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News from USL

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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – All 14 USL PRO teams make their first appearance in the U.S. Open Cup in this week’s second round, with a number of teams aiming to replicate recent history and make deep runs in the 101st edition of U.S. Soccer’s oldest tournament.

    The lower-division side to make the deepest run in the tournament this decade, 2011 semifinalist the Richmond Kickers, open on the road in a game against RVA FC in the game that has been announced as USSoccer.com’s Game of the Round. Live coverage will be available on the federation’s website as the Kickers aim to start another strong run in a tournament they won in 1995.

    Another side that made a run to the semifinals in 2009, the Rochester Rhinos, will play host to the PDL’s Western Mass Pioneers at Sahlen’s Stadium at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night, one of a number of contests that see USL PRO sides play host to strong PDL opposition. The Pioneers took a 4-1 win against Mass Premier Soccer in last week’s first round, and the Rhinos will need to watch Brazilian striker Alencar Junior, who scored twice in that contest and nine times last season.

    2008 finalist the Charleston Battery, who reached last season’s fourth round with a win against the San Jose Earthquakes, will host Open Cup debutante the Panama City Beach Pirates at Blackbaud Stadium, while Orlando City, which reached last season’s quarterfinals with wins against the Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City, faces the Ocala Stampede for a second consecutive season.

    Sacramento Republic FC makes its debut as it hosts the Ventura County Fusion at the Consumnes River College Stadium late on Wednesday night, and there is an all-North Carolina contest as the Charlotte Eagles host the Carolina Dynamo at Queens College.

    Other USL PRO sides will start their campaigns on the road, with the Wilmington Hammerheads aiming to build on an impressive win against the Charleston Battery this past Saturday in their visit to Chattanooga FC. The Dayton Dutch Lions also hit the road as they face Schwaben AC, while OKC Energy FC visits the Tulsa Athletics and Arizona United SC visits the Portland Timbers U-23s in the opening game of the round on Wednesday night.

    The Harrisburg City Islanders, who reached the quarterfinals in 2012, also hit the road as they visit FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic, but their Keystone State rivals the Pittsburgh Riverhounds remain at home to host the New York Red Bulls U23s at Highmark Stadium.

    The LA Galaxy II round out the draw as they host Cal FC at the StubHub Center Track Stadium on Wednesday night, with a number of young players set to get the chance to send their side into the next round.

    FULL OPEN CUP SCHEDULE


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    U.S. Open Cup Game Report

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- A stoppage-time winner capped off an Arizona United Soccer Club comeback that included three goals in the final ten minutes to defeat the Portland Timbers U-23s, 3-2, in the second round of the 101st edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at Providence Park.

    Trailing for more than 73 minutes, Arizona United SC cut the lead in half when defender Daniel Antúnez attacked space and played to Kadeem Dacres inside the Timbers U-23s half in the 84th minute. Dacres turned and charged up the middle of the pitch and fired a shot on the edge of the box that was blocked by a defender. Dacres followed through, and directed his next shot into the far post. 

    Arizona United SC scored the equalizer four minutes later on a build up out of the back that started with goalkeeper Evan Newton. He connected with defender Bryan Gallego, who then launched a ball over the Timbers U-23s backline. Bradlee Baladez collected the ball near the touchline and whipped a cross into the box. Second-half substitute London Woodberry knocked the ball down with an outstretched leg and placed a low shot past a diving goalkeeper.

    The match-winning goal came from the leg of Antúnez five minutes into stoppage time when sustained pressure by Arizona United SC led to a Baladez shot from outside the box that was deflected out for a corner. DelPiccolo curled a corner into the box that that found Jon Okafor, who headed the ball at the net. Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Justin Luthy managed to get a touch on the ball and knocked the shot high in the air. Okafor rose up and headed the ball back towards the goal before it found Antúnez, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net.

    The victory has advanced Arizona United SC to the third round of the U.S. Open Cup that will be played on Wednesday, May 28 against the winner of Oklahoma City Energy FC and Tulsa Athletics on Wednesday, May 14.

    The Timbers U-23s goals came off of set pieces in the first half. In the 11th minute Jesse Garcia-Aguilar sent a piecing cross into the box that found the head of Kyle Fisher, who out-jumped Newton for the opening goal. Timbers U-23s struck again in the 45th minute when David Rose’s kick from the right-wing went untouched along its path before tucking into the left-side netting.

    Arizona United SC will return to USL PRO league play this Saturday, as they host league leaders Orlando City SC at 7 p.m. at the Peoria Sports Complex.


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  • 05/14/14--09:39: Cobras Add Veteran Pair
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    Carolina Elite Cobras News Releaase - www.carolinaelitecobras.com

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Carolina Elite Cobras have added a pair of veterans, Carolyn Warhaftig and Lydia Vandenbergh, to their roster for the 2014 W-League season.

    Warhaftig joins the Cobras from Fjölnir FC (Reykjavik, Iceland) after completing a successful career at Colgate University.  While at Colgate, Warhaftig was a three-time All-Patriot League player and a two-time team MVP as a central midfielder.  After graduation, Warhaftig joined Fjölnir FC in the Icelandic Premier League and settled into her role as a center back, immediately contributing to the team’s strong, physical defensive line.

    Cobras Head Coach Sandy Burris says she expects Warhaftig to settle in to the Cobras’ already solid back line, adding a strong presence in the air and potentially freeing up some players to move into the midfield for the Cobras and create more of a threat in the attack.

    Vandenberg brings a wide range of experience and talent to the Cobras.  After a successful career as a central midfielder at Clemson University, Vandenbergh joined the Santos Futebol Clube in 2006 then Cotia Kurdana (Brazil).  After two years in the Brazilian professional circuit, Vandenbergh moved on to the professional leagues in Australia, joining Sydney FC in 2007. 

    In 2011, she returned to the U.S. and joined MagicJack of WPS.  After another professional stint abroad in Denmark (Fortuna Hjørring), Vandenbergh most recently rounded out her professional career with a return to the NWSL's Chicago Red Stars.

    Buriss says Vandenbergh’s experience makes her a familiar face to many of her Cobra teammates, contributing to an already solid team chemistry.  As a quick, technical left-footed player, Vandenbergh will be an immediate threat attacking out of the left flank for the Cobras. 

    Both Vandenbergh and Warhaftig can be seen when the Cobras kick off their 2014 season Sunday, May 18 against the Dayton Dutch Lions at 1 p.m. in Dayton, Ohio.


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    Braddock Road Stars Elite News Release – www.bryc95elite.com

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    FAIRFAX, Va. – The Braddock Road Stars Elite have announced the signing of former Wake Forest players Kristen Meier and Marisa Park, who will add professional and international experience to an otherwise young team.  While at Wake Forest, they were members of the winningest class in program history, winning the 2010 ACC Championship and a earning 2011 NCAA College Cup appearance.   

    Meier, a versatile midfielder, led the Deacons in assists her junior and senior seasons and finished with 36 points (9 G, 18 A).  She became the first Demon Deacon to be named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team in 2011. 

    After finishing her NCAA career, Meier was drafted in the third round (23rd overall) by Seattle Reign FC in the inaugural NWSL Draft.  She completed her rookie season with the Reign and went on to sign with the WNY Flash. 

    Park was named to the 2010 All-ACC Tournament Team after helping the Deacs to their first ACC title.  The skillful forward finished her career with 26 points (8 G, 10A) while playing in 89 games.

    She went on to become the first player in school history to earn a call-up to a senior women’s national team for a game when she joined the Philippine National Team.  Park played in games in Myanmar and Bangladesh, earning three goals and seven assists in six games for the national squad. 

    “I’m very excited to be playing in Braddock Road’s inaugural season,” Park said.  “I cannot wait to get back on the pitch and start playing to represent the club.”

    Braddock Road’s season opener is this Saturday, May 17 at 3 p.m. against the Washington Spirit Reserves at Maryland Soccerplex - Stadium Field 11 in Germantown, Maryland.  The Stars Elite home opener will be Sunday, June 8 at 4 p.m. against the New Jersey Wildcats at Robinson HS Samuel J. Coffey Stadium in Fairfax, Virginia. 


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    W-League Feature

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – The W-League’s Central Conference had been for many years the domain of the Ottawa Fury, but in 2013 the Laval Comets made a brilliant run all the way to the W-League Championship title match. This season, both teams have reloaded with international talent and both K-W United and the Toronto Lady Lynx with also be looking to build on strong seasons.

    K-W UNITED FC: United finished fourth, four points behind Toronto a season ago, but has returned a good number of its squad as it aims for a place in the postseason this summer. Forward Maxine Murchie is back looking to add to her four-goal haul a season ago, and she is joined by Emily Brown, who had 18 goals in 16 games for Wilfrid Laurier University to take Ontario University Athletics’ West Most Valuable Player award.

    LAVAL COMETS: After a remarkable 2013 season the Comets have a strong squad set to defend their conference crown. Last season’s Coach of the Year, Cindy Walsh, will again have Goalkeeper of the Year Genevieve Richard behind her defense, and Canadian international Melissa Busque joins the side for the new season after earning an All-Western Conference selection for the Seattle Sounders Women. Joint-top scorer from last season Amy Pietrangelo also returns, but the biggest addition may be that of Busque’s international teammate Rhian Wilkinson, who played last season with the NWSL’s Boston Breakers and brings more than 150 international caps of experience.

    LONDON GRYPHONS: The Gryphons finished winless at the bottom of the conference standings a season ago, and it will certainly be a challenge to find their way up the standings considering some of the opposition they will be facing this summer. The team’s two leading scorers from a season ago, Chantelle Campbell and Alex Charlebois, are both set to return, but the biggest key for the Gryphons will be improving a defense that conceded 24 goals in 12 games a year ago.

    OTTAWA FURY: After losing their crown in 2013, the Fury have reloaded their squad impressively ahead of the new season. Among those joining the squad are former Toronto Lady Lynx standout and Canadian international Kadeisha Buchanan, who is one of five Canadian internationals to join the side. Fellow defensive standout Shelina Zadorsky returns after earning All-Conference honors a season ago, while former Washington Spirit player and U.S. U23 international Danielle Hubka also joins the side as it looks to make the Comets’ reign a short one.

    QUEBEC DYNAMO ARSQ: Formerly the Quebec City Amiral, the Dynamo return for the new season with a new name and the goal of making a move up the standings. The side will be without Canadian international Josee Belanger, who made the jump to the Laval Comets, but does return last season’s leading scorer Kathleen Berube-Garneau. Also back is defender Melissa Roy, who played in every minute last season, and she will hope alongside new goalkeeper Charlotte Boudreau to improve a defense that gave up 22 goals in 2013.

    TORONTO LADY LYNX: Toronto finished third in the conference last season, good for a place in the playoffs, but the Lady Lynx will aim to push on and try to challenge the Comets and Fury this summer. The squad includes Canadian U20 international Jade Kovacevic who made nine appearances in defense in 2013, but there are some absences from last year’s team, most notably that of All-League defender and Canadian international Kadeisha Buchanan, who has joined Ottawa for the new season. If Canadian U20 goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and forward Nichelle Prince are also absent, that could make the gap the Lady Lynx are hoping to bridge a tricky one.


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    U.S. Open Cup Game Report

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    DES MOINES, Iowa – A rematch with Minnesota United FC awaits the Des Moines Menace in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after they took a 3-0 win against the Real Colorado Foxes on Wednesday night at Valley Stadium. The Menace earned a May 28 home date against Minnesota in the Open Cup’s third round. Making their fifth straight appearance in the Cup, the Menace improve to 11-8 all-time in the national tournament.

    This marks the third straight year the two teams will meet in the Open Cup. Last year, the Menace upset the pros to set up a marquee matchup with eventual Major League Soccer champion Sporting Kansas City.

    “It’s something we’re not talking about yet. They’ll be looking to get back at us,” Menace head coach Mike Jeffries said of the northern foe. “It’s a great opportunity for our guys.”

    A year after the Menace struggled to find the finishing touch at home, Jeffries was happy to see his team start the 2014 season in style.

    Returners Nico Wright and Brandon Fricke wasted little time to get the Menace in the scoring column. In just the fifth minute, Fricke played a low cross into the six-yard box. Unmarked on the back post, Wright tapped the ball into the wide-open goal mouth.

    “It was amazing,” said Wright, the team’s top scorer a year ago. “Once we got that first one, we were just rolling.”

    The Menace kept rolling, with goals also coming from Alec Bartlett and Sean Dong. In the 39th minute, Bartlett got on the end of Ralphie Lundy’s free kick and smashed in a header to the top of the goal. Dong made the defense pay in the 53rd minute, when he capitalized on a blunder by the Foxes’ backline. The newcomer found some open turf, splitting two defenders and curling a goal into the bottom-right corner.

    “I think this is a good game for our confidence,” Jeffries said. “Hopefully, we can build on that. A good start.”

    Jeffries and company will look to build their confidence on Saturday, when they open the PDL season in Springfield (Mo.). The Menace are aiming to get back to the PDL playoffs for the first time in three years. Real Colorado knocked the Menace out of postseason contention in 2012 and 2013. These teams will not see each other this season in Heartland Division play, as the Foxes have moved to the Mountain Division.

    MAN of the MATCH: Nico Wright, who started the 2014 season on the right foot. He opened the scoring in the fifth minute, and collected three more shots in the win.Wright, is a native of St. Catherine, Jamaica, who attends Fairleigh Dickinson. His three goals for the 2013 Menace led the team.

    UP NEXT: On Saturday, May 17, the team starts the PDL season on the road, against the Springfield (Mo.) Demize. Kickoff is 7 p.m. CT at Cooper Complex.


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    U.S. Open Cup Game Report

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles advanced to the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 3-1 victory against the PDL's Carolina Dynamo on Wednesday night at Queens College. Jorge Herrera had two goals and an assist to lead his side to victory, and a game with the Carolina RailHawks on Wednesday, May 28.

    The game started off slowly with a lot of back and forth between the two sides. Charlotte's Zak Boggs got a good opportunity in the fourth minute but it went just wide of the post. It looked like the Eagles had taken the lead in the 22nd minute, but a goal by Drew Yates was disallowed after a foul was called. Another opportunity came when the Eagles got a free kick in the 31st minute, but Herrera's free kick soared over the crossbar.

    Boggs had another good opportunity in the 41st minute but was denied by Dynamo goalkeeper Alex McCauley. Two minutes later, however, Juan Guzman opened up the scoring off a cross from Herrera to give the Eagles a 1-0 halftime lead.

    Eagles goalkeeper Brock Duckworth continued to stand tall in the second half and made a huge save on Mamadee Nyepon to keep the Eagles ahead by one just after the break. Herrera bagged his first of the game as he hit a looping shot in the 55th minute into the left corner of net to extend the Eagles' lead to two goals.  

    The Dynamo would pull a goal back in the 60th minute when Nyepon found the back of the net, but the Eagles continued to have a number of good opportunities and put the away in the 87th minute when Herrera stole possession from Dynamo defender Biko Brennan and fired a left-footed shot into the back of the net.


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    U.S. Open Cup Game Report

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    READING, Pa. -- Reading United A.C. advanced to the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the second time in club history following an emphatic 5-2 victory against the Greater Binghamton FC Thunder on Wednesday night. In front of their hometown fans, United used three second-half goals to pull away from the Keystone Confernce Champions. Darius Madison turned in his finest performance in a Reading United uniform, as he scored a first-half goal and assisted on three other goals for the Blue & Gold.

    In his first home game in charge of United, Head Coach David Castellanos had his side on the front foot from the opening whistle. Madison spearheaded the Reading attack, probing the left side of the Binghamton defense in the early going. It was the Union Academy product that produced the first scoring chance of the match, hitting the frame of the goal on a diving header following a perfect cross from Nick Surkamp.

    United broke through in the 18th minute as Madison made space for himself on the right side of the Binghamton penalty area and hit a low cross that found Oumar Ballo, who smashed a shot through traffic and past Thunder goalkeeper Jason Stenta.

    Though United held a majority of possession, Binghamton were able to claw themselves back into the match when they pounced on a mistake in Reading's midfield in the 35th minute. An errant pass was picked off by Thunder midfielder Jonny Sinclair, who cruised up the left touchline and fed a cross to Alex Varkatzas who calmly slotted the ball past United keeper Alex Bono.

    As the clocked ticked toward halftime, United regained the lead in the 44th minute. Lucas Baldin picked up possession in midfield and made a slick turn to create space for himself. With Madison streaking down the left sideline, Baldin threaded a perfect ball to the pacey forward. Madison did the rest as he beat his defender and found himself one on one with Stenta. The Philadelphia native rifled his shot into the side netting to stake United to a 2-1 lead at halftime.

    Binghamton came out of the half looking more confident and pressed United as they looked for an equalizer. In the 50th minute, Reading defender Robby Sagel looked to have cleanly dispossessed Bozidar Jelovac in the penalty area, but referee Darth Newman whistled for a foul and the big forward stepped up to the spot. Jelovac took his spot kick cooly, sending Bono the wrong way to level the match at 2-2.

    Needing a spark to regain the initiative, Castellanos inserted Ignacio "Nacho" Maganto into the match in the 61st minute. The move paid off immediately. Madison picked up a ball on the left sideline and used his speed to race past Thunder defender Michael Koegel. Madison's low cross found Maganto, who made no mistakes in hammering home his first goal of the 2014 season to hand Reading a 3-2 lead in the 63rd minute.

    Castellanos urged his team forward and United found a fourth goal just six minutes later. Off a Reading United corner kick that Binghamton struggled to clear, the ball dropped to defender Skylar Thomas who sent a shot into the back of the net to double United's lead.

    With the match firmly in their control, United looked to put an exclamation point on a solid outing. Once again, Madison found himself with the ball at his feet deep in the Thunder's half. The forward calmly worked the ball towards the end line and then engineered a play that United fans will be talking about for years.

    Madison tiptoed along the end line, losing one of his cleats while unleashing a flurry of skill moves that allowed him past his mark and into the six yard box. United's Man of the Match unselfishly squared a ball to Surkamp who tapped the ball home to wrap up the scoring at 5-2.

    "It's a great start to my summer," Madison said of his memorable performance.

    Castellanos was full of praise for his star forward. "Darius is an exceptional talent. He showcased his abilities tonight, I'm very proud of him."

    Castellanos was reflective on his first victory as Reading United Head Coach. "It's a special moment for us as a coaching staff and as a team getting that first win under our belt in a pressure situation. U.S. Open Cup games are like NCAA Tournament games and it's one and done. Any little mistake can beat you." Castellanos continued, "I'm very, very pleased with this result."

    Reading United will now face a third round match against USL PRO's Rochester Rhinos on Wednesday, May 28th at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. The current Rhinos roster features four former Reading players, led by goalkeeper John McCarthy and forward Alex Dixon.


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    U.S. Open Cup Game Report

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Riverhounds defeated the New York Red Bulls U-23s 3-1 in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday at Highmark Stadium.  After a stagnant first half in which they controlled most of the play, and the match remained tied 1-1, the Riverhounds got a key goal from their dynamic duo of Matt Dallman and Jose Angulo to secure their first win of 2014.  

    The Riverhounds' leading scorers from last season hooked up for the go-ahead goal in the 68th minute on a Dallman corner kick, as Angulo slashed through the penalty area to put a header past Red Bulls goalkeeper Evan Louro. 

    Angulo entered the match at the beginning of the second half, along with Joseph Ngweyna. It seemed to be just what the Riverhounds attack needed.  

    "They came on and changed the game for us in a positive way," said Justin Evans, Riverhounds Head Coach.  

    As things began to open up, Rob Vincent sealed the win for the home side with a nice run in the 81st minute, with a nifty give-and-go with Ngwenya to beat Louro to provide the games final margin.

    The Riverhounds took an early lead as they capitalized on an opportunity in the 10th minute against the visiting side. Advancing down the left flank, Vincent delivered a pinpoint pass to Dallman on the right edge of the box. Dallman was able to head the ball back across the goalmouth toward the center of the box, where Kevin Kerr came through to finish with a header into the back of the net.  

    The lead didn't hold up very long.  The Red Bulls responded, as Riverhounds center back, Andrew Marshall was called for a foul in the box, setting up a penalty kick.  Red Bull defender Sean Sheridan converted on the penalty kick, and the match was tied in the 12th minute.  

    The Riverhounds regained their composure, and controlled the play for the remainder of the first half, drawing numerous fouls, and setting seven corner kicks, but were unable to take advantage.  

    "It seemed like we were doing all the right things, getting to the end line. Putting a lot of pressure on their back four.  It was very positive.  We were comfortably in control of the game," said Evans.     

    As the second half opened, the Riverhounds got the boost they needed.  

    "If you work hard, you are going to get a result," said Angulo. "Nice to come in, get the goal, help the team -- as we played well in the second half.  It was a good win."  

    USL PRO's leading scorer a year ago, Angulo left the Riverhounds for a few weeks to be with his family as his father passed away.  He returned to action, playing 70 minutes against Orlando on Friday, and with a full second half tonight, he feels ready to help his team get on a roll, and continue to find the back of the net.  

    "My dad always told me, be a magnet. And just get in there, and the ball's going to find you," said Angulo.  

    The Riverhounds dominated in shots (13-5) and corner kicks (16-4), in eliminating the Red Bull U23 from the Open Cup.  They will host the third round of the Open Cup next Wednesday, May 28, against RWB Adria in a rematch from last season's tournament. 

    Up next for the Riverhounds will be an important USL PRO encounter with regional rival the Rochester Rhinos, on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium as they look to recover from a slow start to the season.  

    "We needed this one, to hopefully get us going," said Evans. "It's huge for our confidence, for our players.  To get guys in there and a positive result, it's great."


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    Dayton Dutch Lions FC News Release -- www.dutchlionsfc.com

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    DAYTON, Ohio – Dayton Dutch Lions FC today announced that it is set to host the club's Major League Soccer affiliate, the Columbus Crew, in an exhibition at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 20 at DOC Stadium in West Carrollton, Ohio. The match is set to be live-streamed on Dayton’s YouTube channel, with a link available on TheCrew.com on the day of the match.

    Tickets are now on sale by visiting www.daytondutchlionsfc.com. Adult tickets are $15 with youth tickets priced at just $8. Parking is only $2. Group rates are also available with discounts increasing per each addition of 10 people to the group.

    “Playing the Columbus Crew at our new facility is a great opportunity to bring the highest level of soccer to the Dayton community,” said Dayton Dutch Lions Head Coach Sid van Druenen. “The Crew has been very solid this season in MLS, playing a very attractive and offensive style of soccer. This match is a great event for the local fans, our club and our partnership with the Crew. We hope to see a big crowd at the DOC Stadium on May 20.”

    “We’re excited for the opportunity for the two clubs to face each other in a friendly,” said Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “We’ve been pleased with the way our players have developed while with Dayton and this match is another unified step in our partnership that gives players from both sides beneficial match experience.”


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    PDL News Release

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL announced its Team of the Week for the second week of the 2014 season on Thursday, with Jersey Express forward Chris Karcz named Player of the Week as he recorded three goals in two games to lead his side to four points from its opening two games.

    Karcz, a former member of the New York Red Bulls, scored both goals in the Express’ opening game of the season last Wednesday as they claimed a 2-2 draw with rival Reading United. He then added a goal and an assist in a 5-0 victory against the Northern Virginia Royals that left the Express on top of the Mid Atlantic Division going into this weekend’s action.

    FC Tucson’s Tommy Ramos and the Cincinnati Dutch Lions’ Jordan Grant joined Karcz in the Team of the Week’s forward line, as Grant scored twice to spark his side to a 3-3 draw against the River City Rovers in its inaugural contest in the PDL. Ramos also had a pair of goals and an assist as his side split a pair of games at BYU and Las Vegas.

    Austin’s Tony Rocha led the midfield quartet after his goal and assist in the Aztex’s 5-0 win against Houston, and he was joined by the LA Misioneros’ Javier Castro, who had both goals as his side defeated the Fresno Fuego 2-1. Albuquerque’s Nathanial Pacheco also earned selection as his goal proved the winner in the Sol’s first win in club history, a 2-1 victory against Real Colorado, while Long Island’s Shaun Foster completed the group after a dominant display in the Rough Riders’ 2-0 win against F.A. Euro.

    GPS Portland Phoenix goalkeeper Lee Johnston led the defense as he recorded a nine-save shutout in his side’s 3-0 win against the Vermont Voltage. San Jose’s Ramon Martin del Campo also earned selection after providing strong leadership as the Earthquakes U23 claimed two draws on the road in their first two games in team history, while Adrian DuBois was solid as Seacoast United limited Westchester to three shots in a 1-0 win, the Phantoms’ first victory since 2012. BYU’s Kip Critchlow rounds out the group after his goal helped the Cougars to their second win in as many games with victory against Tucson.

    The PDL season continues this weekend with 26 games on the schedule between Friday and Sunday. The weekend’s action includes the debuts of two teams in the Northwest Division, with Lane United FC set to host the Sounders FC U-23 on Friday night, and the Puget Sound Gunners the Portland Timbers U-23s on Saturday afternoon. The Montreal Impact U23 also make their debut in the Northeast Division as they face the Westchester Flames, while Chicago Fire U-23 and the Michigan Bucks renew their longstanding rivalry in the Great Lakes Division on Saturday.

    Follow all of the action from the 2014 PDL season via twitter (@USLPDL), and also on Facebook and Instagram as the league’s 20th season shines the spotlight on some of the top college and academy prospects from across the country.

    PDL Team of the Week

    Pos

    Player 

    Team

    Highlights

    GK

    Lee Johnston

    GPS Portland

    Recorded nine saves as the Phoenix defeated Vermont 3-0

    D

    Ramon Martin del Campo

    San Jose

    Marshalled the Earthquakes U23 to a pair of road draws

    D

    Kip Critchlow

    BYU

    Had a goal as the Cougars defeated Tucson for their season win

    D

    Adrian DuBois

    Seacoast

    Helped limit Westchester to three shots in 1-0 victory

    M

    Tony Rocha

    Austin

    Spectacular goal and assist helped Aztex make winning start

    M

    Shaun Foster

    Long Island

    Commanded the midfielder as the Rough Riders downed F.A. Euro

    M

    Javier Castro

    Los Angeles

    Scored both goals as the Misioneros defeated Fresno 2-1

    M

    Nathanial Pacheco

    Albuquerque

    Had the winning goal as the Sol claimed their first victory

    F

    Tommy Ramos

    Tucson

    Scored two goals as Tucson split a pair of road contests

    F

    Chris Karcz

    Jersey

    Three goals in two games as Express opened with draw, win

    F

    Jordan Grant

    Cincinnati

    Pair of goals led Dutch Lions rally for 3-3 draw with River City

    Honorable Mention – Albuquerque: Ricardo Perez, Victor Rodriguez; Austin: Andres Cuero, Kalen Ryden; Carolina: Tony Murillo, Mamadee Nyepon; GPS Portland: Zach Zurita, McKauley Tulloch; Houston: Lukas Simon; Jersey: Nick Viaggio; Kitsap: Kevin Finlayson; Las Vegas: Salvador Bernal; Long Island: Thomas Wharf, Stephen Roche; Los Angeles: Bryan de la Fuente, Jose Miranda; Reading: Oumar Ballo, Alex Bono; River City: Dylan Terry, Peter May; San Jose: Jesus Guzman, Matt Sheldon; Seacoast: Terrence Carter, Alex Ryan; SW Florida: Bebey Bertrand; Tucson: Ricardo Velazco, Tim Harbison; Vancouver: Jordan Farahani, Niall Cousens; Ventura County: James Kiffe, Dan Delgado; Westchester: Alan Reiter.


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    Wilmington Hammerheads FC News Release -- www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    WILMINGTON, N.C. – Wilmington Hammerheads FC announced on Thursday that they will host their Major League Soccer affiliate Toronto FC on Wednesday, June 18 at Legion Stadium in Wilmington, N.C. Tickets for the match go on sale on Friday, May 16.

    “This friendly match is another great benefit of our strong partnership with Toronto,” said Wilmington Hammerheads FC General Manager Jason Arnold. “We are excited to host the team and showcase their club to our fans and the City of Wilmington.”

    The match falls in the middle of Toronto’s three-week gap in their game schedule in June.

    “We are very excited to participate in a friendly match with Wilmington during the FIFA World Cup break,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Wilmington has done a great job thus far in providing our players on loan with everything they need to succeed and grow in a professional environment. This is another opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our affiliate club and bring Toronto FC into their market, all while giving our players match minutes during the break.”

    The Hammerheads currently have three players on loan from Toronto FC: Quillan Roberts, Jordan Hamiliton and Manny Aparicio.

    The Hammerheads will be taking the field against Toronto in a match that will not affect their overall league points. “This is a great opportunity for our players to match up against the highest level of soccer in North America,” said Arnold.

    Tickets for the event are available for purchase online, at the Hammerheads front office, or at the ticket booth when the gates open at Legion Stadium the day of the match. Ticket prices include: $20 for adults, $15 for youth, and $18 for seniors, military and students. Season ticket holders will be able to purchase tickets at a discounted rate.

    This event takes place three days prior to the Hammerheads hosting MLS’s Chicago Fire Reserves for a regular season matchup on Saturday, June 21. The Hammerheads are offering a Dual Ticket Package for fans to attend both games. Ticket prices for the two-game bundle include: $25 for adults, $20 for youth, and $22 for seniors, military and students.

    For more information regarding Wilmington Hammerheads FC or to purchase tickets for the event, please contact (910) 777-2111 or visit online at www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com.


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    PDL Feature

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – U.S. Soccer announced a 24-player Under-20 Men’s National Team squad that will convene at N.C. State University on Saturday for a week-long camp that will include a scrimmage with USL PRO’s Wilmington Hammerheads. Five members of the squad, which is building toward the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand, are current or former PDL players.

    Sounders FC U23 goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, Carolina Dynamo midfielder Travis Wannemuehler, pictured, and Portland Timbers U-23s midfielder Jacori Hayes all make their second appearances at the camp, having previously attended in January. Wannamuehler, who will be at his other home turf at the Wolfpack’s soccer complex, made his debut for the Dynamo on Saturday in their victory against the SC United Bantams.

    Caldwell, meanwhile, brings a strong pedigree as he prepares for his freshman season at Virginia this fall. A former U.S. U18 international, Caldwell is set to join the Sounders U23 this summer following the conclusion of the camp.

    Hayes is also set to head to the Pacific Northwest following camp as he competes for the Timbers U-23s this summer. A former U.S. U18 international alongside Caldwell, Hayes had a goal and an assist as a freshman at Wake Forest this past fall.

    This week’s camp will be the first for Reading United AC’s Sagel, who made his debut for the PDL side last Wednesday in a 2-2 draw against the Jersey Express. Sagel had a strong freshman season for Temple where he started all 18 games for the Owls and opted to remain in the Philadelphia area to compete for the PDL affiliate of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union.

    Bailey also makes his first appearance at camp as he returns to the U.S. from Bayer Leverkusen in Germany. The 18-year-old played in 2012 for the Nashville Metros before turning professional and signing with the Bundesliga club, where he currently plays for the reserve team.

    The U20s will be led in camp by Brian Bliss, with the camp set to conclude on Sunday, May 24 with a scrimmage against the Wilmington Hammerheads at 6 p.m. ET. The U20s' next camp will take place in mid-July in Carson, Calif. ahead of the NTC Invitational Tournament.


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    LA Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    LOS ANGELES – On Friday the LA Blues will play their first official W-League game since the merger of the LA Strikers and Pali Blues was announced in November 2013, traveling to Arizona to face the expansion Sedona FC Strikers.

    The Strikers and Pali finished as the top two Western Conference teams in 2013. After being defeated twice by the Strikers in regular-season play, Pali came out victorious in the Conference Championship, and went on to knock out the Washington Spirit Reserves in the League semifinals and the Laval Comets in the final.

    The new organization brings together the best of the Strikers and Pali with their former head coaches, Tracey Kevins and Charlie Naimo, in charge of the new squad which also consists of many fan favorites from both teams. Blues Manager Naimo spoke about preparing the team to take on a new opponent in the league for the first time.

    “Obviously, it has been a very long wait to play an official game since the final and we are excited to get back at it,” he said. “As a staff, we are confident in the group we will have out this weekend. That said, the focus is on our side and being as close to perfect as we can this early on as we learn about our newest conference rival.”

    LA will be held to high standards, building off a successful 2013 season that saw the Pali Blues win their third W-League title in six seasons and Kevins turn a struggling Strikers club into a top contender in the Western Conference.

    On Friday, a mixture of Strikers and Pali standouts, alongside promising new additions to the team, will begin to work towards the 2014 W-League Championship as they begin a new era for women’s soccer in Southern California. The match is set to kick off at 7 p.m. PT at Sedona Red Rock High School.

    The Blues will return home for a two-game, home-opening weekend to play against Sedona FC at Patterson Field on the campus of Occidental College on Friday, May 23 and the Seattle Sounders Women on Sunday, May 25, at the StubHub Center’s Track and Field Stadium. For tickets and more information, fans can visit bluessoccerclub.com.


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    PDL Game Report

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    PORTLAND, Ore. – Forward Kharlton Belmar tallied the game-tying goal in the 83rd minute and midfielder Fatai Alashe added his first goal of the season as the Portland Timbers U-23s opened the 2014 PDL campaign with a 2-2 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 in front of 3,517 fans on a Providence Health & Fitness Day Thursday afternoon at Providence Park.

    After conceding the go-ahead goal five minutes before halftime, Portland found the equalizer in the 83rd minute as Belmar connected on a free kick from Timbers U-18 Academy midfielder Jesse Garcia-Aguilar, slotting the game-tying goal inside the far post.

    The Timbers U-23s (0-0-1, 1pt) took an early lead as Alashe collected a loose ball following a Portland corner kick and beat Whitecaps FC U-23 goalkeeper William Diaz with a strong volley for his first goal of the season. Wearing the captain’s armband for the match, Alashe attempted two shots, while Belmar finished with a team-high five shots.

    Portland and Vancouver finished level on shots, 12-12, while Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Brendan Moore made five saves in the season-opening draw for Portland.

    Following Portland’s early goal, Whitecaps FC U-23 (0-1-2, 2pts) tied the match in the 27th minute as defender Nick Prasad converted on a corner kick from midfielder Marlon Ramirez. Five minutes before the end of the first half, Vancouver grabbed the lead when forward Brett Levis found midfielder Cody Cook at the far post following a combination of passes.

    Playing their second match in three days following a 3-2 loss against USL PRO side Arizona United SC on Tuesday in the second round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Providence Park, the Timbers U-23s nearly found the equalizer in the 68th minute when Belmar delivered a header that struck the crossbar.

    The Timbers U-23s travel to face off against Puget Sound Gunners FC at Mount Si High School Stadium on Saturday; kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (Pacific).


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    Toronto Lady Lynx News Release - www.torontolynxsoccerclub.com

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    TORONTO, Ont. – The Toronto Lady Lynx announced today that the club has signed Mexican National Team forward Mónica Desireé Monsiváis for the 2014 W-League season. Also a standout at Tecnológico de Monterrey & Universidad De Las Américas, Monsiváis will officially join the team after international clearance.

    "Desireé is a very dangerous attacking player, a quality finisher who can score many goals," Lynx Coach Danny Stewart said. "She has performed internationally at a very high level, and I’m looking for her to bring that type of experience and leadership to the team."

    Monsiváis, 26, joins Toronto after a breakthrough in different levels of the Mexican National Team in 2013. She was called up to compete in highly regarded cups in Europe, including the Algarve Cup (Portugal) & the Valais Cup (Switzerland), where she played against powerhouse national teams such as Brazil, China and Portugal.

    Monsiváis was also called up to play a friendly against the 2011 FIFA World Cup runner-up, the United States. At the World University Games 2013 in Kazan, Monsiváis scored three goals in six appearances, including a goal in the final against Great Britain. Her contribution was key in Mexico's silver medal-winning performance.

    The Lady Lynx open the 2014 W-League season on Sunday, May 25 when they welcome the Central Conference champion Laval Comets to Sheridan College.


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    Western Mass Pioneers News Release -- www.wmpioneers.com

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    LUDLOW, Mass. – The Western Mass Pioneers are preparing for their home opener for the 2014 PDL season as they host the CFC Azul on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET at Lusitano Stadium. This game is sponsored by Big Y World Class Markets and AAA of Hampden County.

    It has been a busy first two weeks for the Pioneers as they were awarded an opening round U.S. Open Cup game due to the U.S. Soccer Federation expanding the field for the 2014 season. The Pioneers defeated GPS Massachusetts 4-1 on May 7th to advance to a second round match-up at the Rochester Rhinos on May 14th. In the win, Quinnipiac College star Will Daniels and Brazilian forward Alencar Junior both tallied twice in the victory.

    In addition to the U.S. Open Cup match, the Pioneers are coming off a defeat in a preseason 2-1 loss over the visiting Mass United FC. Will Daniels had the Pioneers' lone goal. “This was a great test for us as we prepare for our first game against CFC Azul,” Said Pioneers Head Coach Federico Molinari.

    Last season the Pioneers did not fare well in the 3 games against the Azul as they played two matches to 1-1 ties. The third game fell into the Azul's favor 2-0. Since CFC’s entrance to the PDL, the Azul and Pioneers have formed an immediate rivalry with all games being closely contested.

    “Every point is critical in our season. We also have the opportunity to play two new teams in the league, the Westchester Flames and the Montreal Impact U-23,” said Molinari.

    Westchester is no stranger to the PDL. Under league realignment, the Flames moved to the Northeast Division. Montreal is a new franchise that is owned an operated by the Major League Soccer franchise, and includes a number of Canadian youth internationals.

    The Pioneers next home game is on Friday, May 23rd at 7:30pm as they take on the GPS Portland Phoenix.

    Continue to refer to the Pioneers' website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. For more information about this release, please contact the Pioneers office at 413-583-4814 or via email at info@wmpioneers.com.


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    U.S. Soccer News Release -- www.ussoccer.com

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    CHICAGO – U.S. Soccer has announced the fourth-round possible pairings for the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The fourth round will mark the opening stage of the tournament for the 16 domestic Major League Soccer (Division I) clubs, each of whom will be matched against a third-round winner.

    The fourth round will take place June 10-18, leaving the possibility for a number of early-round weekend games, a first in the modern era of the tournament (1995 to present). Home teams will determine the exact dates from among the visiting teams’ available dates. The exact schedule will be announced next week.

    Results from the third round on May 27-28 will determine the matchups and venues for the fourth round. Home teams are determined by a random selection process among those clubs that have applied to host and whose venues meet the minimum tournament requirements. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth round draw process took place Friday morning at U.S. Soccer House.

    ussoccer.com will resume its “Game of the Round” coverage of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a third-round matchup to be announced at a later date. 

    In other third-round news, U.S. Soccer has determined that Arizona United will host the Oklahoma City Energy in a battle of new USL PRO clubs in the tournament's Third Round. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT at the Peoria Sports Complex.

    2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
    Fourth Round Possible Pairings

    New England Revolution (MLS) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO)
    or N.Y. Greek American Atlas (USASA) at New England Revolution (MLS)

    New York Red Bulls (MLS) at New York Cosmos (NASL)
    or Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) at New York Red Bulls (MLS)

    Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO)/Baltimore Bohemians (PDL) winner at Philadelphia Union

    D.C. United (MLS) at Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO)
    or Reading United (PDL) at D.C. United (MLS)

    Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO)/Indy Eleven (NASL) winner at Columbus Crew (MLS)

    RWB Adria (USASA)/Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO) winner at Chicago Fire (MLS)

    Minnesota United (NASL)/Des Moines Menace (PDL) winner at Sporting Kansas City (MLS)

    Laredo Heat (PDL)/Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) winner at Houston Dynamo (MLS

    NTX Rayados (USASA)/San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) winner at FC Dallas (MLS)

    LA Galaxy (MLS) at Arizona United SC (USL PRO)
    or OKC Energy FC (USL PRO) at LA Galaxy (MLS)

    Fresno Fuego (PDL)/Sacramento Republic FC (USL PRO) winner at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)

    Chivas USA (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)/Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) winner

    Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) at LA Galaxy II (USL PRO)
    or PSA Elite (USASA) at Seattle Sounders FC

    Real Salt Lake (MLS) at Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)/Chattanooga FC winner

    Portland Timbers (MLS) at Charleston Battery (USL PRO)
    or Orlando City U23s (PDL) at Portland Timbers (MLS)

    Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL)/Orlando City (USL PRO) at Colorado Rapids


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    W-League Feature

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – The W-League’s Western Conference has been ruled for the past two seasons by the LA Blues, who claimed the W-League Championship a season ago. After the merger between the Pali Blues and the LA Strikers in the offseason, that trend would appear to be set to continue, but it’s likely that challenges will come the Blues’ way from returning sides such as the Seattle Sounders Women, who claimed the title in 2011, and newcomers the Colorado Pride and Colorado Storm, who have both put together strong squads.

    BAY AREA BREEZE: The Breeze struggled in their first season in the W-League, but have a new coach in Nick Lusson to lead them and a number of familiar faces set to return to try and make a move up the standings. Lusson brings a wealth of experience from the college ranks, while Leah Morales returns after scoring three goals a season ago. Goalkeeper Yiana Dimmit is also back after playing every minute a season ago, while 2013 All-League defender Danielle Johnson will provide protection on the back line.

    COLORADO PRIDE: A newcomer to the league, the Pride appear set to hit the ground running with a number of players with international and prior W-League experience. Australian international Chloe Logarzo is at the forefront of the club’s inaugural roster, having played in the Australian W-League for Sydney FC, and she is joined by fellow Australians Ashley Spina and Tara Andrews in Colorado. Coach Daniel Clitnovici was also able to sign former Washington Spirit midfielder Holly King, while U.S. U20 international Mallory Webber arrives from Penn State.

    COLORADO RUSH: The Rush had a difficult time in 2013, with the lone bright spot being Danica Evans, who earned All-Conference honors after six goals in 12 appearances. Evans returns this season and the Rush have added former U.S. international Megan Schnur to help bolster the side’s midfield.  Other player to watch this season include a trio of U.S. Youth Internationals, with Lizzy Raben, Morgan Stanton and Gabbi Miranda – who claimed an NCAA Championship with UCLA last fall – all set to return to the squad.

    COLORADO STORM: Formerly the Colorado Rapids Women, the Storm are set to be led into the club’s new era by Coach Mike Haas, who will have a large squad to pull from as he looks to improve on a .500 record a season ago. The club’s leading scorer a season ago, Kristen Hamilton, has joined the professional ranks with the NWSL’s Western New York Flash, and Haas will have to get the most out of a young squad as it looks to step into a higher level of competition.

    LA BLUES: The defending champions have not only brought back a number of key members from last season’s squad, but also supplemented their squad thanks to the merger with the LA Strikers. Among those back for the Blues are All-Conference selections Sasha Andrews and Sarah Killion – who made her first appearance for the U.S. Women’s National Team this spring – and Killion’s UCLA teammates Abby Dahlkemper and Caprice Dydasco. Added to the group is Rachel Daly, an All-Conference selection for the Strikers a season ago, and goalkeeper Samantha Prudhomme, who had a 1.00 goals-against average in 2013.

    SANTA CLARITA BLUE HEAT: The Blue Heat will look to rebound from a season where they gave up 27 goals in 12 games, and will try to do so with Division III National Player of the Year Claudia Lopez leading the way. Lopez will try to replace the absence of All-Conference selection Ana Borges, and had a standout fall as she scored 27 goals for NSCAA National Champions Cerritos College. Alexa Ngo returns to the team after making 10 appearances a season ago, while Long Beach State goalkeeper Kaci McCain joins the side to try and help it improve its defensive numbers.

    SEATTLE SOUNDERS WOMEN: Edged into third place by the LA Strikers a season ago, the Sounders Women would appear on paper the biggest challengers to the Blues this season. The side added Canadian international Brittany Baxter for the new season, and England Under-21 international Emma Follis. Also joining the side are All-SEC selections Carolina Brown and Cara Ledman, and the University of Texas’ Brooke Gilbert, who appeared in all 20 games for the Longhorns last fall to earn All Big-12 honors.

    SEDONA FC STRIKERS: The Strikers join the W-League with what appears to be a solid squad as it draws on a solid talent-base in Arizona. Mexican national team goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras leads the notable names on the roster, which will be led by head coach Manny Arias. Also set to play for the Strikers is former Mexico U17 international Luz Duarte, and Mexican international Esmeralda Verdugo.


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    USL PRO News Release

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Four different players scored for the Richmond Kickers, who defeated the OKC Energy FC 4-1 on Friday night in front of a sold-out 3,916 in attendance at Pribil Stadium. Matt Delicate opened the scoring in the opening minute as the Kickers build a three-goal halftime lead, and while the Energy were able to pull a goal back through Kyle Greig with just under 10 minutes to go, Richmond added a late goal to earn its fourth win of the season.

    Richmond grabbed the lead 21 seconds into the match when Delicate scored off the rebound of a shot by George Davis IV. After Energy FC keeper Jon Kempin blocked Davis’s initial shot, the ball came to Delicate, who chipped the ball into the net for a 1-0 Kickers advantage.

    In the 30th minute, Richmond extended its lead to 2-0 when William Yomby pushed a shot past Kempin after heavy traffic collected in front of the Energy FC net following a corner kick. After several attempts by Oklahoma City to clear the ball, Yomby’s effort was knocked away by Kempin, but officials ruled Kempin’s save was made beyond the goal line.

    During the final minute of first-half stoppage time, Richmond added to its lead when Davis maneuvered around Energy FC defender Kevin Ellis near the OKC goal line and found Alex Lee, who fired a shot past Kempin at point-blank range for a 3-0 halftime lead.

    Energy FC got on the scoreboard in the 81st minute when Adda Djeziri delivered a free kick from just outside the Richmond penalty area that Kyle Greig headed past Kickers goalkeeper Joe Willis, narrowing Richmond’s lead to 3-1.

    Richmond took a three-goal lead once again in the 87th minute when, after a miscue in the Energy FC end, Michael Seaton blasted a close shot past Kempin, making the score 4-1.

    Energy FC returns to action Sunday, May 25 in Carson, Calif., against the Los Angeles Galaxy II. The Kickers, meanwhile, move on to face the Chicago Fire Reserves on Sunday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. ET.


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