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News from USL

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    PDL Game Report

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Cincinnati Dutch Lions took a 2-0 victory against the River City Rovers on Friday night, spoiling the Rovers' home debut at Jeffersonville’s new Woehrle Athletic Complex.

    A rematch of a thrilling 3-3 draw a week ago in Cincinnati, the match was quite the opposite, starved of action and goal-scoring chances. It was also physical affair; with the teams amassing a total of 22 fouls combined, compared to a mere seven in the previous tilt.

    Windy and wet conditions played a part in the first half as rain slickened the pitch preventing either team from being comfortable in possession. The first real chance of the game saw the visitors take the lead after a Rovers turnover in the midfield led to a 3-on-2 break for the Dutch Lions. Rowin Vanzaanen played Chris Harmon in alone and the forward tucked the ball home into the lower right corner.

    The Rovers struggled with patience and maintaining their possession oriented style throughout the half, resorting to long side-to-side switches and more direct service than they usually display.

    “We didn’t keep our shape very well at all,” said Rovers head coach Tyrone Marshall. “I thought we were very disjointed in the midfield and that showed in our lack of ability to keep the ball and how easily they countered on us.”

    River City’s best chance of the half came in the 39th minute when midfielder Lindo M’feka dispossessed a Dutch Lions defender at midfield and streaked into goal alone. Unfortunately for the University of South Florida standout, defensive pressure caught up in time and his shot found the hands of Cincinnati keeper Eric Osswald, who dove to his left to gather the shot.

    The second half saw more of the same, with neither team doing much to establish itself. The Rovers did increase the pressure on the Dutch Lions defense but were unable to create any significant chances.

    Ace Gonya and M’feka took turns making Osswald work, forcing him into two diving stops to his left on separate long distant shots.

    Cincinnati added some cushion for the final margin in the 82nd minute when Kyle Smith got on the end of a through ball in the box and played a ball across the goal, past on-rushing Rovers goalkeeper Dalyan Hawes and onto the head of Jeff McClure who nudged it home.

    The Rovers will look to regroup during a week of training next week and then hit the road for a two game set in Columbia, S.C. and Greensboro, N.C. against the South Carolina Bantams and Carolina Dynamo on May 29 and 30.

    “I saw some bright spots out there tonight despite the disappointing result,” said Marshall. “This next week and a half will give us quality time to adjust and improve the things that we need to.”

    The next home game for the River City outfit will be on June 5 against Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the gate.


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    PDL Game Report

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane United won the first PDL game in its history as it took a 1-0 victory against the Sounders FC U23 on Friday night behind a single goal from Conner Bevans in the 21st minute. From that minute onward, United was forced to hold on, relying heavily on the expertise of goalkeeper Matt Bersano and center-halves Julio Alarcon and Brenden Anderson for prolonged stretches of pressure in the second half.

    A red card for the Sounders U23's Clement Simonin, for his second bookable offense, in the 83rd minute took some of the sting out of the final 10 minutes of the match, and the Sounders U23 never posed a serious threat afterward.

    The match began very slowly, with Lane United very deliberate in their attempts to pass out of the back. Often, the ball never made it to the forward line of their 4-3-3 before possession was lost. When it did break to Rolando Velazquez on the left or Khiry Shelton in the target-man role, the attacking quality on display was visible. Velazquez and the attacking midfielder Doholis had both played in a few decent crosses from the left wing before the former found himself with the ball at his feet, Conner Bevans to his right and the chance to break, with only Seattle's two center-halves between them and the goal. Velazquez slid a perfectly-weighted through-ball to Bevans, who timed his run excellently to put himself in alone to pass the ball past the stranded Seattle goalkeeper Jake Feener to the far post.

    The goal had little effect on the pattern of the rest of the first half. The Sounders U23's Jamael Cox’s zippiness and Niko Hansen’s formidable straight-line speed meant that they occasionally made worrying forays into the Lane United attacking third, but Bersano only had one real save to make when Hansen shot hard to the near post from the right side of the penalty box.

    LUFC's starting right back, Dirk van der Velde, had aggravated a lingering hamstring injury just before the goal and was replaced by Casey Phillips, who played on the right the rest of the game as Amer Sasivarevic switched to the left. Phillips bore the brunt of Seattle’s pressure in the second half— Luis Esteves and Hansen were constantly allowed to run at him. Alarcon provided good cover and cut out a surprising number of aerial crosses for someone of his stature, but Seattle’s best chances of the game came from the left flank in the second half. First, Esteves dropped a cross onto the head of Thomas di Villardi, who couldn’t direct his header down at the goal frame. Then 10 minutes later, Esteves cut in and plastered a shot on his right foot low to Bersano’s near post, and the goalkeeper did very well to push it around for a corner. In the meantime, all manner of crosses and incisive runs were flying into the Lane United penalty area, and somehow no clearer chances than those two materialized.

    Simonin’s two second-half yellow cards each came from ill-advised challenges that won the ball. In the first, around the 60th minute, he raised his foot too high to prod the ball away from Velazquez near midfield and ended up cleating the 17-year-old Lane United attacker in the shin. In the 83rd minute, he leapt into a full-blooded tackle on Martin Lukaschik — again, he won the ball first, but again, the nature of the challenge was too reckless for the referee Andrew Marihart to ignore.

    The last 10 minutes passed without much incident, Matt Bersano gathering the few half-chance through-balls that Seattle managed to put through. Sounders U23 defenders were twice cautioned for cynically tugging back nascent breakaways. When Marihart blew his whistle three minutes into stoppage time with red smoke drifting onto the field from the Red Aces’ south grandstand, a flood of young fans streamed onto the field to celebrate a hard-earned victory for the area’s new franchise.


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    Montreal Impact U23 News Release -- www.impactmontreal.com

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    MONTREAL -- The Montreal Impact U23 will kick off its inaugural season in the PDL against the Westchester Flames this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET at City Park Stadium, in New York. It will be possible to follow the game live by following @academieimpact on twitter.

    The league consists of 64 teams, split into four conferences and into 10 sub-divisions which gives the teams a chance to stand out in 14 games respectively.

    The Montreal Impact U23 will be playing in the Eastern Conference under the Northeast Division, along with seven other teams; CFC Azul, GPS Phoenix, Real Boston Rams, Seacoast United Phantoms, Vermont Voltage, Westchester Flames and the Western Mass Pioneers.

    “It’s hard to have ambitions when faced with a new championship and a level of play we are still unfamiliar with,” says head coach and Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy. “We don’t have a clear outlook yet on the future within the PDL so we are concentrating fully on our quality of play. Once we have that down, the results will follow.

    “The PDL is a tool to continue the player’s development in order for them to maximize their chances to be selected for a professional career in soccer.”

    Team captain Amine Meftouh is pretty excited to get things started.

    “We are ready to play and show the other teams what it means to be part of the Academy from the moment we set foot on the field," he said. "It’s a new adventure but we are ready for what’s to come.”

    Starting their pre-season in January, the U23’s lost only once in seven games in the Quebec University Championship and bettered those results by winning four of its five recently friendlies in preparation for the start of the season.

    “With about fifteen preseason games since January, I can say the team is on the right track,” said Eullaffroy. “We have won a fair amount of games and are building up a good momentum. Although Westchester ended at the bottom of its division last year, we won’t know if we are on par with the PDL teams until we see the results after our first games.”

    The Impact U23 will play its home opener against the Flames on June 1st at the Stade Saputo’s synthetic field at 5 p.m. All home games are open to the public and free of charge.


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    Charlotte Lady Eagles News Release - www.charlotteeagles.com

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Lady Eagles will host the Atlanta Silverbacks in the 2014 W-League opener for both teams on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Queens Sports Complex.  

    Charlotte is once again led by Head Coach Lee Horton, as the 2011 USL Women's Hall of Fame inductee is back for his 15th season as Lady Eagles and has been the only coach in the history of the team.  Horton will look to guide the Lady Eagles back to the playoffs after missing the post-season in 2013 after finishing fourth in the Southeastern Conference with a 4-5-1 record.

    Returning for the 2014 season are Alex Brandt, Molly Drooger, Leah Fortune, Kristin Horton, Robyn Jones, Chloe McCleary-Small, Amanda Naeher, Val Tysinger and Macky Wingo. Ashley Swinehart is also returning to Charlotte after playing the 2013 for the Carolina Elite Cobras.  Swinehart will try to add to her Lady Eagles career numbers, currently ranking fourth in career goals (29), third in career assists (22) and third in career games played (114).

    The Silverbacks narrowly missed the playoffs finishing two points behind the Carolina Elite Cobras in 2013.  They recently added 17 players to their squad, having signed two goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and three forwards.

    Atlanta's leading goal-scorer from last season, Savannah Jordan, is currently with the USWNT U20s preparing for the FIFA U20 World Cup.  Jordan led the team with eight goals and three assists in 10 games played.  She was also named All-American and SEC Offensive player of the year after her freshman season at the University of Florida.


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    PDL Game Report

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — Puget Sound Gunners FC defender Michael Dodds’ goal in the 60th minute of the club’s 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers U-23s was significant for two reasons. First, the goal represented the Gunners’ first of the 2014 PDL season; and second, it signified the beginning of a new era for the club, officially making its Issaquah-area debut.

    The former North Sound SeaWolves impressed in their May 17 season opener at Mount Si High School, despite the fact the team had only trained together a few times.

    “Considering that we’ve only had three training sessions together, I thought the team came together well,” Dodds, a Barry University standout, said. “We weren’t lucky enough to come away with a win, but a draw is satisfactory against the Timbers.”

    The Gunners’ lack of familiarity with each other showed in the first half, as they struggled against the Timbers’ attack, head coach Jimmy Ball said.

    “The first half was a bit scruffy, but we expected that,” Ball said. “They’re still getting to know each other and understanding their teammates’ habits and movements.”

    The start of the second half was a largely different story, though, as the Gunners came out and had the Timbers on the ropes for most of the first 20 minutes. Dodds’ goal came in the 60th minute, after he headed in Justice Duerksen’s corner kick.

    “There was nobody marking me and I had a good jump on the ball.” Dodds said. “It was clear as day, so I just put it straight past the goalkeeper. I was delighted.”

    The Timbers responded just 10 minutes later, as Fatai Alashe found the goal in the game’s 70th minute.

    “We broke down once and they scored, so we were a bit disappointed in the locker room to be truthful,” Ball said. “We think we gave them a goal there.”

    Overall, though, Ball said he was pleased with the team’s first game. Not only did the draw earn a point, the team also learned a lot about each other, he said. 

    “I think it shows that we have a lot of potential,” he said. “To put in a performance like that after three practices, was very, very good. We showed a lot of camaraderie, a lot of togetherness and they don’t even know each other.”

    The Gunners next play Sunday, May 25 against the Sounders U23 at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium in Sumner, Wash.


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    LA Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    SEDONA, Ariz. – The LA Blues kicked off the 2014 W-League season in fashion as they routed the Sedona FC Strikers 9-0 on Friday night.

    While the Blues struggled to find their rhythm early, it didn’t take long to get rolling. Mele French opened the scoring in the 23rd minute off a ball from Taylor Smith, and French then returned the favor with 10 minutes remaining in the half, and set up Smith to double the lead.

    With nine minutes remaining in the first half Kandace Wilson added a third goal, and Smith scored her second of the night to make it 4-0 at halftime.

    The Blues kept their form going into the second half and Kayla Mills scored in the 56th minute to stretch the Blues’ lead to 5 unanswered goals. With 15 minutes to go the Blues drew a foul inside the penalty area, and a penalty kick was awarded. Sarah Killion buried the ball from the spot to make it 6-0.

    Wilson scored two goals in two minutes to complete her hat trick for an 8-0 lead before Maren Heller finished off the Strikers 9-0 in the final seconds of the match.

    The Blues will play their first home game on Friday, May 23, at Occidental College as they host the Strikers. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT. To finish off the weekend, the Blues will host the Seattle Sounders the following Sunday, May 25, at the StubHub Center’s Track and Field Stadium at 5 p.m. PT in a doubleheader with the LA Galaxy. For tickets to both games, visit bluessoccerclub.com.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The Wilmington Hammerheads FC concluded their home-and-home series with the Charleston Battery by taking a 1-0 victory at Legion Stadium on Saturday night. Jordan Hamilton claimed the long-awaited first goal of the season on home turf for the Hammerheads off an assist from Steven Miller to secure the victory and earn his side its third win of the season.

    Hammerheads midfielder Tom Parratt had the first attempt on goal of the match with a reverse header in Battery territory that soared just over the crossbar. The first half carried a quick pace, but neither side could find the back of the net. Battery midfielder Andre Lewis came close to breaking the deadlock as the half came to a close, but was deemed offsides.

    The Hammerheads found their first goal of the season at Legion Stadium in the 65th minute by Toronto loanee Hamilton in his second appearance on Wilmington's home turf. Midfielder Steven Miller played the ball up the line to Hamilton, who then battled with Battery defender Shawn Ferguson for the breakaway, which led to the one-on-one with goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper and the goal. The finish was Hamilton's first professional goal.

    The contest became heated minutes later as a scuffle broke out near the halftway line between both teams. Both the Hammerheads and the Battery were forced to play one player down for the remainder of the match after Ferguson and Hammerheads goalkeeper Quillan Roberts received red cards and were dismissed. Wilmington's back-up goalkeeper Matt Glaeser and the Hammerheads defense were able to keep the Battery at bay in the final 20 minutes to earn all three points.

    The Hammerheads are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday, May 23 at Legion Stadium. All general admission tickets will be sold for $8. For more information regarding Wilmington Hammerheads FC, please contact (910) 777-2111 or visit www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com.


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    PDL Game Report

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    CLINTON, Miss. – Mississippi Brilla (1-0-0) got a late winner from substitute Stephen Roberson to snatch a 2-1 victory in their 2014 opening match against the Panama City Beach Pirates (0-1-0) on Saturday night. Roberson scored with three minutes to play to earn his side a dramatic late victory at Arrow Field.

    The match began as a back-and-forth affair and would stay that way for the whole match, despite Panama City Beach losing a player at the end of the first half to an ejection. After a few close calls, the Brilla opened the scoring in the 29th minute when Chandler Gagnon found an open Andrew Power, who settled the ball in the penalty area and slotted home with his left foot.

    Panama City Beach had a chance near the end of the first half to equalize when Brilla defender James Gulley was penalized for a tackle on a Pirates attacker in the penalty area. The resulting penalty kick by Pirates forward Alassane Kane was saved by Brilla ‘keeper Carl Blundell to keep the Pirates off the board.

    In the last minute of the first half, Panama City Beach suffered a major setback when midfielder Anthony Arico was shown a red card and ejected for serious foul play on a foul suffered by Brilla’s Phillip Buffington. They would be forced to play the entire second half with only 10 men.

    To their credit, the Pirates proved to be just as dangerous in attack down a man, and earned an equalizer in the 69th minute when substitute Ricky Hoegg buried his shot in the corner of the Brilla net.

    Both teams squandered great chances to score over the next 20 minutes, but it was the Brilla who finally broke through when Roberson ran onto a great through-ball from Lucas Almeida and slid his shot past Pirates goalkeeper Sean Lewis. The Brilla finished out the last few minutes before the referee whistled for full time.

    Mississippi now goes on the road for a two-game road trip where they will face the Houston Dutch Lions on May 22 and the defending DPL Champion Austin Aztex on May 24.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 5-3 on Saturday afternoon at Skyline Sports Complex. Clesio Bauque and Morgan Langley each had a pair of goals for the City Islanders, who claimed their first home win of the season, while Aaron Schoenfeld scored twice for the Dutch Lions.

    Dayton started the scoring after just 37 second as Eli Garner angled a pass into Schoenfeld in the penalty area, and the Columbus Crew loanee created space before shooting low for his first of the game. The City Islanders would gain the lead with a pair of goals in five minutes from Bauque, who first scored Harrisburg first goal on City Island this season in the 19th minute before he curled home a free kick from just outside the penalty area four minutes later to give the City Islanders a 2-1 halftime lead. 

    Harrisburg would add to its lead two minutes into the second half when a free kick by Luan Silva was partially punched clear, but found Neil Shaffer, who fired home a first-time shot to make it 3-1. The Dutch Lions would get back into the game, however, as Garner cut inside from the right across the top of the penalty area and shot home in the 65th minute. Schoenfeld tied the game four minutes later as he tapped home from close range after a low cross from the right by Sebastian Thuriere.

    The City Islanders would claim all three points with less than 10 minutes to go, as the eventual game-winner arrived in the 83rd minute when substitute Jimmy McLaughlin crossed in to Langley, who shot home for a 4-3 lead. Langley then scored again in stoppage time as the Dutch Lions pushed up for an equalizer, as the Hawaiian sent a shot from his own half over Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams' head and into the open net after Williams had pushed forward to clear long. 

    Harrisburg wore white and pink jerseys that will be up for auction on cityislanders.com from Sunday, May 18th at 9 a.m. through Friday, May 23rd at 12:00 p.m. The auction's proceeds will benefit the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. The Islanders' five-goal output more than doubles their season's scoring output (three) prior to this match. Harrisburg will next travel to Towson, Md. to take on the PDL's Baltimore Bohemians in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. That match will begin at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, May 28 at Calvert Hall College High School. Harrisburg will then come home to the Skyline Sports Complex for a Saturday, May 31 showdown with the Richmond Kickers.


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  • 05/18/14--02:25: Republic FC Downs Galaxy II
  • USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento Republic FC took a 2-1 victory against rival the LA Galaxy II in front of a second sellout crowd of 20,231 at Hughes Stadium this season on Saturday night. Republic FC's victory was their second against the their Galaxy II this season as Rodrigo Lopez scored the winning goal with just over 20 minutes to play.

    In one of the more exciting first halves of the season, Republic FC tallied the first goal of the game in the seventh minute. The goal came from Thomas Stewart as he notched his team-leading third goal of the season. Harrison Delbridge sent a lofted through-ball into the attacking third that found Stewart’s chest, who controlled the ball to his right foot and sent a first-time chip from outside the penalty area over Galaxy II keeper Cody Laurendi.

    The excitement did not stop there as the Galaxy II equalized in the 16th minute. After two spectacular saves in succession from Republic FC keeper Jake Gleeson in the ninth minute, Los Dos found a scoring opportunity that defender Kyle Venter took advantage of as he headed a cross from Rafael Garcia into the goal past a fully-extended Gleeson. The two teams shared a few chances in the rest of the half, but the teams went to the break tied 1-1.

    Shortly after the halftime break, Galaxy II midfielder Rafael Garcia fouled Republic FC midfielder Ivan Mirković causing a both sides to exchange unfriendly words. Garcia was sent off in the 51st minute, giving Republic FC a man-advantage for the remainder of the contest.

    Republic FC would capitalize on their advantage in the 67th minute when Galaxy II defenseman Bradley Diallo committed a foul, resulting in a free kick less than a yard outside of the penalty area. Lopez stepped up and curled a right-footed strike around a defenseive wall and past a diving attempt from Laurendi.  The free kick was Lopez’s second goal for Republic FC.

    The Galaxy II had a few exciting chances in the waning moments of the match, including a corner kick four minutes into stoppage time, but were unable to find an equalizer.

    “Important win for us,” said Republic FC Head Coach Preki. “We always try to play the same way, the right way, creating opportunities and opening spaces so we can be effective. We always believe if we stick to our plan, more often than not it will work in our favor.”

    “Everything we work for is a fun product, and that product is ultimately a win,” said Stewart “Everything is tough and hard but it is all for a purpose.”

    With the win, Republic FC moves to 4-3-1 in USL PRO play.  The club will travel to Rochester to take on the Rhinos on Friday, May 23.  The match is scheduled to kickoff at 4:35 p.m. (PT) at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York.


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    W-League Game Report

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Lady Eagles took a 1-0 victory against the Atlanta Silverbacks at Queens Sports Complex on Saturday night in the opening game of the 2014 W-League season for both sides. Leah Fortune scored the only goal of the game as the Lady Eagles got their season off to a winning start.

    The first half started out with the Lady Eagles dominating possession, and they outshot the Silverbacks 12-1 in the opening 45 minutes. There were a number of quality chances for forwards Mackey Wingo and Summer Lanter, but the team couldn't capitalize as Silverbacks goalkeeper Brie Haynes stood tall in goal.

    Charlotte finally got on the board in the 33rd minute as Fortune, who is in her third season with the club, took the rebound off a deflection and hammered her finish past Haynes to put the Lady Eagles up 1-0. Valorie O'Brien came close to putting the hosts up 2-0 soon after, but her 35-yard strike rang off the left post and bounced clear of the goal, leaving the score 1-0 at halftime.

    The second half was similar to the first, as the Lady Eagles spent the majority of the half in the Silverbacks end with a strong offensive presence. The Lady Eagles continued to have a number of good opportunities but couldn't add to their lead as Haynes finished the game with 10 saves. The Silverbacks struggled to threaten much offensively, and Lady Eagles goalkeeper Robyn Jones was called upon to make just one save.

    Jade Montgomery and Fortune combined well late in the game in the Atlanta penalty area. Fortune's cross found Montgomery, who flicked the ball back across the face of goal but no Lady Eagle was at the back post to capitalize on the opportunity, but the missed opportunity would prove academic as Charlotte cruised to victory. 

    The Lady Eagles next travel to Dayton on Sunday, May 25th to start a three-game road stand before returning home on June 13th to face the Dutch Lions at 5:30 p.m.


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

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Dutch Lions will open the 2014 W-League season at 1 p.m. on Sunday when they welcome the Carolina Elite Cobras to DOC Stadium in West Carrollton.

    In 2013 the Dutch Lions won the Southeastern Conference regular season championship but lost in the conference tournament against the Cobras. Since the 2013 season the Dutch Lions have undergone several changes including the loss of forward Emilie Fillion, who signed a professional contract with Dutch Premier League club FC Twente. 

    Dayton also saw a major change in the coaching staff as the successful coaching duo of Sid van Druenen and Catherine Gordon transitioned to the men’s professional team. New Head Coach Gavin McLeod has signed some talented players, including 2013 W-league MVP/Golden Boot Shan Jones and U.S. U20 WNT star Rose Lavelle (when she returns from the U20 World Cup preparation camp on May 19).

    "We are excited to get our 2014 W-League campaign started against the Carolina Elite Cobras," McLeod said. "Assistant Coach Ian Richardson and myself have worked hard on trying to assemble a squad to continue the success of last season's Lady Lions and we are very happy with the group that we have brought in.

    "The opening game of the season is hard for every team in the league because you are bringing together players from different countries, colleges and styles of play, so there is always a period of adjustment. It will be imperative that we come together as soon as possible and play as a team and not as 11 individuals, but I have been encouraged by what I have seen in training. With the talent we have at our disposal I am very optimistic about what we might be able to achieve this season.”


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    W-League Game Report

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    BOYDS, Md. – With a perfect backdrop of sunny skies and cool temperatures, the Washington Spirit Reserves opened their season in resounding fashion, as they notched a 4-1 victory against the Braddock Road Stars Elite on Saturday afternoon at the Maryland SoccerPlex.  Second-half Washington substitute Ashley Cuba scored twice on feeds from teammate Niomi Serrano within a five-minute span, punctuating an earlier two-goal lead.

    The home-side Reserves wasted little time attacking at the onset of the match, forcing Braddock Road keeper Jessie Ferrari to come up big with a sprawling save in the opening minute on a Morgan Reuther shot. The Spirit Reserves continued to pressure the Stars Elite's backline and were rewarded for their efforts in the 16th minute. A corner kick opportunity saw defender Sam Lofton curl her cross inside the near post for the unassisted 1-0 Washington lead. 

    As the half wore on, Braddock Road settled in and began to build offensive momentum of their own. In the 30th minute, a pass through the middle found split the defense and played Stars Elite forward Jackie Stengel in on the Washington goal. Her driven shot was tipped just wide from an athletic extension courtesy of Spirit Reserves goalkeeper Adelaide Gay.

    A nifty combination of passes from a trio of Spirit Reserve veterans doubled Washington's lead in the 34th minute. Midfielder Katie Yensen collected a pass deep in the right corner of the Braddock Road penalty area and slotted a quick touch to teammate Ashley Herndon. As defenders converged on Herndon, she one-touched the Yensen feed across the goalmouth where midfielder Kara Wilson buried the shot into the net.

    Both sides created scoring opportunities throughout the second half, but Washington’s substitutes created most of the fireworks. In the 77th minute, Serrano found herself pushing forward up the right side before touching a floating pass to an open Cuba up top. Cuba cut quickly left and placed her shot untouched past keeper Ferrari for the three-goal lead.

    The Serrano/Cuba combination paid off again in the 82nd minute when a low cross sent the rookie forward in alone on the Braddock Road goal. This time Cuba drove a rocketed shot home for the 4-0 advantage.

    Refusing to go quietly, Braddock Road scored their first goal in franchise history in the waning moments of the match. Midfielder Marisa Park intercepted a Washington pass and blasted a low shot to the left corner, beating Gay to get the visiting Stars on the scoreboard in the 89th minute.

    Moments later, the referee’s whistle solidified the 4-1 final scoreline, earning the Spirit Reserves their first points of the season.

    The Spirit Reserves continue their W-League season on the road for a pair of away matches in two weeks. On Saturday, May 31st, Washington faces the New Jersey Wildcats before following up the next day against the New York Magic. The Spirit Reserves return home June 7th for a rematch against the Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be held at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Va.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

    TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders Reserves took a 1-0 victory against the Orange County Blues FC on Sunday afternoon at Starfire Sports Complex. Cam Weaver scored the only goal of the game as the Sounders Reserves had the better of much of the game, and handed the Blues their seventh loss of the season.

    Photo courtesy Chris Coulter/SoundersPhotos.comThe Sounders Reserves had the first big opportunity in the 10th minute as a deep cross from the right by Sean Okoli found Tristan Bowen at the back post, and he fired off the post before the Blues cleared. Six minutes later, a knock-down by Weaver found Chad Barrett, but his shot was saved by Patrick McLain.

    McLain was called into action again in the 26th minute as he saved Weaver’s header. The Blues weren’t able to create much offensively in the first half, as their efforts to counter-attack were caught offside, and the Sounders were able to deny any scoring opportunities.

    Seattle remained on top in the second half, and Barrett almost broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute as his header was well-saved by McLain. Ten minutes later, the Sounders Reserves would find the breakthrough as Okoli found Weaver near the penalty spot, and Weaver finished well for a 1-0 lead.

    The Blues had a big opportunity to find an equalizer in the 81st minute as a good low cross from the left came to Gabrield Gonzalez, but his shot was cleared off the line by Aaron Kovar to keep Seattle ahead. Okoli almost doubled the Sounders Reserves’ lead three minutes later as he rung a shot off the crossbar, but Seattle would see out the remaining minutes to take victory.

    Orange County returns home on May 31 to host Arizona United SC, the first of two consecutive games at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC-Irvine.


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    PDL Game Report

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

    EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane United FC earned a 1-1 draw with the Washington Crossfire at the Willamalane Center on Sunday afternoon in a game that, while not especially ill-tempered, saw the home team finish with only nine players on the pitch and the striker Khiry Shelton pulling emergency duty at center back.

    The Crossfire’s Matthew Poplawski opened the scoring after only five minutes, but Washington could never add a second goal and, already down to 10 men after the dismissal of Brenden Anderson for two yellow cards, Lane United got their equalizer in the 60th minute from the penalty spot after Baldo Ribes was fouled.

    The match started with the Crossfire immediately applying pressure into the Lane United defensive third. A long throw-in launched in the vicinity of the penalty spot ended up with Poplawsky prodding a low shot that the Lane United goalkeeper Matt Bersano barely saved, but Poplawsky followed up his own rebound and tapped into an empty net.

    For the next five minutes, the Crossfire kept pressing and created what no one knew at the time would be their best chance of the rest of the game, when Anderson had to race back and clear a trickling shot from Poplawski off the line. After that point, Lane United’s midfielders and forwards started to feel the game out and maintain possession, as they sprang several attacks that just lacked a final ball.

    Shelton and Conner Bevans both had strong low shots on their preferred right foot that forced saves out of the Washington goalkeeper Tyler Visten. The Crossfire defenders must have been concerned at the amount of space behind the midfield that Lane United’s forwards, plus Mikhail Doholis, the most attack-minded midfielder, had to run at them.

    The game could have changed — but in reality, barely did — when Anderson was sent off in the 40th minute for his second yellow card after he brought down Poplawski who was racing in behind the back line. United coach John Galas reshuffled his defense, took off the forward Chico Sastre and replaced him with a fullback, Tyler Stelter, and the status quo was effectively upheld. United still had space to attack, and Martin Lukaschik hit the post on a half-volley 30 seconds before halftime.

    Ten minutes into the second half, Lukaschik was subbed out and on came Baldo Ribes; five minutes later, he won a penalty by shifting the ball past Andy Thoma, who swung out his boot and clipped the Valencian’s ankle. Shelton stroked the ball low into the right corner and the score was tied.

    Chances came and went for both teams after that point, and it seemed likely that more goals were coming. Galas dropped Shelton back into the midfield and introduced Rolando Velazquez as a lone striker, and the former Timbers Academy standout created several chances almost completely on his own. 

    United would be reduced to nine men with two minutes to play when Julio Alarcon was sent off after retaliating to a strong challenge in United's end. He was then shoved to the ground by Poplawski, who escaped with only a yellow. It was a sour end to a match that had been full of open, attacking play throughout and seemed to deserve more goals than the 1-1 scoreline suggests.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

    CHICAGO – A 90th-minute penalty kick save by Richmond Kickers goalkeeper, Joe Willis, preserved a shutout and a scoreless draw against the Chicago Fire Reserves on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. The draw continued the Kickers six-game undefeated streak in USL PRO as they moved within two points of the LA Galaxy II for second place in the league standings. 

    Photo courtesy Chicago Fire CommunicationsHaving weathered a barrage of shots on the day, Willis was called up one last time when the Fire were awarded a penalty kick in the final minute of regulation. Midfielder Gonzalo Segares received the ball at the top of the penalty area and dropped it off to an onrushing Giuseppe Gentile, who battled Kickers defender Alex Lee for control near the endline before drawing the foul. Orr Barouch stepped up to the spot but could not convert the game-winner as Willis read his left-footed shot to the right post to make the biggest save of the day.

    Earlier in the USL PRO/MLS inter-league game, the Kickers nearly claimed a second-minute advantage when they drew a free kick in Chicago territory. Defender Sascha Goerres whipped in an outswinging free kick, connecting with Luke Vercollone at the penalty spot but his diving header scraped the left post as it went just wide.

    Later, the Fire nearly capitalized on a free kick of their own when Barouch teed up a set piece 20 yards out. Bending the ball around the defensive wall, he stood by idly as Kickers defender William Yomby nodded it over the endline. On the counter attack, Kickers midfielder Shay Spitz raced down the right wing and sliced a cross into the box, searching for Jason Yeisley at the penalty spot but a Fire defender intercepted with a last-second header just past the near post.

    With halftime looming, Fire midfielder Victor Pineda lofted a corner kick over a swarming box to the far side where Barouch tracked it down on the right edge of the 18. He served in a dangerous cross but could not elude Yomby who cleared the ball from harm’s way. The Kickers responded again on the counter when Hugh Roberts collected the ball in the midfield and played it wide to Samuel Asante who switched it back to Vercollone. The Kickers veteran midfielder played a square pass to George Davis IV deep on the left flank but Yeisley could not redirect the perfect cross as it skimmed just wide.

    Five minutes into the second half, former Kickers midfielder Matt Watson laid the ball off to Barouch at the top of the box. Under heavy pressure, he split his defenders, turned and fired a rocket through the box but Willis was on his line and denied the attempt.

    Willis was tested again in the 69th minute when the Fire played a short corner that pinged around the crowded box before darting out to Chris Ritter 20 yards out. The Fire defender sliced a low driven ball through traffic but the Kickers 6-foot-5 goalkeeper dropped low to scoop it up.

    The Kickers nearly broke the deadlock in the 86th minute when they gained possession inside their own half. Latching onto the loss ball, Yomby swept through the midfield and slotted a leading ball to forward Michael Seaton. He rounded his mark into the box but Chicago goalkeeper Alec Kann’s kick save denied his point blank blast to finish the match deadlocked.

    The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium this Saturday, May 24 to host the Charlotte Eagles. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. and tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.


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    Carolina Elite Cobras News Release - www.carolinaelitecobras.com

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

    DAYTON, Ohio – The Carolina Elite Cobras kicked off their 2014 season with a win after defeating the Dayton Dutch Lions 4-0 in Dayton, Ohio on Sunday. 

    "I am extremely proud of our team today," Cobras Head Coach Sandy Burris said. "It took us 20 minutes or so to settle down but we finally started finding our rhythm about 30 minutes in and from that point we never looked back."

    The Cobras started their goal-scoring campaign in the 45th minute when defender Blakely Mattern chipped a ball behind the Dutch Lion defensive line, where forward India Trotter finished it past Dutch Lion goalkeeper Ayanna Parker.

    This late first half goal took the Cobras into halftime ahead of the Dutch Lions, 1-0.

    "The midfield really controlled most of the game by playing to feet and keeping possession of the ball," Burris said. "This allowed us to attack from the flanks and through the middle."

    The Cobras kicked it up a notch in the second half scoring their second goal of the match in the 76th minute after rookie defender, Kailey Mattison, led the attacking play from the Cobras back line sending the ball up to midfielder Savannah McCaskill, who beat her defender and put in the back of the net, giving the Cobras a 2-0 lead.

    "The back line consisted of four new players and a new goalkeeper, who all only had a few training sessions, and they were all outstanding," Burris said.

    The Cobras continued to add to the win just three minutes later when Mattern and Trotter connected again in the 79th minute and Trotter was able to beat her defender and put it in the side netting to make it 3-0 to the Cobras.

    "Overall I was very happy," Burris said. "India, Savannah, and Steph [DeVita] did exactly what I expected them to do and I think they were a handful for the Dayton defense."

    The Cobras' win was sealed in the 90th minute when midfielder Cassandra Wilcox gathered a mishit ball and found an open Allie Johns at the top of the box. Johns' goal left the final score 4-0 to the Cobras when the final whistle blew just minutes later, giving new Cobras goalkeeper, Jamie Walker, her first shutout of the season.

    "Dayton is a good team and they were missing a handful of players, so I expect for them to rebound quickly when we see them again later on in the season," Burris said.

    The Cobras will face the Atlanta Silverbacks next in Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 30. The Dutch Lions will host the Charlotte Lady Eagles (1-0-0) at home on Sunday, May 25 at 4:30 p.m. and again on Monday, May 26  at 1 p.m.


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    PDL Game Report

    Friday, May 30, 2014

    UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – The Sounders FC U-23 earned their first victory of the 2014 PDL season as they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 3-0 on Friday night at Curtis High School. An energetic and sharp attack from the Sounders U-23 coupled with gutsy play at the back led to the Sounders success in taking down their Cascadia rival. Sounders U-23 forward Moh Dumbuya was often too much for the Whitecaps U-23 defenders to handle as he collected a goal and two assists.

    Photo courtesy SoundersPhotos.comThe Sounders U-23 opened the match on the attack and nearly scored in just the second minute. Christopher Wehan picked up a loose ball in the middle of the field on the Whitecaps U-23 side of the field and charged unmarked toward the top of the penalty area. Still with plenty of time, Wehan sent a left-footed shot toward the far post that had the Whitecaps goalkeeper beat, but it struck the post and was cleared from danger.

    The Sounders U-23 broke through in the 18th minute with the match’s first goal scored by Dumbuya. The determined Dumbuya battled his defender for the ball as it bounded toward the Whitecaps’ goal. Beating the defender with his speed and grit, Dumbuya finished the opportunity as he calmly put the Sounders U-23 up 1-0.

    After nearly 20 minutes of mostly Sounders U-23 possession, the men in green were on the board again for a second goal. In the 36th minute the Sounders defenders cleared away a Whitecaps corner kick where Dumbuya took possession near midfield. Holding the ball up and his marker off nicely, he waited for midfielder Luis Esteves to make his run. Dumbuya turned and played a perfectly weighted ball through to Esteves who had everyone beat. Esteves broke toward goal and beat the Whitecaps goalkeeper to put the Sounders up 2-0.

    The Whitecaps U-23 nearly got one back in the 43rd minute, but Sounders U-23 defender Austin Dunker had other plans in mind. Whitecaps U-23 forward Niall Cousens received the ball deep in the Sounders box with his back to the goal. With a swift turn Cousens sent the ball toward the back post past the diving Sounders U-23 goalkeeper Jefferson Caldwell, who was off his line slightly to try and cut down the angle. The ball appeared to be headed to the back of the net when Dunker came flying in to clear the would-be-goal from the line as he tumbled into the back of the goal. The ball again settled to Cousens who had a second bite at the apple, but his shot hit into the side netting and the danger was averted.

    The Sounders U-23 opened the second half eager to continue their assault on the Whitecaps goal. In the 54th minute Dumbuya was at it again deep in the Whitecaps U-23 defensive third. With the ball just outside the left side of the penalty area, Dumbuya sent a crisp ball across the face of the goal where he had forward Nikolaj Hansen picked out perfectly. Hansen drove the ball decisively to the back of the net with a diving header to increase the margin to 3-0.

    For the remainder of the match the two sides battled for opportunities to score, with the Sounders U-23 defenders remaining stingy at the back. Sounders U-23 goalkeeper Caldwell was rarely tested and the match came to a close with the Sounders on top 3-0.

    Next up for the Sounders U-23 is a road meeting with their other Cascadia rival, the Portland Timbers U-23s on Sunday. The Sounders will look to continue their goal-scoring tear against a Timbers U-23 side that has allowed six goals in their first four matches. For more information visit SoundersU23.com.


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    Atlanta Silverbacks News Release - www.atlantasilverbacks.com/wleague

    Friday, May 30, 2014

    ATLANTA, Ga. – The Atlanta Silverbacks scored a goal late but were unable to pull find an equalizer as they fell to the Carolina Elite Cobras 2-1 on a rainy Friday night at Silverbacks Park.

    The Silverbacks (0-3-0) and the Cobras (2-0-0) both got off to slow starts and were not able to get much going in the first half. Carolina was able to find the scoreboard first late in the 45th minute when forward Savannah McCaskill dribbled through the Silverbacks’ defense to find the upper 90, sending the Cobras into the locker room up 1-0 at halftime.

    The second goal for Carolina came in the 83rd minute when forward Stephanie Devita put her right foot out to knock home a cross in from India Trotter.

    The Silverbacks gave the fans something to cheer for in the 90th minute when Rebecca Van Horn put home Atlanta’s lone goal of the night off an assist from Hannah Huizenga.

    Atlanta had many chances in the second half, but the Cobras’ defense caught the Silverbacks offsides four times and goalkeeper Elizabeth Hull made four great saves to keep the scoring margin in Carolina’s favor.

    The Silverbacks will be back in action at Silverbacks Park next Friday night, June 6, against the Dayton Dutch Lions. Tickets are still on sale on the women’s page of atlantasilverbacksfc.com. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

     


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  • 05/30/14--13:34: Orlando To Host Sao Paulo
  • Orlando City SC News Release -- www.orlandocitysoccer.com

    Friday, May 30, 2014

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando City SC announced today it will host another high-profile international friendly this year, with the Lions set to face Brazilian super-club Sao Paulo F.C. on Friday, June 20 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Tickets are currently available for purchase via Ticketmaster. The kick-off time will be announced at a later date.

    “These types of matches are fantastic opportunities for both our players and fans to gauge our club against some of the top competition in the world,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “As a club, we have always embraced playing top international teams – and I expect the match versus Sao Paulo to be another great moment in our club’s short history.”

    Founded in 1935, Sao Paulo F.C. is one of the most successful teams in South America, having won numerous championships, including 21 state titles, six Brasileirao titles, and three Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious international club football competition in South America.

    Along with its success domestically, Sao Paulo has also done incredibly well on the international stage, winning three Club World Cups: two Intercontinental Cups, after defeating FC Barcelona and AC Milan, and one FIFA Club World Cup title after a 1-0 win over Liverpool in 2005.

    Playing in the highest league in Brazil, Sao Paulo is one of five clubs to have never been relegated from the Brasileirao. Known as ‘Tricolor’ for the prominent three stripes on its jersey, Sao Paulo has also produced numerous Brazilian National Team players over the years, including Kaka and Rai and Leonardo, who both played for in clubs in Europe and were members of Brazil's FIFA World Cup-winning squad in 1994.

    Barring injury, star players Luis Fabiano, Maicon and Pato are anticipated to be available for selection when SPFC travels to Orlando in June.

    For Orlando City, the friendly will prove to be another viable test to gauge how well the Lions can match up against some of the premier players in the game as the club continues to prepare for entry into Major League Soccer in 2015. In the past three years, Orlando has gone toe-to-toe with some of the biggest sides in the world, such as Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Stoke City, Fluminense and AS Roma.

    For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com.


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