to beat Horwath in the lower right corner to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.

    VSI Tampa Bay gave its full attention to finding the equalizer the rest of the match. A free kick from substitute Mauricio Salles deflected just high to allow a corner. The corner from Noone reached the head of Josh Rife, only to see the ball sail over the crossbar.

    The home side threw an extra attacker forward to try and find the equalizer, only to see the Pittsburgh defense stand strong and earn the much-needed three points on the road.

    VSI Tampa Bay will return to Plant City Stadium Sunday night at 7 p.m. to host Orlando City (12-2-6) in search of three crucial points as the playoff race tightens with only a few games remaining in the regular season.

    Tickets are available online at www.vsi-fc.com, or at the Plant City Stadium ticket window on game day.
     


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    Saturday, August 3, 2013

    ORLANDO, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Riverhounds (9-6-7, 34 points) took a 1-0 victory against Orlando City SC (12-3-6, 42 points) on Saturday night at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. A 52nd-minute goal by Riverhounds midfielder Ryan Kinne was the lone score of the night, propelling Pittsburgh to the win and a move into a three-way tie for fifth place in the USL PRO standings. The victory was Pittsburgh’s fourth in a row, with the last three coming on the road.  

    “I thought it (the performance) was pretty poor most of the game,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Thought C.J. (Sapong) gave us a lift when he came on, but apart from that there wasn’t much going on in the attacking third to cause them any problems.”

    The Lions held possession early on, with Pittsburgh playing behind the ball to disrupt the fluid movement that Heath preaches to his players. Despite the Riverhounds’ defensive strategy in the opening minutes, Orlando kept pressing, with attempts by Kevin Molino and Jean Alexandre nearly opening up the score line.

    Attacks and pressure continued through rest of the first half, with the Lions continuing to stay on the offensive. Combination plays from Molino to City forwards and midfielders allowed Orlando to open up the Pittsburgh defense, but the Riverhounds held tight, not allowing a goal.

    Stefan Lundberg of the Riverhounds kept Orlando on their heels late in the opening half, with a breakaway by the midfielder nearly resulting in a goal, only for his attempt to roll just wide of the right post and out of danger.

    The Riverhounds’ attack persisted at the start of the second half, with a ball played in by Lundberg finding Kinne, who headed it past Miguel Gallardo for the 1-0 advantage.

    Heath immediately substituted in Sporting KC loanee C.J. Sapong and Long Tan to bring an offensive spark to the Lions after the goal, with a consistent push forward in the later parts of the second half proving to be unsuccessful as Pittsburgh held their defensive line.

    The lone bright spot of the night came outside the Orlando area, with first-place Richmond Kickers falling to the Charleston Battery 5-2. The Lions have two games in-hand on the Kickers, six points behind the top spot. The two clubs meet in a crucial game in Richmond on Wednesday, August 14.

    Orlando continues its hunt for first place in the USL PRO table on Sunday night, traveling down I-4 to face expansion side VSI Tampa Bay FC. Tampa Bay currently sits ninth in the league, one spot out of the playoffs. Sunday’s match will be the first meeting between the two clubs, with an earlier match in the season rescheduled due to severe weather.

    The match will be played at Plant City Stadium, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. EST. The two clubs then square off just three days later in Orlando, with the rescheduled match on Wednesday, August 7.

    For more information on the upcoming matches, visit OrlandoCitySoccer.com.

     


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    Saturday, August 3, 2013

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery handed the Richmond Kickers their first defeat of the season on Saturday night as Mike Azira scored twice in a 5-2 victory at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 3,460 fans. The result snapped Richmond’s record-breaking 22-game USL PRO unbeaten streak, and earned the Battery a little revenge on their long-time rival following their defeat earlier in the season at City Stadium.

    With the win Charleston improves to 11-6-6, 39 points and remains in fourth position in the USL PRO standings.

    The Battery opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after midfielder Bryce Alderson picked out Colin Falvey with a curling cross from the left side. Falvey beat his defender to the ball and headed past Richmond goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra into the goal.

    Two minutes later Charleston doubled its lead after a Richmond clearance was picked off at midfield by Jose Cuevas. The 2012 USL PRO Rookie of the Year passed the ball forward to Azira, who drilled a low shot past Dykstra into the bottom left corner for his first goal of the night.

    Richmond responded with a goal at the stroke of halftime as midfielder Alex Lee drifted between the two Charleston central-defenders and directed a header over Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper.

    The Battery restored their two-goal advantage three minutes into the second half as Dane Kelly notched his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Richmond fought back again to make it 3-2 in the 72nd minute with veteran striker Matt Delicate volleying home from a corner.

    The game hung in the balance until the 84th minute with Richmond pressing hard to find an equalizer. The Battery managed to break clear with Azira surging down field with the ball. Dykstra came off his line to close the angle but Azira slipped the ball past him to make it 4-2, giving the midfielder five goals this season.

    Substitute forward Heviel Cordoves put the game beyond doubt in stoppage time scoring Charleston’s fifth of the night with a hard left-footed strike from 12 yards out.

    The Battery travel to the west coast next week for a pair of games. On Thursday, Charleston squares off with the Los Angeles Blues (10:30 p.m. ET) and on Saturday the Battery take on Phoenix FC (7:30 p.m. ET); both games will be broadcast live on Sports Radio 1450 AM.


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  • 08/03/13--21:06: PDL Award Winners Announced
  • PDL News Release

    Saturday, August 3, 2013

    AUSTIN, Texas – The PDL announced its 2013 awards today, honoring the Most Valuable Player, Young (U21) Player of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Coach of the Year. The awards were announced at the PDL Awards Banquet at the 2013 PDL Championship presented by Nike in Austin, Texas.

    Forward Kristopher Tyrpak of the Austin Aztex was named Most Valuable Player after leading his side to its first Mid South Division title. An All-Conference selection in 2012, Tyrpak led the Aztex with nine goals and 19 points, playing a key role in an attack that finished tied for sixth in the PDL with 38 goals.

    Tyrpak’s head coach at Austin, Paul Dalglish, was honored as Coach of the Year after his side fell just once on its way to the Mid South Division title. Dalglish’s side was outstanding at both ends of the field, conceding just eight goals while recording a +30 goal differential on its way to a second consecutive playoff place.

    Ottawa goalkeeper Chad Bush was the clear choice as Goalkeeper of the Year after he conceded just one goal in 10 appearances, one of the most remarkable goalkeeping performances in PDL history. Bush recorded nine consecutive shutouts to close out the regular season as he finished with a 0.104 goal-against average.

    Peter Caringi of the Baltimore Bohemians took home the Young (U21) Player of the Year award after leading the PDL with 16 goals in 12 games. Twice named the PDL Player of the Week over the course of the season, Caringi’s goals played a key role as the Bohemians claimed their first playoff place, and led the PDL with 42 goals overall, in just their second season in the league.

    The 2013 PDL Championship presented by Nike, featuring the Austin Aztex and the Thunder Bay Chill, will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT on Sunday night at House Park. Austin defeated the Ocean City Nor’easters 1-0 to reach the title game, while Thunder Bay took a 2-0 victory against the Victoria Highlanders FC. The game will be available live on USLnation.com.

    Votes for the PDL awards are submitted by team management. MVP and Young (U21) Player of the Year finalists are determined by All-Conference voting, while the Goalkeeper of the Year is determined based on total All-Conference votes.

    2013 PDL Awards

    Most Valuable Player
    Kristopher Tyrpak, Austin Aztex

    Young (U21) Player of the Year
    Peter Caringi, Baltimore Bohemians

    Coach of the Year
    Paul Dalglish, Austin Aztex

    Goalkeeper of the Year
    Chad Bush, Ottawa Fury

     


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    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    PLANT CITY, Fla. -
     Orlando City SC (13-3-6, 45 points) handed cross-state rival VSI Tampa Bay FC (9-9-4, 31 points) a 3-0 defeat Sunday night at Plant City Stadium and clinched a playoff spot for the 2013 USL PRO postseason, which begins the weekend of August 23-25.

    “It’s a great response from the players tonight after Saturday night,” Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath said. “We regrouped today and put fresh legs in, getting some really good performances. We have to focus in on Wednesday’s match, but this certainly puts us on a good platform moving forward.“

    Orlando City dominated early, with chances by Defender Justin Clark and Midfielder Freddie Braun in the sixth and seventh minutes, keeping VSI on its toes. It didn’t take long for the Lions to convert, with a wonderful combination play in the 15th minute resulting in Orlando’s first goal.

    Sporting Kansas City loanee C.J. Sapong, who is now eligible for the 2013 postseason with this appearance, played a ball into the back post after dribbling through the edge of playing surface. Sapong found fellow loanee Christian Duke on the cross, with the midfielder heading it in the lower-left corner to give Orlando the 1-0 advantage. The score was Duke’s first of the season.

    Just before the halftime whistle blew, Orlando struck again - with Rob Valentino heading in a Luke Boden free kick to give the Lions a 2-0 advantage going into the locker rooms. After a foul was called just outside the 18-yard box, Boden whipped in an attempt that found a leaping Valentino. The 6-foot-4 defender toppled over the VSI backline, whipping the attempt past goalkeeper Alexander Horwath for the 2-0 lead.

    The Lions continued the high rate of play at the beginning of the second half, with midfielder Freddie Braun converting in the 53rd minute for the three-goal lead. Braun took advantage of a mismanaged saved by Horwath after multiple Lions had opportunities, blasting his shot in the back of the net.

    Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo earned his fifth shutout of the 2013 season in the win, making key saves in the second half to not allow a Tampa goal. The Torreon, Mexico, native currently boasts a goals-against average of 0.82 heading into the final four matches of the regular season.

    With the result, Orlando is guaranteed a quarterfinal appearance in the 2013 USL PRO playoffs, which begin the weekend of August 23-25 alongside seven other teams. Seeding and opponents are TBD. The semifinals featuring the four remaining teams will be played the following weekend, with the 2013 USL PRO Championship set for the weekend of September 6-8.

    All playoff rounds feature a single-game knockout format and teams will not be re-seeded following each round.

    Orlando will get ready to take the full six points in the two meetings against Tampa as the teams square off again on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday’s match was originally scheduled for April 30, with severe weather moving the game back to August 7. Ticket stubs from the April 30 game will be valid for August 7.


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  • 08/04/13--23:54: Aztex Claim PDL Championship
  • PDL News Release

    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    AUSTIN, Texas – The Austin Aztex claimed their first championship as they rallied from an early deficit to defeat the Thunder Bay Chill 3-1 in front of a crowd of 4,253 fans at House Park in the 2013 PDL Championship Game presented by Nike on Sunday night. Sito Seoane capped an outstanding postseason, and claimed Most Valuable Player honors, as he scored twice and added an assist to lead the Aztex’s victory, while Thunder Bay was forced to play most of the game with 10 men as goalkeeper Stephen Paterson was sent off early in the contest.

    Seoane had five goals in four games in the PDL Playoffs, including the game-winning goal in each of the Aztex’s four victories on the way to the championship. He pulled the Aztex even from the penalty spot following Pedro Adan’s early goal had given the Chill the lead. Seoane then added a second midway through the first half before assisting on Khiry Shelton’s finish just before the break.

    “It’s unbelievable,” Seoane said. “Thanks to my teammates, they were supporting me the whole season, and without them I couldn’t have done this. It’s unbelievable, to win a championship in front of all of your fans. There are no words.”

    The game got off to a flying start, with Thunder Bay taking the lead in just the second minute. After a long throw-in from the left by Paul Dillon was half-cleared by the Aztex, the ball came to Zetroy Robertson 20 yards from goal. His long-range shot was redirected on frame in front, and parried away by Austin goalkeeper Devin Cook, only for Adan to be on hand to blast home the rebound.

    Austin responded immediately, and momentum swung in their direction two minutes later as Tony Rocha slid a pass through the Thunder Bay defense that allowed Kris Tyrpak to break in on goal. Paterson came out to challenge, but brought down Tyrpak just inside the penalty area, which earned not only a penalty kick but also a red card for the goalkeeper. Daniel Alvarado came on to face Seoane’s penalty kick, but went the wrong way as Seoane’s shot went into the upper-left corner for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

    “When they scored, we were like, ‘we’re here, we’re in the national championship, we’ve got to step it up, we’ve got to come back and get one back as fast as we can’,” Tyrpak said. “That run that I did, me and Tony have been working on that all year, we worked on it every day in practice, and we just made eye contact and he put it where I needed to be. Unfortunately for the goalie came out, he caught my foot and we tied it up.”

    With a man advantage, the Aztex tried to drive home their advantage quickly as Shelton threatened twice on the left side. Austin was able to take the lead in the 22nd minute as Zack Pope overlapped and sent in a low, near-post cross from the left side that Tyrpak beat his man to. The ball deflected perfectly to Seoane eight yards out, who lashed home a finish into the roof of the net from just outside the left corner of the six-yard box.

    Thunder Bay’s best chances to get back on level terms mostly came from set pieces, with Dillon’s long throw-ins a consistent threat. The Chill came close in the 45th minute as a header by Axel Sjoberg went straight at Cook, but saw the hill they had to climb get steeper in the first minute of stoppage time as Seoane played a pass to Shelton in the right channel, and the rangy forward rifled a low shot into the left corner for a 3-1 halftime lead.

    The Chill came out aggressively to start the second half, and were offered an avenue back into the game in the 54th minute as Sullivan Silva was brought down in the penalty area by Aaron Guillen. Dillon stepped up to take the kick, but sent his shot wide of the left post as the Aztex held onto their two-goal lead. The Chill were able to continue to generate chances from set pieces, Nolan Intermoia’s header forcing a save from Cook in the 58th minute, but as the second half wore on, the chances became fewer as playing down a man took its toll.

    Austin did have chances to add to its lead, the best coming to Tucker Hume as he was played into the left side of the penalty area in the 66th minute, only for Alvarado to come off his line quickly and make a fine save. Jesus Cortes also had a pair of opportunities, both of which missed the target, but they were academic as the Aztex sent their fans, led by Eberly’s Army, into massive celebrations as the final whistle went.


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    PDL Feature

    Monday, August 5, 2013

    Since its first PDL season in 2004, Reading United AC - formerly the Reading Rage - has been one of the league’s most successful franchises on and off the field. Six consecutive playoff appearances and a groundbreaking affiliation with the Philadelphia Union of MLS have made Reading United AC a model for other PDL clubs to follow.

    Reading United AC president & General Manager Art Auchenbach has been heavily involved in the local soccer playing and coaching community for more than 20 years, and recently took the time to answer our questions about building and maintaining a successful PDL franchise.


    What inspired you to acquire the franchise?

    The franchise was not performing well. The ownership was fragmented or not involved with the team operations, and some of the original owners and staff were forced to leave the program. The former head coach, Derek Broadley, was leaving to take over the Bermuda National Team program and asked if I could get involved. I said I would, provided he got all uninvolved owners to sell their shares to local ownership (Troy Snyder and me). We are fortunate to now have a strong ownership group which has a blend of soccer and business experience and shares the same philosophy on our team goals.

    What is your favorite aspect of operating your team?

    Giving local youth the opportunity to interact with the future stars of the game, and providing a platform for top-level talent to gain exposure and kick off to the next level. It’s an honor when guys like Damion Lowe and Jason Plumhoff, who may not have been known as well on the national stage before our season, are able to use our platform to prove themselves on the field [as 2013 All PDL Selections]. It’s also very cool when my son, his friends, and other local youth can tell everyone that they had CJ Sapong [Sporting KC], Matt Hedges [FC Dallas], Andrew Wenger [Montreal Impact], and Ray Gaddis [Philadelphia Union] all at a single soccer camp they attended. No one else in our area can offer this level of talent to the local soccer family.

    What differentiates your franchise from others?

    We try to run everything as professionally as possible for our players. The smallest details, like game-day inserts, player introductions, pre-match team meals, staff uniforms, etc. are a source of pride for our organization. We want our players, fans, and opposing teams to know that we strive for a professional-level experience. Additionally our staff [Troy Snyder - Former U.S. Mens National Team, Brendan Burke - Philadelphia Union Assistant Coach, Ged Quinn - Former PDL player and collegiate All American] sets our program apart due to the many playing perspectives we can offer to our players, and fans.

    What words of advice would you provide to potential franchise owners?

    Be involved. This is a labor of love and without active ownership you will not have a strong franchise.

    Where do you see your franchise in 3-5 years?

    I’d like to see more sponsorship and more youth soccer programming to allow us to hire two-to-three additional full-time staff. Hopefully a PDL National Championship will be here before then also!

    What is the most challenging aspect of your franchise/team?

    We are youth club neutral, so we do not have youth teams that pay to support our program. We rely solely on sponsorships, game-day revenue and youth camps/clinics to operate our franchise. All profits are re-invested in maintaining a professional training and game environment for the players we have on our team.

    What is your franchise’s greatest accomplishment to date?

    Setting the U.S. Open Cup record with our fifth consecutive U.S. Open Cup berth for an amateur team, highlighted this year by beating the NPSL National Champions in the first round, a USL PRO team in the second round, and playing against NY Red Bull at Red Bull Arena in the third round.

    What traits do you find valuable when adding members to your staff?

    Hard work; a love of the game; attention to detail.

    How does your previous employment/business experience translate into running a successful sports franchise?

    I am an engineer by degree, so I guess some of the operational details come easy to me. I am also a partner in a sales representative firm, so some of the sales/marketing aspects of my day-to-day business lend a hand.

    Who has been the greatest influence in your career? Please explain.

    My family growing up. I am the oldest of eight and we all played soccer. Without the game, and my family’s experiences with it, I likely wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today [either in soccer or my ‘real’ job].


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    Harrisburg City Islanders News Release -- www.cityislanders.com

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- After a successful extended west coast road trip the Harrisburg City Islanders return to Skyline Sports Complex on Wednesday night to take on the Charlotte Eagles at 7 p.m. ET. The Islanders took four of a possible six points on their road trip against Los Angeles and Phoenix, which clinched a place in the 2013 USL PRO Playoffs. The City Islanders currently sit in third place, just four points behind Orlando City for second place.

    Charlotte is one of four teams that is in tie for fifth place in the league and a win on the Island will help a great deal in locking up one a spot for the postseason.

    Recently the Islanders have found a new weapon in Lucky Mkosana, who has scored seven goals in the last six games. Mkosana has found his scoring touch at the right time as the Islanders’ leading scorer Sainey Touray was sitting out for a few games. Before he started his scoring tear, Mkosana had not scored since late April.

    The Eagles have been strong on the road this year and are coming off of a homestand in which they went winless. Jorge Harrera is the leading scorer for the Eagles with seven goals and four assists on the season. If the Eagles find their form they can be a threat to score multiple goals and put a lot of pressure on their opponent’s defenders. The Islanders will look to keep the pressure on them as they did in their first meeting this season.

    This is the second meeting between the clubs this season, with the Islanders having shut out the Eagles at the Queens Sports Complex in a 4-0 drubbing where Aaron Wheeler recorded two goals in four minutes. The Islanders held Charlotte to only two shots on goal.

    Coming to the end of the season all games matter and this game would help both of these teams in their hunt for a playoff spot. The Islanders need the points they can get to keep up with the surging Richmond Kickers and Orlando City. The Eagles need to take as many points form their remaining games to make sure they can control their own destiny when it comes to getting into the post season.

    The Wednesday, August 7 game will be the Islanders PINK Night. The team will wear a specially designed adidas PINK jersey which will be auctioned off beginning Thursday, August 8 on line at www.cityislanders.com. Most of the proceeds will be benefit Vickie’s Angels. Vickie’s Angel Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit with a mission of helping families fighting cancer who have difficulties paying their bills during the challenging times of fighting their cancer.

    For more information about Vickie’s Angels visit their website at www.vickiesangelfoundation.org . For tickets and information on the City Islanders please go to www.cityislanders.com or call (717)-441-GOAL.


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    W-League Feature

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – TopDrawerSoccer.com released its Top 100 Player Rankings for the upcoming 2013 women’s collegiate season today, with current and former W-League players featured prominently in the list while claiming 48 spots. Leading the list is North Carolina midfielder Crystal Dunn, a 2011 member of the W-League’s Long Island Rough Riders.

    A total of 28 players who took part in the recently completed 2013 W-League season were recognized, with 22 different W-League clubs represented.

    The 2013 W-League champion Pali Blues had an impressive 11 players included on the list, six of whom were selected for the top 15. Midfielder Sarah Killion (UCLA) claimed the No. 5 spot, while forward Chioma Ubogagu (Stanford), who scored the overtime winner vs. the Washington Spirit Reserves in the W-League semifinals, was No. 8.

    Other Pali standouts cited by Top Drawer included defender Kassy Kallman (Florida State) at No. 9, midfielder Daphne Corboz (Georgetown) at No. 10, forward Katie Stengel (Wake Forest) at No. 11, and defender Abby Dahlkemper (UCLA) at No. 14. Pali’s championship opponents, the Laval Comets, were represented on the list by Michigan forward Nkemjika Ezurike (No. 21) and Ohio State midfielder Danica Wu (No. 39).

    Each of the other two teams to reach the 2013 W-League Championship presented by Nike had a player included, with Carolina Elite Cobras forward Stephanie DeVita (Furman) tabbed at No. 85 and Washington Spirit Reserves midfielder Ashley Spivey coming in at No. 98.

    Current and former W-League stars also selected for the top 15 included Illinois midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo (Chicago Red Eleven) at No. 3, Penn State and New Jersey Wildcats forward Maya Hayes at No. 6, and Rutgers and Toronto Lady Lynx forward Jonelle Filigno at No. 12

    Top Drawer Soccer Top 100


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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week 20 of the season on Tuesday, with Pittsburgh Riverhounds defender Rich Costanzo earning Player of the Week honors after leading his side to a pair of victories in Florida. The Riverhounds captain had the game-winning goal in a win against VSI Tampa Bay FC, and then played the full 90 minutes as Pittsburgh shut out Orlando City to put itself firmly in the middle of the USL PRO playoff picture.

    Needing a win to move even with Tampa Bay on Friday night, Pittsburgh trailed at halftime, but came out with a renewed energy to start the second half. It was rewarded with an equalizer in the 54th minute through Robert Vincent. Costanzo then gave his side the lead, making a strong run through the midfield before making his way into the right side of the penalty area and slotting his finish into the left corner of the net.

    Costanzo also put in a strong performance on Saturday night as the Riverhounds took a 1-0 victory against Orlando City, which marked a second consecutive shutout of the Lions by Pittsburgh. Michael Green also put in a strong performance for the Riverhounds, and joined Costanzo on the Team of the Week for his efforts.

    Wilmington and Harrisburg also had two players selected to the Team of the Week, with the Hammerheads’ Kyle Greig and Phil Tuttle both earning selection after a pair of victories to keep their playoff hopes alive. Greig scored in both of Wilmington’s victories against Charleston and Dayton, while Tuttle had a six-save shutout as the Hammerheads edged the Dutch Lions 1-0.

    Harrisburg’s Lucky Mkosana earned a berth on the Team of the Week for the third consecutive week as he extended his goal-scoring streak to five games. Mkosana scored in both the City Islanders’ 3-1 win against Phoenix Wednesday night, and also in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Los Angeles. He is joined by Matt Bahner, who scored his first professional goal in Harrisburg’s win against the Wolves.

    Los Angeles’ Matt Fondy completed the attacking trio on the Team of the Week after his game-tying goal against Harrisburg, while Charleston’s Mike Azira led a quartet of midfielders as he scored twice in the Battery’s 5-2 victory that ended Richmond’s hopes of an undefeated regular season.

    The Kickers’ Nate Robinson was also selected after a standout performance in his side’s 1-0 win against Charlotte on Friday night, while Orlando’s Christian Duke earned his place after scoring the game-winning goal against Tampa Bay on Sunday night. Dayton’s Greg Preciado rounded out the team with the final defensive spot after his goal began the Dutch Lions’ fight-back to earn a 3-1 win against Rochester on Friday night.

    Stay up to date with every game from USL PRO venues in 2013 through the league’s free online streaming service, USLNation.com, and also follow the race for the playoffs via Twitter (@USLPRO), Facebook and Google+ for live updates from every game, every night of the season, plus news, previews and recaps of all the action.

    USL PRO Team of the Week

    Pos

    Player 

    Team

    Highlights

    GK

    Phil Tuttle

    Wilmington

    Six-save shutout helped Hammerheads claim win in Dayton

    D

    Mike Green

    Pittsburgh

    Standout two-way performance as Riverhounds downed Orlando

    D

    Greg Preciado

    Dayton

    Scored the Dutch Lions’ opener as they rallied past the Rhinos

    D

    Rich Costanzo

    Pittsburgh

    Had the game-winning goal as Riverhounds defeated VSI

    M

    Matt Bahner

    Harrisburg

    First professional goal came in victory against Phoenix

    M

    Mike Azira

    Charleston

    Scored twice as Battery ended Richmond’s undefeated streak

    M

    Nate Robinson

    Richmond

    Assisted on game-winning goal in win against Charlotte

    M

    Christian Duke

    Orlando

    Scored the game-winner as the Lions defeated Tampa Bay

    F

    Matt Fondy

    Los Angeles

    Scored a late equalizer for Blues against Harrisburg

    F

    Lucky Mkosana

    Harrisburg

    Extended scoring streak to five games in west-coast swing

    F

    Kyle Greig

    Wilmington

    Had two goals in two games as Hammerheads stayed alive

    Honorable Mention: Charleston – Colin Falvey, Jose Cuevas; Dayton – Brandon Swartzendruber, Gibson Bardsley; Harrisburg – Jamiel Hardware, Stephen Basso; Los Angeles – Rodrigo Lopez, George Davis IV; Phoenix: David Paul, Donny Toia; Pittsburgh – Greg Blum, Robert Vincent; Richmond – Joseph Ngwenya, Alex Lee; Rochester – JC Banks; Tampa Bay – Tony Donatelli; Wilmington – Mickael Oliveira, Daniel Roberts.


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    PDL Feature

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    AUSTIN, Texas – As he surveyed the field, and took in the celebration of his players and the fans that remained well after the final whistle, Austin Aztex coach Paul Dalglish took a moment to reflect on how far the club had come in two seasons.

    “When Dave Markley wanted to bring the organization back, it was to provide opportunities for local players,” he said. “A lot of PDL teams have players from all over the country, and I think there are so many players on our team who grew up playing their soccer in Austin, and if it wasn’t in Austin, it was in Texas. So for me, seeing Zack Pope in tears at the end of it, it shows how much it means to bring a championship to Austin, and that’s who it’s for today, the guys that have grown up in this community and now have a national championship, and also the supporters that come out and basically make this all possible, because without them buying tickets, this doesn’t happen.”

    The crowd of 4,253 that packed into House Park on Sunday night was the biggest for the PDL Championship Game since 2007, when more than 6,600 saw the Laredo Heat defeat the Michigan Bucks in a penalty shootout. The atmosphere was electric for the entire weekend, which saw more than 7,300 fans attend both the semifinals and the final, setting and re-setting the club’s attendance record in the process.

    They, and the approximately 5,100 fans who watched the championship weekend’s three games online, including nearly 2,500 fans who tuned in to watch Sunday’s championship game, were treated to top-level action, with a number of players who might take their talents to Major League Soccer in the coming years. One of those was Kris Tyrpak, a native of Austin, who was outstanding in both contests to back up his PDL Most Valuable Player award announced on Saturday night.

    “It’s huge,” Tyrpak said. “Being our second year, coming back from what happened to our first team, last year was good, and this year we wanted to go on. The fans were behind us, the staff was behind us, everybody played for each other and it’s just amazing. Hopefully it’s the stepping stone for more championships in the future for us.”

    The star of the show, and of the playoffs for the Aztex, though, was forward Sito Seoane. Born in Miami, Seoane grew up in Spain, and had a postseason to remember as he scored the game-winning goal in each of Austin’s four victories.

    “He’s had an amazing national tournament,” Tyrpak said. “It’s made the difference between us winning and losing games. He didn’t score as many during the season, but he was always a constant threat, and he just buried his opportunities for us in the playoffs.”

    Seoane had four goals and four assists in 12 appearances for the Aztex in the regular season, but finished with five goals in four games in the postseason. After pulling his side level with a penalty kick after a dramatic opening five minutes, his second goal of the game showed the sort of chemistry Austin had been able to build as it entered the playoffs.

    “It’s a short season, and it takes time to get everyone on the same page,” Dalglish said. “Especially in the PDL when if you’re in the Open Cup you go game, game, game, game, you don’t have that many training days, so it was really toward the end of the season that we really got in our groove, found our form at the right time, and Sito was a big part of it.”

    Things certainly could have gone differently in the final. After an early goal by Thunder Bay had silenced the home crowd, and sent the Chill’s pocket of fans into celebration, Austin needed a spark to get back into the game. It was provided by Tony Rocha, set to star for Tulsa as a junior this fall, whose incisive pass sent Tyrpak through on goal. Chill goalkeeper Stephen Paterson’s foul, and subsequent red card, proved to be the game’s critical moment as Austin rallied to take a memorable victory.

    “It’s unbelievable,” Tyrpak said. “The MVP award was amazing to win, but this is even better. We’ve been working for this all year, and to win it in front of your home fans, in front of a record attendance, is just unbelievable.”

    As the players circled the field and signed autographs for the youngsters that one day might follow in their footsteps for the Aztex, the fans drifted away to continue the celebration on a night none in attendance will ever forget. 


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    Friday, August 9, 2013

    WILMINGTON, N.C. - The Wilmington Hammerheads continued the winning streak they need to keep their playoff hopes alive as they took a 2-1 victory over the Dayton Dutch Lions on Friday night at Legion Stadium. Wilmington's Cody Arnoux found the game-winning goal in stoppage time as the Hammerheads closed the gap on the Dutch Lions and Pittsburgh Riverhounds to four points with two games remaining.

    Dayton and Wilmington shared possession for the majority of the first half. Dayton forward Gibson Bardsley took the first shot of the night for the Dutch Lions in the ninth minute from the top corner of the penalty area as he sent the ball soaring over the crossbar. Wilmington's Kyle Greig followed with the Hammerheads first attempt in the 21st minute as he forced a good save by Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams to clear the ball out of the penalty area.

    Hammerheads midfielder Bryce Taylor gained his first opportunity of the evening as he went one-on-one with Williams off a long ball, but could only put a foot on the ball long enough to get a touch before the ball deflected off Williams and went out of bounds. The Hammerheads would take the lead in the 31st minute, however, as a header by Daniel Steres opened up a chance that Mickael Oliveira volleyed into the upper corner of the net.

    Bardsley tallied four shots for the Dutch Lions, leading the side as they finished with seven shots overall. The Hammerheads logged 16 shots overall as they forced back-to-back attempts in Dayton territory, but it would be Dayton's Joey Madigan would would find an equalizer in the 68th minute as he slid the ball into the net past Hammerheads goalkeeper Philip Tuttle as he came off his line after some miscommunication by the Hammerheads' defense on a free kick.

    The Hammerheads had numerous chances in the final 10 minutes of the match as they pushed for a winner, putting anxious fans and supporters on their feet in anticipation. The pressure paid off with less than a minute left in stoppage time as Arnoux took a shot in the penalty area that deflected off the left post and into the goal.

    Havin staved off elimination, the Hammerheads must claim victories in their final two matches of the season to have a chance to claim a spot in the USL PRO Playoffs two weeks from now. They next host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, another of the teams they are chasing, before closing the season against the winless Antigua Barracuda FC.

    Fan Appreciation Night
    The Wilmington Hammerheads are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Wednesday, August 14, at Legion Stadium for Fan Appreciation Night. All general admission tickets purchased online at www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com and at the front gate of Legion Stadium will be $8 (all adult, senior, and youth).


    The Hammerheads will host Antigua Barracuda FC for their final match of the USL PRO regular season on Saturday, August 17th at 7:30 p.m. Legion Stadium will be the venue of a doubleheader on August 17th as the UNC-Wilmington Men's Soccer team will play Longwood University at 5 p.m. prior to the Hammerheads taking field.

    For further information regarding the Wilmington Hammerheads, please contact (910) 777-2111 or visit online at www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com.


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    Friday, August 9, 2013

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rhinos defeated the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1-0 through a goal by Tam McManus on the final kick of the game at Sahlen's Stadium on Friday night. The Rhinos' victory snapped the Riverhounds' four-game winning streak, and gave the Rhinos a spectacular finale to their final home game of the USL PRO season.

    The scoring opportunity arose when substitute Kendell McFayden drove down the middle of the pitch and was tackled from behind by Riverhounds captain Andrew Marshall around 25 yards from goal. Head referee David Mon booked Marshall for the foul, and then moved the Pittsburgh wall back the required 10 yards setting the stage for McManus.

    McManus took two steps before striking the ball with his right foot over the wall and into the lower-right corner of the Riverhounds' goal. Pittsburgh goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap was left stranded and could only watch the ball go into the net. Mon blew his whistle for full time during McManus' celebration.

    “I practice free kicks every day and have literally taken hundreds of them in my career.” McManus said. “I've had some good efforts during my time here in Rochester, but they've never seemed to go in. After a long season it's nice to give the fans something to go home happy about.”

    The loss leaves the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the eighth and final playoff spot in the USL PRO table with three matches left to play. Pittsburgh leads ninth place VSI Tampa Bay FC by three points, and travels back home to Highmark Stadium to host VSI on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The match can be seen live on UNATION at www.uslnation.com.

    The three points move the Rochester Rhinos into 11th place in the USL PRO table with 25 points. The Rhinos were officially eliminated from the playoff race for the first time in the club's 18 year history after last Friday night's 3-1 home loss to the Dayton Dutch Lions. The Rhinos conclude their season in Phoenix against the Phoenix FC Wolves on Friday, August 17th at 10:30 p.m. ET and Saturday, August 18th in Los Angeles against the Blues at 11 p.m. ET. Both of those matches can also be seen live on UNATION at www.uslnation.com.

    Before kickoff the Rochester Rhinos announced their annual club award winners. Fourth year left back Danny Earls won the Rhinos Most Valuable Player Award presented by The Flanders Group. First year striker Blake Brettschneider was the club's leading scorer and he won Offensive Player of the Year. Captain Troy Roberts won the Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth consecutive season. Midfielder Lance Rozeboom won the Rookie of the Year award. Josh Faga won the Iacovangelo Community Service Award.


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    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    IRVINE, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Blues edged past the Charleston Battery in a thrilling 2-1 win at Anteater Stadium on Wednesday night to move close to a place in the USL PRO Playoffs. Two goals by Matt Fondy gave the Blues their first win since July 13, giving he former Pittsburgh Riverhounds forward nine goals in nine games since he rejoined the Blues in midseason.

    The game started out fast-paced and remained that way throughout the contest, with Charleston doing most of the attacking and having the better of the chances early on. Dane Kelly had a chance to put the visitors up early in the 12th minute and nab his ninth goal of the season to tie the Blues' Chris Cortez, but his powerful shot from distance went into the arms of 'keeper Mohammad Mohammadi.

    With all efforts to get the ball forward and to the feet of Kelly, Charleston pressed high but couldn't seem to connect and finish. Ryan O'Leary did an excellent job of making necessary clearances for the Blues, while Cory Miller had a few key clearances of his own as the game remained scoreless in the opening half-hour.

    The Blues got on the board in the 33rd minute when a shot from Rodrigo Lopez off a corner deflected and landed at the feet of Fondy, who tapped the ball into the net for his eighth goal of the season. Three minutes later, Fondy struck again for his ninth off a curling effort into the top right corner of Odisnel Cooper's net to give the Blues a 2-0 lead.

    Charleston had the opportunity to respond a minute later courtesy of Kelly, but the Jamaican striker could only put Jose Cuevas' cross wide of the post and the Blues went into halftime hanging onto their two-goal lead.

    The beginning of the second half was almost a repeat of the first half as the Battery came out pressing hard, and 2012 Rookie of the Year Cuevas was a key component in many of Charleston's chances. Midfielder Nicki Paterson had a chance when given a free kick, but the effort was curled just wide in the 50th minute.

    In the 68th minute, Fondy was denied a hat trick when his diving header was denied by Cooper from a perfectly placed cross from George Davis. It was a lovely play by Davis and Fondy, but an even better effort from Cooper to make the save.

    Charleston managed to cut the Blues' lead in half in the 80th minute when Cuevas played a pass to Zach Prince, who was able to cross in to Kelly for the close-range finish. The Battery almost got their equalizer in stoppage time when Mohammadi came way out of his penalty area. Heviel Cordoves was quick to respond, but couldn't finish. The game ended after six minutes of added time and left many of the Blues fans and traveling support for the Battery breathless.

    Charleston are still in fourth place on the season with a record of 11-6-7, while the Blues recorded three necessary points at home, and now sit at 10-8-7. Their final game of the season will be against the Rochester Rhinos at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium on Saturday, August 17th at 8:00 p.m. PT.


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  • 08/08/13--14:17: Blues Face Test From Battery
  • Los Angeles Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Blues will host the Charleston Battery in their penultimate of the USL PRO regular season on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. PT as they come off a hard fought 2-2 draw with the Harrisburg City Islanders this past Saturday night. Second-half goals by George Davis IV and Matt Fondy were good enough for the Blues to salvage a point and stay in contention for a spot in the USL PRO Playoffs.

    Charleston will travel to Los Angeles with a confidence boost after handing the first-placed Richmond Kickers their first defeat of the season on Saturday night. That win gave Charleston an 11-6-6 record with 39 points, and they remain in fourth place in the USL PRO standings.

    The Battery have several players on their roster who could pose a threat to the Blues. 2012 USL PRO Rookie of the Year Jose Cuevas proved on Saturday that he can be dangerous and unpredictable when he picked a ball off in midfield, which ended up being the catalyst to Charleston’s second goal of the game, scored by Michael Azira, who now has five goals on the season. Dane Kelly nabbed his team-leading eighth goal only three minutes into the second half, and midfielder Heviel Cordoves scored his seventh goal of the season for the Battery in stoppage time after coming on as a late substitution. Another player the Blues will need to contain is midfielder Nicki Paterson, who is second on the team in shots with 43, and is tied with Corovas with seven goals.

    Davis and Fondy both netted their seventh goals on the season in their last game against the Islanders, with Fondy only having played eight games. Though coming on as a second-half substitute, Fondy made an impact upon entry and the Battery defense will undoubtedly look to hold him off when they visit Anteater Stadium on Thursday night. Leading the team with nine goals, Chris Cortez failed to make a huge impact against the Islanders, but he’s another player the Battery will keep their eye on, in addition to Gabriel Gonzalez, who can be difficult to contain for any team’s defense. The Blues will need to be cognizant of their play going into the match on Thursday, as they picked up 17 fouls, including six yellow cards on Sunday.

    The Blues are 9-8-7 on the season and sit in sixth place with 34 points, and haven’t won a game since July 13th, when they shut out last place Antigua Barracuda FC 4-0. This next pair of games will be crucial for them to keep their playoff hopes alive, and head into the postseason with confidence.

    Thursday night's contest at Anteater Stadium kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT, and will be streamed online at USLNation.com.

     


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    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando City SC (14-3-6, 48 points) capped Wednesday night with a thrilling 3-2 victory over cross-state VSI Tampa Bay FC (9-10-4, 31 points) at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The win captures homefield advantage for the Lions in the quarterfinals of the 2013 USL PRO Playoffs, which will be held on Saturday, August 24.

    “Tampa always had a threat on our side of the field, but we were able to take six points from the last two games against them,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We take each game as it comes, with the next important game for us is Seattle on Sunday.”

    Orlando, starting a similar formation from Sunday’s match in Plant City, maintained possession early on while attempting plenty of chances. Early attacks by midfielder Jonathan Mendoza and forward Dennis Chin kept VSI’s backline honest, with the visiting side not being able to push up with numbers on the attack through the first 20 minutes.

    Despite the ball control, it was Tampa Bay which scored first, with forward Chad Burt capitalizing off a deflection to put VSI up 1-0 in the 26th minute. Midfielder Sebastien Thuriere began the play with a shot just inside the penalty area, with his attempt deflected by Orlando goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo to the opposite side of the box. Gallardo was unable to adjust in time, with Burt blasting the rebound into the back of the net to give Tampa Bay the advantage.

    Orlando immediately responded with a score of their own six minutes later, as defender Renan Boufleur headed in a well-played free kick by Freddie Braun for the equalizer. Mendoza had earned the free kick as he was fouled outside the penalty area, leaving the former Portland Timbers midfielder with the attempt. Braun whipped in the free kick, finding Boufleur, who tied the game up at the halftime break.

    Braun would play a role in Orlando’s second goal of the night, which came off a Tampa mishap, with Cheyne Roberts unintentionally deflecting in a cross from the right by the midfielder to give the Lions a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute. Braun displayed control after a good piece of interplay with Justin Clark and fired a ball into the box only for it to deflect off Roberts and into the goal.

    VSI got back into the match in the 69th minute, with substitute Shawn Chin curling a ball over Gallardo, off the crossbar and into the goal to pull his side back on level terms. After 10 back-and-forth minutes of play, the game-winner was scored by defender Rob Valentino. Braun was again involved in the scoring, with his corner finding the tall defender, who flicked in a header for the 3-2 victory. The goal was Valentino’s fifth of the season, scoring in back-to-back matches for the first time in 2013.

    With the win, Orlando will host a quarterfinal match when the USL PRO Playoffs begin the weekend of August 23-25. The match will be on Saturday, August 24, at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl, with the opponent yet to be determined. The Lions are also now tied for first place in the league table with the Richmond Kickers, who also have 48 points in 23 games.

    Tickets are on sale for the playoff game. Kickoff for the match is set for 7:30 p.m. Fans can call (855) ORL-CITY to grab their seat for the quarterfinal match.

    The Lions now set their sights on Sunday’s home match against the Seattle Sounders Reserves. Orlando and Seattle have faced off once this season, with the Lions topping the Reserve side 2-0 in Tacoma, Wash.

    The game is set for kickoff at 7:30 p.m., with gates opening an hour beforehand at 6:30 p.m. For ticket and gameday information, visit OrlandoCitySoccer.com.

     


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    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- What started out in excitement and encouragement turned into disappointment all within the first half as the Harrisburg City Islanders lost to the Charlotte Eagles by a final score of 2-1 at Skyline Sports Complex on Wednesday night. The victory moved the Eagles into sole possession of fifth place in the USL PRO standings, and one step closer to guaranteeing a berth in the USL PRO Playoffs.

    The pivotal moment in the game came in the 38th minute when the Islanders were pushing up to try to break a 1-1 tie. With their lines pushed up, Charlotte was able to find a chance on the counter-attack that saw Drew Yates slip a pass behind the defense for Christian Ramirez, who centered to Jorge Herrera after Nick Noble came off his line to challenge, leaving the Colombian with a simple finish.

    The Islanders came out firing and had a few chances in the opening minutes of the game. They were finally able to break through in the sixth minute when Cristhian Hernandez scored his first goal since June 1st. The ball was played into the penalty area from the left by Tom Mellor, but went through untouched and was saved from going into touch by Sainey Touray. The forward made a pass to Hernandez at the corner of the penalty area, and he used his left foot to curl a laser shot passed diving Charlotte goalkeeper Eric Reed.

    After the opening goal, Charlotte was putting the pressure squarely on the Islanders’ defense, which seemed a bit sluggish to start. The Eagles picked up their first goal in the 27th minute off a cross from Nick Courtney that found Ramirez at the back post for a close-range finish.

    With the Islander defense still looking a bit restless the Eagles looked to keep the pressure on. The next goal came after Ramirez slipped behind the defense and in on goal. Nick Noble came out and met the forward but Ramirez took a look to his right and saw a teammate streaking towards the net. It was the Eagles' leading scorer Jorge Herrera, who settled the ball and tapped it in to give his side a halftime lead.

    The second half was a mix of back-and-forth play and pressure by Charlotte. The Islanders couldn’t seem to get a real good footing or put together enough good passing movements to create good chances. With the Islanders trying to counter-punch at every chance it left their defense even more vulnerable. The Eagles had a number of good chances on the counter-attack, and might have added to their lead if it weren’t for the efforts of Noble.

    In the 79th minute lightning started to show up just as the Islanders were about to have a chance on a corner kick, causing the referee to pull both teams from the field. Following an approximately hour-long delay, the Islanders made nothing of their chance from the corner, but did have one more shot to tie it up in stoppage time. Matt Bahner took a hard shot that blew past Reed, but ricocheted off the right post and away to safety.

    The Islanders have already sealed their place in the USL PRO Playoffs, and remain in third place despite the loss. They will be back on City Island on Saturday night at 7 p.m. to face VSI Tampa Bay. This is the last regular home game of the season for the Islanders. For tickets and information please visit www.cityislanders.com or call (717)-441-GOAL.

     


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  • 08/07/13--16:09: Blues Face Test From Battery
  • Los Angeles Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Blues will host the Charleston Battery in their penultimate of the USL PRO regular season on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. PT as they come off a hard fought 2-2 draw with the Harrisburg City Islanders this past Saturday night. Second-half goals by George Davis IV and Matt Fondy were good enough for the Blues to salvage a point and stay in contention for a spot in the USL PRO Playoffs.

    Charleston will travel to Los Angeles with a confidence boost after handing the first-placed Richmond Kickers their first defeat of the season on Saturday night. That win gave Charleston an 11-6-6 record with 39 points, and they remain in fourth place in the USL PRO standings.

    The Battery have several players on their roster who could pose a threat to the Blues. 2012 USL PRO Rookie of the Year Jose Cuevas proved on Saturday that he can be dangerous and unpredictable when he picked a ball off in midfield, which ended up being the catalyst to Charleston’s second goal of the game, scored by Michael Azira, who now has five goals on the season. Dane Kelly nabbed his team-leading eighth goal only three minutes into the second half, and midfielder Heviel Cordoves scored his seventh goal of the season for the Battery in stoppage time after coming on as a late substitution. Another player the Blues will need to contain is midfielder Nicki Paterson, who is second on the team in shots with 43, and is tied with Corovas with seven goals.

    Davis and Fondy both netted their seventh goals on the season in their last game against the Islanders, with Fondy only having played eight games. Though coming on as a second-half substitute, Fondy made an impact upon entry and the Battery defense will undoubtedly look to hold him off when they visit Anteater Stadium on Thursday night. Leading the team with nine goals, Chris Cortez failed to make a huge impact against the Islanders, but he’s another player the Battery will keep their eye on, in addition to Gabriel Gonzalez, who can be difficult to contain for any team’s defense. The Blues will need to be cognizant of their play going into the match on Thursday, as they picked up 17 fouls, including six yellow cards on Sunday.

    The Blues are 9-8-7 on the season and sit in sixth place with 34 points, and haven’t won a game since July 13th, when they shut out last place Antigua Barracuda FC 4-0. This next pair of games will be crucial for them to keep their playoff hopes alive, and head into the postseason with confidence.

    Thursday night's contest at Anteater Stadium kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT, and will be streamed online at USLNation.com.

     


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