Articles on this Page
- 06/24/14--09:43: _Rhinos Learn Potent...
- 06/24/14--15:01: _Wallace Returns To ...
- 06/24/14--11:58: _Rhinos Head To Face...
- 06/24/14--18:50: _Lopez Named Player ...
- 06/25/14--14:03: _Montgomery Named Pl...
- 06/25/14--11:22: _Yedlin's Path Reach...
- 06/25/14--21:45: _Rhinos' Open Cup Ru...
- 06/26/14--09:23: _Strong 2nd Half Giv...
- 06/26/14--16:01: _Pride Ready for Pla...
- 06/26/14--16:03: _Rams Ready For Big ...
- 06/26/14--15:48: _Blues Travel to San...
- 06/26/14--15:59: _Pioneers' Junior Ta...
- 06/27/14--01:56: _Republic FC Edges P...
- 06/27/14--08:08: _Rovers, Chaos Finis...
- 06/27/14--09:06: _Blues Shut Down San...
- 06/27/14--12:56: _Cincinnati Takes Ai...
- 06/27/14--14:31: _Sounders Hope to Ke...
- 06/27/14--22:17: _Battery, Kickers Po...
- 06/27/14--14:25: _Williamson Glad Of ...
- 06/27/14--22:40: _Harrisburg Grabs La...
- 06/24/14--09:43: Rhinos Learn Potential Quarterfinal Foe
- 06/24/14--15:01: Wallace Returns To Victoria With Rangers
- 06/24/14--11:58: Rhinos Head To Face Revolution
- 06/24/14--18:50: Lopez Named Player of the Week
- 06/25/14--14:03: Montgomery Named Player of the Week
- 06/25/14--11:22: Yedlin's Path Reaches World Cup
- 06/25/14--21:45: Rhinos' Open Cup Run Concludes
- 06/26/14--09:23: Strong 2nd Half Gives Washington Win
- 06/26/14--16:01: Pride Ready for Playoff Push
- 06/26/14--16:03: Rams Ready For Big Stage At Gillette
- 06/26/14--15:48: Blues Travel to Santa Clarita
- 06/26/14--15:59: Pioneers' Junior Takes Weekly Honor
- 06/27/14--01:56: Republic FC Edges Past Arizona
- 06/27/14--08:08: Rovers, Chaos Finish All Square
- 06/27/14--09:06: Blues Shut Down Santa Clarita
- 06/27/14--12:56: Cincinnati Takes Aim At First
- 06/27/14--14:31: Sounders Hope to Keep Streak Alive
- 06/27/14--22:17: Battery, Kickers Postponed
- 06/27/14--14:25: Williamson Glad Of Experience With Fury
- 06/27/14--22:40: Harrisburg Grabs Late Draw With Eagles
USL PRO News Release
Monday, June 23, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – The Rochester Rhinos will face either the Philadelphia Union or New York Cosmos in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup should they advance against the New England Revolution on Wednesday night in the tournament’s fifth round.
The Rhinos, who upset defending Open Cup champions D.C. United 1-0 in their fourth-round contest last week, are the lone remaining USL PRO side in the tournament and face the Revolution on Wednesday night at Brown University’s Stevenson Field at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The quarterfinals of the 101st edition of the Open Cup are set to be played on July 8-9. Should the Rhinos advance, they would become the eighth different USL side to reach the quarterfinals since the 2010. Rochester remains the lone non-Major League Soccer side to have claimed the Open Cup in the modern era after winning the 1999 championship.
The full potential quarterfinal schedule can be found below.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO)/New England Revolution (MLS) winner at Philadelphia Union (MLS), PPL Park, 7 p.m. ET
Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO)/New England Revolution (MLS) winner at New York Cosmos (NASL), Belson Stadium, 7 p.m. ET
Columbus Crew (MLS)/Chicago Fire (MLS) winner at Colorado Rapids (MLS), Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, 7 p.m. MT
Columbus Crew (MLS)/Chicago Fire (MLS) winner at Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL), Atlanta Silverbacks Park, 7:30 p.m. ET
FC Dallas (MLS)/Houston Dynamo (MLS) winner at LA Galaxy (MLS), StubHub Center, 7:30 p.m. PT
FC Dallas (MLS)/Houston Dynamo (MLS) winner at Carolina RailHawks (NASL), WakeMed Sports Park, 7:30 p.m. ET
Portland Timbers (MLS)/Sporting Kansas City (MLS) winner at Seattle Sounders (MLS), Starfire Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers (MLS)/Sporting Kansas City (MLS) winner at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), Buck Shaw Stadium, 7:30 p.m. PT
Victoria Highlanders Feature -- www.highlandersfc.ca
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
VICTORIA, B.C. – Victoria’s last major sporting event happened to feature a face at the centre of the action that will return this July to Centennial Stadium to face Victoria Highlanders FC. Rangers FC left back and co-captain Lee Wallace was just 19 years old back during his first visit to Victoria for the 2007 U-20 World Cup and has since established himself as a core component for the Light Blues in Scotland.
Wallace returns after playing for Scotland during the U-20 World Cup, where his side was defeated 2-0 by Nigeria in front of 10,500 fans at Royal Athletic Park. Wallace was a starter in the match for his side.
A six-foot-one defender from Edinburgh, Wallace joined Rangers in 2011 after spending seven years with Heart of Midlothian. Wallace was Ally McCoist's second signing of the summer. Over the course of his career, the 26-year-old has scored 11 goals in league play with Hearts and Rangers. In 2009, Wallace was named Hearts' Player of the Year.
Since joining the Light Blues, Wallace has become one of the team's undisputed leaders, being named co-captain in the 2010-11 season and posting eight goals through 88 appearances since joining the team. In 2013-14, Wallace and Rangers became the first Rangers side in 115 years to go a full season undefeated, advancing to the Scottish Professional Football League’s Scottish Championship from the League 1 division.
Rangers and Highlanders will face off in the 2014 Glasgow Rangers International Friendly, July 21 at University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m., tickets are on sale and are available through Select Your Tickets at 250-220-7777. Additional information can be found through www.highlandersfc.ca.
Rochester Rhinos News Release -- www.rhinossoccer.com
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rhinos will visit Brown University's Stevenson Field on Wednesday night at 7:35 p.m. for a Fifth Round match in the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against the New England Revolution. The winner of Wednesday night's Round of 16 match will advance to meet the winner of the Philadelphia Union – NY Cosmos tie in the Quarterfinals.
The Rhinos advanced to the Fifth Round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 upset victory against D.C. United (MLS) at Sahlen's Stadium on June 17th. Rochester striker Colin Rolfe scored the only goal of the match off an assist from Michael Garzi in the 27th minute. Rhinos rookie goalkeeper John McCarthy made four saves to keep his first clean sheet of the tournament, and his seventh shutout in all competitions. Rochester has defeated eight MLS opponents in the U.S. Open Cup, but the victory over D.C. United was only their second victory over an MLS opponent since the Rhinos won the tournament in 1999. The Rhinos are the last remaining USL PRO team in the 2014 U.S. Open Cup.
“It's a great accomplishment for us to be the last USL [PRO] team still playing in the Open Cup.” Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley said. “We're working hard to get better every day in training and in every match that we are playing. We've been getting results in league play, but we have been looking for a signature victory against a big team. We did that when we beat D.C.”
This will be the sixth meeting between the Rhinos and Revolution in U.S. Open Cup play. New England has won three of the first five meetings, and advanced on penalties when the two sides played to a scoreless draw in 2006. Rochester has only advanced once when playing New England when they beat the Revs 3-1 on penalties after playing to a 1:1 draw in 2004.
The 2014 New England defeated the Richmond Kickers 3-2 in the Fourth Round to advance to their Fifth Round meeting with Rochester. New England was in the middle of the MLS World Cup break which allowed them to use a combination of starters and depth players in their victory,. Stephen McCarthy, Steve Neumann, and Patrick Mullins scored first half goals for the Revs. New England returns to league play on Saturday at the Philadelphia Union.
The Rhinos have taken four points from two league matches since their Fourth Round match with D.C. United. Rochester defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 2-0 at Sahlen's Stadium this past Friday. Levi Houapeu opened the scoring off an assist from Minh Vu in the 54th minute. J.C. Banks doubled the home side's advantage when he converted a penalty in the 61st minute. New England Revs loanee Luis Soffner made two saves to keep his second clean sheet of the season. On Sunday night the Rhinos traveled to Oklahoma City and played to a scoreless draw with OKC Energy FC. McCarthy made two saves for his sixth shutout of the season in league play.
The Rhinos next home match is on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. ET against the Charlotte Eagles. Tickets for any match on the Rhinos home schedule will be available by by calling (585)454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Rochester Rhinos season tickets, flex packages and group ticket sales are also currently available.
USL PRO News Release
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week 14 of the 2014 season on Tuesday as Sacramento Republic FC midfielder Rodrigo Lopez was named Player of the Week. Lopez scored twice and added an assist as Republic FC took a 4-3 victory against the Colorado Rapids Reserves in front of a sold-out crowd of 8,000 fans as Sacramento opened its new home at Bonney Field Friday night.
Republic FC fell behind against the Rapids Reserves, but Lopez had a hand in all three goals as his side took a 3-1 lead at the halftime break. The captain first flighted an excellent cross that was headed home by Justin Braun, and then scored two goals in four minutes, the second a wonderful curling effort that found the top-right corner of the net.
Lopez was joined in the Team of the Week midfield by Charlotte’s Jorge Herrera, who was influential in the Eagles’ 3-1 victory against the Charleston Battery on Saturday night. Herrera provided the assist on Fred Sekyere’s first-half goal before netting Charlotte’s third himself as the Eagles claimed victory in the league for the first time since May 8.
Orlando City’s Adama Mbengue was also named after his goal proved to be the game-winner in the Lions’ 2-0 win against the Dayton Dutch Lions on Sunday, while the Wilmington Hammerheads’ Will Heaney was selected after his thunderous volley in stoppage time earned his side a point in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire Reserves.
Orange County Blues goalkeeper Mohammad Mohammadi led the defensive selections as he conceded no goals in his final professional appearance, a victory against the Chivas USA Reserves. The backline was led by Arizona United’s Scott Morrison, whose excellent free kick earned his side a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy II, while Orlando’s Luke Boden provided the assist on Mbengue’s goal against Dayton. Rochester’s Pat McMahon and Oklahoma City’s Gareth Evans also earned selection after solid performances in the meeting between their two sides on Sunday night.
Richmond’s Matt Delicâte earned selection after he recorded his 10th goal of the season in the Kickers’ 3-1 victory against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Delicâte recently recorded his 100th professional goal in last week’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup clash against the New England Revolution, and is tied for the league-lead alongside Kevin Molino this season. Orange County’s Allan Russell rounded out the team as his goal and assist led the Blues to a 2-1 victory against the Chivas USA Reserves
The USL PRO season continues on Thursday night as Sacramento Republic FC welcomes Arizona United SC to Bonney Stadium at 10:30 p.m. ET. Other highlights of the weekend schedule include a Friday-night clash between longtime rivals the Charleston Battery and Richmond Kickers at Blackbaud Stadium, and a top-of-the-table battle between league leaders Orlando City and the third-placed LA Galaxy II on Saturday night at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Every game of the 2014 USL PRO season can be seen live on YouTube, with live updates also available via Twitter (@USLPRO), Facebook and Google+. Stay up to date with news, previews and match reports from throughout the league via USLPROSoccer.com.
USL PRO Team of the Week
Honorable Mention – Arizona: Evan Newton, Matt Kassel; Charleston: Maikel Chang; Charlotte: Fred Sekyere, Juan Guzman; Dayton: Sebastian Thuriere; Harrisburg: Cristhian Hernandez, Jimmy McLaughlin; LA Galaxy II: Travis Bowen, Oscar Sorto; Oklahoma City: Peabo Doue; Orange County: Chris Cortez, Kwame Watson-Siriboe; Orlando: Miguel Gallardo, Kevin Molino; Pittsburgh: Jose Angulo, Danny Earls; Richmond: Luke Vercollone, Henry Kalungi; Rochester: Levi Houapeu, Luis Soffner; Sacramento: Mike Fucito, Justin Braun; Wilmington: Jordan Hamilton, Sammy Ochoa.
W-League News Release
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – The W-League announced its Team of the Week for week 7 of the 2014 season today, naming Charlotte Lady Eagles forward Jade Montgomery as Player of the Week. Montgomery, a senior at Wingate University, tallied a goal and an assist in an important 2-2 draw at the Gulf Coast Texans Friday night, and followed up Saturday with the game-winner at the Atlanta Silverbacks as the Lady Eagles moved to the top of the Southeastern Conference standings.
She is joined at forward by a pair of players who recorded four goals apiece last week, the LA Blues’ Katie Stengel and Kennya Cordner of the Seattle Sounders Women, who scored the game-winner against Santa Clarita. Rounding out the forwards is Laval’s Melissa Busque, a Canadian Women’s National Team member who recorded a goal and an assist is a 4-2 comeback win against Quebec.
London’s Miranda Horn gets the nod in goal in a week with several deserving candidates. Horn led the Gryphons to their first points of the season, stopping 21 of 23 shots faced in draws against K-W United and Quebec. The defensive selections in front of Horn is led by Meghan Cox of the Washington Spirit Reserves, who scored on a leaping header and limited Braddock Road to five shots in a 3-1 win. She is joined by Genessee Daughetee, who led the Bay Area Breeze to a pair of wins, and Toronto’s Melanie Pickert, who was a key to the Lady Lynx’s 1-1 draw against Ottawa.
LA Blues midfielder Mele French continued her strong season, tallying two goals and three assists last week to move to the top of the W-League scoring charts. Always-dangerous Nickolette Driesse tallied a pair of goals in North Jersey’s 2-2 draw against Long Island, while Marisa Park earned selection with two goals and an assist, including one of each as Braddock Road claimed its first W-League victory, 2-1 vs. New York.
A total of 18 games are scheduled this week in the W-League, including several with strong playoff implications. A No. 2 vs. No. 4 battle in the Western Conference sees Bay Area visit the Colorado Pride Thursday night, while the top two teams in the Southeastern Conference meet Saturday as Carolina Elite visits Charlotte. The Northeastern Conference will also see a No. 1 vs. No. 2 clash when the Washington Spirit Reserves travel to New Jersey to face the Wildcats Sunday.
Select W-League games can be seen live on YouTube, with live updates also available via Twitter (@USLWLEAGUE) and Facebook. Stay up to date with news, previews and match reports from throughout the league via WLEAGUEsoccer.com.
Honorable Mention – Bay Area - Samantha Brand, Anisa Guajardo; Braddock Road – Allie Wisner; Carolina Elite - Chelsea Drennan, Rose Hull; Charlotte – Robyn Jones; Gulf Coast – Florence Dadson; LA – Shawna Gordon; Laval - Amandine Pierre Louis; Long Island – Sue Alber-Weber; New Jersey - Laylla da Cruz; New York - Samantha Depken; North Jersey - Katherine Courter; Ottawa - Anne Steinlage; Quebec - Catherine Levasseur; Seattle - Sharis Lachappelle; Toronto - Carissa Miller; Washington – Satara Murray.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
When he entered Sunday’s game against Portugal for the U.S. Men’s National Team, DeAndre Yedlin made another small piece of history.
The first MLS Homegrown Player signing to be selected for a World Cup squad became the first MLS Homegrown Player to appear in the tournament. As he watched, Sounders FC U-23 coach Darren Sawatzky couldn’t help but feel great happiness for a player he’s seen grow for many, many years.
“He was one of those kids you could tell was special,” Sawatzky said by phone this week. “I’ve been around him since he was 9, 10 years old, and he’s a kid that goes at it with a voracious intensity. I don’t think I can ever remember DeAndre cruising in a training session. He’s a guy that plays every single competition to win, and it’s served him well.”
Prior to his work with the Sounders U-23 and Academy, Sawatzky ran the Olympic Development Program in Washington. Yedlin featured in the program and even earned selection to the Super Y League’s National Select Team in 2007 and 2008, before he joined the Sounders Academy.
There, he earned consecutive berths on the USSF Development Academy Select Team, and a call-up to the U.S. U18 National Team, before joining the University of Akron and renowned coach Caleb Porter.
“I think Caleb was a professional coach coaching in the college game,” Sawatzky said. “You can see that he coaches a little bit differently; he’s a bit more modern. It’s actually exciting and great to see coaches coaching that way, because it’s more modern, and I think DeAndre benefited from that because Caleb chose to play in a way where it was more attractive soccer. He definitely wanted results, but he wanted it in the right style, and he definitely benefited from that.”
In addition to his experience at Akron, Yedlin returned to the Pacific Northwest to be part of the Sounders U-23’s inaugural season in 2012. The summer was a rousing success, as Yedlin was not only able to train alongside the Sounders first team regularly, but also played every minute of every game to earn All-PDL honors and lead the side to a Western Conference Championship.
That summer certainly had a lot of highlights, but Sawatzky points to one game in particular that showed Yedlin’s competitiveness and ability at its peak.
“We were playing at Kitsap, and I wouldn’t say they’re a rival of ours, but it’s always a really good game,” Sawatzky said. “They had beaten us twice, and we went to Kitsap for the third game, and with about 10 minutes to go here’s my right back with this big poufy hair who comes flying down the right-hand side and jumps over the top of the center back and heads the ball in the back of the net to win the game 2-1. So not only was he doing the job on the defensive side, he basically took that game over and said we’re going to win it, and that set us off on our run to the semifinals that year.”
After a second standout season at Akron, the Sounders had seen enough and made Yedlin the first Homegrown signing in club history. From there his ascent has continued at the same pace, with a standout rookie season that led to a winter call-up from Jürgen Klinsmann, and eventually a history-making berth on this summer’s World Cup roster.
“We say this to kids all the time in the developmental pyramid that we work in, you’ve got to seize the day, you’ve got to seize the opportunity,” Sawatzky said. “DeAndre got into the preseason as the first homegrown, and took advantage of a veteran player getting an injury, and from that day on he never gave up his spot.
“More than anything, I would say he’s an opportunist, he’s been given an opportunity in a pretty competitive professional team, and he took advantage of it, and it’s now opened the doors for other players, because up until that point the Sounders really hadn’t gone down the whole homegrown route. DeAndre opened the door.”
Two more Sounders U-23 and Academy alumni have followed Yedlin this season, with Sean Okoli and Aaron Kovar both signing HGP contracts this past offseason. There may be more in the pipeline, too, as the Sounders continue to welcome not only former Academy players, but also some of the top college players that are spending the summer with the PDL side, to train with the club’s first team.
“Even kids that haven’t come out of our Academy system that are good players, we have players up here this summer from places like North Carolina and Elon and around the country; those players have had the opportunity to go up and train with the first team this summer,” Sawatzky said. “The whole idea is to develop players. The most exciting thing about the Sounders U-23 team is that we’ve had 16 players sign pro contracts out of that team in the last few years. We always want to win games, but our real job is to develop players for the next level, so we’re very proud of that.”
And at this point, no player brings more pride to the work Sawatzky and the Sounders organization have done than Yedlin.
“We take great pride in the fact that he was a Sounders Academy player, we take great pride that he was a kid from Washington state, and we take great pride that he was a part of the Sounders U-23s,” Sawatztky said. “He’s a true homegrown kid, and what he’s done on the world stage, it’s one of those things where a lot of coaches talk about ‘my player, my player’, but he’s not my player, and he’s not anybody else’s, we were just lucky enough to be part of his development, and now we sit back and enjoy the ride and watch him play.”
Rochester Rhinos News Release -- www.rhinossoccer.com
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rhinos were eliminated from the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by their Major League Soccer affiliates, the New England Revolution, 2-1 in the Fifth Round at Stevenson Field on the campus of Brown University on Wednesday night. Saër Sène and Kelyn Rowe scored first-half goals for the Revolution before Colin Rolfe got a goal back for the visitors in the second half. It was the fifth time that New England eliminated the Rhinos from the U.S. Open Cup in six all-time meetings.
The Revolution opened the scoring in the 11th minute when midfielder Lee Nguyen settled a loose ball 25 yards out from the Rhinos' goal. Nguyen moved right to left across the top of the penalty area before using a combination play with Sène to create time and space. As Nguyen slowed play down, Sène slipped into the penalty area, and Nguyen picked him out with a perfectly-weighted pass to his left. Sène received the ball on the left side of the Rochester penalty area, took a touch, and hit his shot past Rhinos goalkeeper John McCarthy into the lower-right corner of the net.
New England doubled its advantage in the 33rd minute. Central midfielder Steve Neumann played the ball wide to Nguyen on the left flank, and he took a couple of touches in space before playing an early ball into the Rhinos' penalty area from 30 yards out. Nguyen perfectly placed his service between the six-yard area and the penalty spot where it found Kelyn Rowe, who shot, only for McCarthy to make a spectacular reflex save from point blank range. Rowe kept his composure, however, and walked the rebound into the Rhinos' empty net for his sixth career U.S. Open Cup goal.
The Rhinos got a goal back in the 55th minute when attacking midfielder Jonny Mendoza tried to cross a ball into the box from the left flank after a well-worked move by the visitors. The ball popped up on Mendoza as he attempted to cross it, but he kept his composure and volleyed the ball into the box. His impromptu service found Rolfe on the penalty spot, and he dove and met Mendoza's cross with a spectacular header that glanced into the upper-right corner of the net. It was Rolfe's second goal in as many matches against an MLS opponent, and his third goal in the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The assist was Mendoza's second in the 2014 tournament.
Rochester Rhinos center back Babacar Diallo was sent off for serious foul play in the 89th minute leaving the USL PRO side to try to find the equalizer with only 10 men during the last minute of the match and stoppage time, but their efforts came up short as the Revolution moved on to face the Philadelphia Union in the quarterfinals.
The Rhinos next home match is this Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against the Charlotte Eagles. Tickets for any match on the Rhinos home schedule will be available by by calling (585)454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Rochester Rhinos season tickets, flex packages and group ticket sales are also currently available.
Braddock Road Stars Elite News Release - www.bryc95elite.com
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
FAIRFAX, Va. – The Washington Spirit Reserves continued their winning ways on Wednesday evening, defeating the Braddock Road Stars Elite 3-0. With the win, the Spirit Reserves remained unbeaten (7-0-2) and Braddock Road dropped to 1-5-1 this season.
Washington seemed to be in control early, keeping possession and creating chances in the first 10 minutes. However, Braddock Road settled in and nearly scored in the 18th minute when Kahla Seymour’s driven cross just missed Allie Wisner. The rest of the first half saw both teams get forward and create shots on goal, but neither side could find the back of the net.
Braddock Road’s best opportunity came early in the second half when Wisner was played in behind the Washington defense and had the keeper to beat, but Adelade Gay made a great diving save to keep the scoreline level. Six minutes later, after two Washington substitutions, Ashley Herndon broke the tie with a fine strike from just outside the 18.
The Spirit Reserves did not relent after breaking through, and Herndon added to her tally by netting another goal in the 72nd minute. Already ahead 2-0, the Spirit Reserves had a chance to take a commanding lead when Andi Sullivan earned a penalty in the 78th minute. However, Braddock Road keeper Jessie Ferrari denied Lina Granados’s attempt from the penalty spot.
Two Washington substitutes ensured three points for the Spirit Reserves in the 80th minute when Katie Yensen found an open Melissa Downey who calmly finished.
The Spirit Reserves hope to continue their success when they host the Long Island Rough Riders (1-2-4) on Friday evening. The Stars Elite will look to rebound when they play the Rough Riders the following night, June 28 at 7 p.m. at Samuel J. Coffey Stadium.
Colorado Pride News Release - www.pridewleague.com
Thursday, June 26, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado Pride, Colorado Springs' W-League team, will host San Francisco side Bay Area on Thursday 7 p.m. MT at Colorado College’s Washburn Field. The Pride, who are fourth in the Western Conference with 13 points from seven matches, are looking forward to a run of five games during the next three weeks in a push to make the playoffs.
Head Coach Daniel Clitnovici is bullish on his team’s chances.
“Four of our five remaining games are at home in the Springs," he said. "We enjoy amazing support there; this is a tough competition and there are no easy games so we will take one game at a time and see where we end up.”
Among the team’s standout performers is two-time W-League Team of the Week selection and Australian senior international Chloe Logarzo. Logarzo, who has been sidelined with an injury, returns to the action this week. Clitnovici is looking forward to having her back.
“Chloe will hopefully be available for the Bay Area Breeze match," Clitnovici said. "She is a good, young player who can impact games; we don’t want to rush her back too soon. We are fortunate enough to have a deep roster and have players who haven’t played much step in and do a very good job, so if we don’t have Chloe back I’m sure we will have someone else step in and make a statement."
Logarzo will be joined in attack by one of the W-League's assist leaders in Sarah Schweiss, as well as Mallory Weber, who is among the league’s leading goal scorers.
On Saturday the Pride play their second home match in three days as they host Santa Clarita Blue Heat. The Pride will celebrate Military Appreciation Night that evening in advance of the July 4th holiday.
General Manager Sian Hudson, from Wales originally, is looking forward to the opportunity to show the local military community how much it means to the team and the entire community.
“The U.S. is my adopted home, and has been for 13 years," Hudson said. "The men and women of the U.S. military are heroes for me and for everyone. All of us at Colorado Pride are excited to just say ‘thank you’ to these brave members of the military - I really hope everyone will come to the game and express the thanks of a very grateful community.”
Special discounted ticket prices for members of the military and their families will be available. Tickets for this Thursday’s match are $8 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and younger, and can be purchased by calling 719.597.6700, or at the gate.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
The Real Boston Rams get the opportunity to play on the big stage this Saturday as they host the GPS Portland Phoenix at Gillette Stadium in their penultimate home game of the 2014 PDL season.
The game, set to kick off at 12 p.m. ET, is a continuation of the strengthening partnership between the club and its MLS partner, the New England Revolution, who take on the Philadelphia Union later that day at the same stadium. Now in their second season, the Rams have made big strides on and off the field this year.
“I think the players are very excited about it, and I know the staff is,” Rams General Manager John Barata said by phone this week. “To give the kids an opportunity to play in front of all of the MLS coaching staff, who’ll be there to watch them play, it’s always been a very good relationship, and at this point the game will just be the icing on the cake.”
The Rams have already matched their win total of their inaugural season eight games into this campaign, but what has been even more noticeable is the increased numbers of former Revolution Academy players who are competing for the side this season. Barata said that six players have spent time training with the Revolution’s first team, including one who would be training for the remainder of the summer with the side, as potential new homegrown signings look to make their case to join players such as Diego Fagundez and Scott Caldwell on the club’s MLS squad.
The growing relationship between MLS and USL, particularly in the professional ranks, was one of the stimuli for the establishment of the Rams. With the growth of the game in the Northeast, Barata and the Rams ownership group saw an opportunity to provide the same type of outlet that clubs such as Reading United have in offering young players a chance to remain part of a club’s development pyramid.
“We were able to identify a very important tipping point for soccer here in the Northeast, and when we saw USL’s push for affiliation with MLS for [USL PRO], we really made a big jump and tried to meet with the Revolution immediately about becoming their PDL partner,” Barata said. “I think those two things combined allow us to have a pretty healthy marriage with the Revs at this moment, because it was something they were looking for – they had just completed [an affiliation with Rochester to become] their USL PRO [partner] for the reserve squad – and I think it opened the door to let them offer Homegrown Players from their academy to be able to play close to home as well.”
It has also offered the chance to compete in a very strong Northeast Division. The resurgence of the Seacoast United Phantoms and Western Mass Pioneers, combined with the addition of the Montreal Impact U23 and a breakout season for CFC Azul, has brought exciting action and a very different look to the division standings than in the past two seasons.
“The competition in the Northeast is excellent,” Barata said. “One of the challenges we’re always going to face due to our goals is we’re always going to have a younger side, we have a little less experience in terms of playing PDL, but also younger players in terms of the maturation process with our guys because they are a younger group, just because of what our goals are.
“With that being said, we actually play very attractive soccer and we’re playing teams that put us in an environment that allow us to really train these guys at a high level.”
Another step in that maturation process will take place this Saturday, as former Revolution Academy players such as Fabio Machado (four goals) take the field at their parent club’s home for the first time.
It will also mark another milestone for a club that has pushed forward strongly to provide an important platform for player development alongside its fellow clubs in the PDL’s Northeast Division.
“I think we’re heading in the right direction,” Barata said. “We’re not perfect, by any means, and we have a lot to learn still, but I think we’re really trying to do it well, and it’s been fun being charged with keeping this all together, but we’re really doing it as a group here.”
LA Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com
Thursday, June 26, 2014
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The LA Blues (8-0-0) will continue their four-game road swing Thursday as they visit the Santa Clarita Blue Heat (3-4-0) at 5:30 p.m. PT at The Master's College. The game will be the first meeting between the Southern California teams this season.
The Blues traveled to Colorado last week to take on the Rush and the Storm, and returned home with all six points. In the first game against the Rush, Katie Stengel scored the only goal of the first half in the third minute. Thirteen minutes into the second half the Rush's Pia Rijsdijk tied the game with was the first goal scored on the Blues this season, but Mele French scored the game-winner in the 70th minute before Stengel added another to secure the win.
Two days later the Blues took on the Storm in a match that was cut short due to poor weather conditions. Shawna Gordon opened the scoring in the second minute of the game, and five minutes later French made it 2-0 on a penalty kick. Stengel stretched the lead to 3-0 in the 21st minute, but the Storm got one of their own four minutes later. Stengel made it 4-1 with her second goal of the day in the 27th minute, and Gordon finished off with her second goal in the 37th minute to make it 5-1 before the match was called off during halftime.
The Blue Heat are coming off a loss against the Seattle Sounders Women in Seattle. After taking the lead in the 28th minute with a goal from Kasandra Massey, the Sounders rallied and won the game 2-1 thanks to goals from Elyse Wyatt and Kennya Cordner.
As always, fans can follow the action in tonight's match on twitter by following @LABluesSC and at facebook.com/LABluesSC.
PDL News Release
Thursday, June 26, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL announced its Team of the Week for the eighth week of the 2014 season on Thursday, with Western Mass Pioneers forward Alencar Junior named Player of the Week. The PDL’s leading scorer earned Player of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks as his four-goal game led the Pioneers to a 4-2 victory against the Real Boston Rams on Wednesday, June 18.
Junior struck twice in the opening 15 minutes against the Rams, and after Real Boston pulled level midway through the first half he completed his hat trick five minutes before the halftime break. Junior then added a fourth with 12 minutes to go to put the game away. The victory, and the Pioneers’ subsequent win against the Montreal Impact U-23, kept Western Mass undefeated this season and in a strong position to reach the PDL Playoffs at the midway point of the campaign.
Fellow Northeast Division standout Anthony Grant joined Junior on the Team of the Week’s forward line, as the Seacoast United Phantoms striker had a first-half hat trick to key a 4-0 win against the Westchester Flames. Michigan’s Zach Steinberger also earned selection as his two goals moved Michigan top of the Great Lakes Division with a 2-1 win against FC London.
Baltimore’s Austin Martz and Carolina’s Marco Sunol also scored two goals apiece as their sides took important victories to lead the four midfield selections. Martz helped lift the Bohemians past Long Island 3-1, while Sunol was vital in the Dynamo’s 3-1 win against Southern West Virginia. Ocala’s Lewis Hilton also earned selection as he led the Stampede back to the top of the Southeast Division standings with a 3-0 win against Orlando City U23, and San Jose’s Luis Martinez had two goals and an assist in the Earthquakes U-23’s 5-0 drubbing of the LA Misioneros.
Thunder Bay’s Nolan Intermoia led the defensive selections as he scored in both of the Chill’s shutout victories during the weekend. He is joined by Clement Simonin of the Sounders FC U-23s, who had an assist and was strong defensively in their victory against Lane United, and Long Island’s Thomas Wharf, who had a standout game as the Rough Riders handed Reading United its first loss of the season. River City’s Dalyan Hawes earned the goalkeeper spot as he recorded 11 saves to help the Rovers defeat the West Virginia Chaos 2-1 on the road.
The PDL season continues this weekend with 35 games on the schedule between Friday and Sunday. The weekend’s action includes a battle between the top two teams in the South Atlantic Division on Friday night as the division-leading West Virginia Chaos visit the Cincinnati Dutch Lions. Saturday sees a big Mid South Division clash as the Austin Aztex host the Laredo Heat, while Sunday brings a big Mid Atlantic Division rivalry game as Reading United hosts the Jersey Express.
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
Recorded 11 saves as the Rovers defeat West Virginia
A goal in each of the Chill’s shutout wins against Winnipeg
Had an assist, solid at the back, in win against Lane United
Helped contain Reading’s attack in Rough Riders’ victory
Pair of goals led Dynamo past King’s Warriors
Scored twice, added assists in Earthquakes U-23 victory
Two goals led Bohemians to victory against Long Island
Goal and assist earned Stampede win, first in Southeast
First-half hat trick led Phantoms to important victory
Hot streak continued with four-goal game against Rams
Both goals for Bucks as they defeated FC London
Honorable Mention – Austin: Chuy Cortes, Tony Rocha; Baltimore: Kingsley Onwuka, Andrew Harris; Carolina: Jordan McCrary, Mamadee Nyepon; CFC Azul: Ryan Kinne, James Doig; Des Moines: Nico Wright; Houston: Emmanuel Frias, Rimario Gordon; IMG Bradenton: Raul Gonzalez; Lane United: Matt Bersano, Martin Lukaschik; Laredo: Salvador Luna, Irving Villanueva; Long Island: Joseph Holland, Stephen Roche; Kitsap: Miguel Gonzalez, Jesus Sanchez; K-W United: Darrin MacLeod; Michigan: Adam Grinwis, Brandon Beresford; Midland-Odessa: Tucker Hume, Walker Hume; Ocala: Paco Craig, Ilija Ilic; Ocean City: Eric Klenofsky, Shawn McLaws; Orange County: William Reygoza, Kebe Mamado; Pittsburgh: Arkangelo James, Colini Phillips; Reading: Darius Madison; River City: Ace Gonya, Robbie Tarver; San Jose: Nick Cashmere, Daniel Kuczynski; Southern West Virginia: Bryan Ramirez; Thunder Bay: Dominic Roberts, Declan Rodriguez; Toronto: Triston Henry; Vancouver: Cody Cook, Niall Cousens; Victoria: Ian Greedy; West Virginia: Sean Teepen.
USL PRO Game Report
Thursday, June 26, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As both sides played the final 15 minutes down a man, Sacramento Republic FC managed to hold onto a 1-0 lead to capture their first victory against Arizona United SC this season at Bonney Field on Thursday night. Emrah Klimenta scored the only goal as Sacramento won its second consecutive game at its new home.
Reigning USL PRO Player of the Week Rodrigo Lopez helped kick off the scoring for Republic FC. Lopez sent an in-swinging cross into the box off a corner kick in the 13th minute that found Klimenta as he went airborne and sent a header past Arizona goalkeeper Evan Newton into the side netting for the first and only goal of the match. The tally was Klimenta’s first in USL PRO play and second of the season.
Despite only one goal in the half to finish the 45 with a 1-0 lead, Republic FC dominated over Arizona, outshooting their opponents, ten to two.
The early goal from Klimenta turned out to be all Republic FC needed to secure the home victory, but the match produced some excitement in the second half and a starling debut for a Republic FC defender. Alvas Powell made his mark in his first appearance with Republic FC. Playing right back, Powell attacked relentlessly down the right flank and sent many crosses into the box. His impact was felt greatest in the 50th minute when Republic FC keeper Jake Gleeson was caught off his line and Powell had to use his chest to block a shot off the line and out of bounds and subsequently had the clearance header on the ensuing corner kick.
With a cumulative 13 fouls in the first half, it was evident the match would only become rougher in the second half. With both teams fighting for possession, the officials warned several players that further unnecessary tackles would only result in cards for both squads.
The officials’ warnings provide true in the 58th minute, when Arizona United SC defender Widner Saint-Cyr received his second yellow card of the match and was sent off. However, Republic FC played for less than 20 minutes with a man-advantage, as Chad Bartlomé was given a straight red card in the 74th minute, six minutes after being brought on as a sub.
Despite the 20 minutes in the half of playing up a man, Republic FC lost some of their confidence in the second half. Despite dominating possession and attack in the first 45 minutes, Republic FC was even with Arizona in shots in the second half.
The biggest moment of concern for Republic FC occurred in the 89th minute when Republic FC keeper Jake Gleeson and an attacking player collided inside the box. While the collision was unintentional, Gleeson remained on the ground for several minutes. After careful evaluation Gleeson was able to walk off the field, making way for backup Dominik Jakubek to close out the match. After a last ditch effort from Arizona United SC, the referee blew the final whistle on the 1-0 victory for Republic FC.
Emrah Klimenta spoke about his first USL PRO goal after the match,“It was about time. I have been getting a lot of chances in the box and it felt great to be a game-winner.
“At the end of the day we’re happy with taking the 3 points, but we needed to be sharper,” said Republic FC Head Coach Preki after the match. “Now we need to rest to have enough energy for OKC.”
PDL Game Report
Thursday, June 26, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The River City Rovers came from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with the West Virginia Chaos on Thursday night at Woehrle Field. The result was the third straight fixture in which the Rovers have come from a goal down, all coming against the team from West Virginia.
The Rovers were led by forward Dylan Terry, who scored the equalizer in the 49th minute, as well as by PDL Team of the Week goalkeeper Dalyan Hawes, who once again turned in a solid performance protecting the Rovers’ net.
West Virginia took the lead early in the ninth minute on a diving header from Dion Peters. The goal was deserved, after the Chaos enjoyed the larger share of possession for the first 30 minutes. They were thwarted on two chances by Hawes, who saved a 10-yard attempt with a dive to the upper left corner as well as a low save to the right side of the goal during the first part of the half.
The Rovers would get even after the break through their ever-present scorer Terry. The Evansville University forward scored his fifth goal of the season after he took the ball into the penalty area and placed a solid side-footed shot into the top-right corner.
The home side wasn’t out of danger despite the comeback. In the 89th minute, the Rovers were whistled for a handball in the penalty area, providing the Chaos an opportunity to win the game. Chaos keeper Sean Teppen came all the way up to the field to take the kick but blasted it off the post and wide, preserving the draw for the home team.
The Rovers moved to 2-3-3 on the year, good for nine points and fifth place in the division. The Chaos extended their first place lead, with 18 points and a 5-3-3 record.
River City will have a quick return to Woehrle with a Saturday fixture against SC United Bantams. The Rovers will look to avenge a 5-2 defeat in Columbia earlier this year. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the gate.
LA Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com
Thursday, June 26, 2014
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - The LA Blues (9-0-0) remained undefeated after shutting out the Santa Clarita Blue Heat 5-0 Thursday evening at The Master's College. Katie Stengel scored a brace while Shawna Gordon, Jamie Bell, and Mele French added a goal each. The win extended LA's lead atop the W-League's Western Conference to eight points.
The Blues struggled to keep possession of the ball early in the game, but only 10 minutes passed before they began to connect passes. Once they settled in the Blues created an attack that led to Gordon scoring the opening goal in the 11th minute with a shot from inside the penalty area.
The Blues had a chance at their second goal in the 16th minute when they earned a corner kick. Stengel was at the end of Sarah Killion's service to the back post but her header went high and wide of the goal. A few minutes later Stengel was at it again receiving the ball with her back to goal. She was able to turn and shoot but it was saved by Santa Clarita's Katherine Koury.
In the 29th minute, Killion played a ball over the top for Cheyna Williams, who took off running with one defender chasing her, cut past the last defender and took a shot that went just over the bar.
The next shot on goal for the Blues would go in following a throw-in. Stengel received the ball and worked her way around defenders to put the ball past Koury and double the Blues' lead at 2-0.
Gordon then helped create the play that lead to the third goal of the evening, battling a defender for space and playing the ball up for Killion, who then spotted French making a diagonal run into the edge if the penalty area. With a perfectly weighted pass, French was able to get her shot off and extend the lead to 3-0.
Just two minutes later the Blues made it 4-0 when Kandace Love played a ball into the penalty area where Stengel then sent it into the goal.
The Blue Heat had their first significant chance to score three minutes into the second half when possession was lost by the Blues. Kasandra Massey dribbled the ball up the field before shooting on goal, but halftime substitute Aubrey Bledsoe was there to catch the ball at eye level.
French was at it again in the 54th minute when she was able to get around Koury, but her shot from a tight angle hit the outside netting of the goal.
The next legitimate goal-scoring opportunity came in 70th minute when Santa Clarita earned a free kick from the right side of the field about 20 yards out. The service was headed just over the bar. The Blue Heat then thought they had scored in the 79th minute, but the assistant referee had raised his flag to signal an offside play.
The final goal came with seven minutes to go after a great series of passes from the Blues just outside the box. After they knocked it around three times, Gordon finally found Jamie Bell open inside the area, and Bell was able to put the ball away for the 5-0 victory.
The Blues will play again in a week as they travel to Seattle to take on the Sounders Women at 7:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, July 3. Getting three points out of the match will be critical for the first-place Blues, who have three more games to play.
Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC News Release -- www.cincinnatidutchlionsfc.com
Thursday, June 26, 2014
CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC have a chance to take first place in the PDL's South Atlantic Division when they host the West Virginia Chaos on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET at Xavier University Soccer Complex in Cincinnati. The Lions are still without a loss in their inaugural 2014 season.
The Dutch Lions (4-0-3) currently sit two points behind West Virginia (5-3-2) in the division standings, but have played three fewer games. Cincinnati took victory in the first meeting between the two teams on May 30 as Jeff McClure scored a pair of goals. A win on Friday night would put the Dutch Lions firmly in control of the division as they begin a busy second half of the season.
“It is very important we get back up to speed after a weekend off," Dutch Lions coach Terry Nicholl said. "We won our last two games 2-0 showing good defensive integrity, and better possession and finishing. Our goalkeeper has been excellent all season, and I expect him to regain the form he was showing. We played a 4-4-2 (which is defensively strong and organized) but encouraging our wingers to get forward and turn it into a more offensive 4-2-4. We are looking forward to catching up some of the games in hand and hopefully reach for the top of the table the coming weeks.”
“Over the past weeks we had some good practices," Captain Rowin van Zaanen added. "We are well prepared to be the leader in the competition. We work very hard and winning games gives us a lot of confidence. In the last games we have shown that we have a good team.
"The match against West Virginia Chaos is a tough and an important match because we can be the leader of the competition.”
After the game the Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC stay home to play SC United Bantams already on Sunday June 29 at 7:00pm. You can order tickets for both games at www.cdlfc.com.
Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com
Friday, June 27, 2014
TUKWILA, Wash. – Currently on a four-game win streak, the Sounders Women (5-1-0) will meet the Colorado Rush (2-3-2) for the first time this season at 7 p.m. PT on Friday at Starfire Stadium.
Colorado has played seven matches thus far in the W-League regular season and is ranked sixth in the Western Conference. The Sounders improved their standing from fourth to third after earning a 2-1 victory on June 22 against the Santa Clarita Blue Heat at Starfire Stadium.
Two standout players to watch from Colorado are forward Danica Evans from the University of Portland, and Pia Rijsdijk from the University of Alabama. Evans is the leading scorer with five goals and one assist. Rijsdijk follows with three goals this season.
The Rush fell 1-0 against the Bay Area Breeze in their last game, Tuesday night.
The Sounders have played their past three matches at home - totaling 12 goals. Seattle has not lost on home soil this season. Last Sunday, the Sounders faced Santa Clarita Blue Heat, and after a shaky first-half performance Seattle trailed 1-0 before storming back for a 2-1 victory. Elise Wyatt drilled a ball to the top-left corner in the 57th minute, and Kennya Cordner curved a left-footed bullet to the far post in the 78th minute.
The leading scorer for the Sounders is Cordner, from Young Harris College, with five goals, aided by her hat-trick against the Colorado Storm last Friday. Emma Follis and Sharis Lachappelle have three goals apiece, and Cordner, Follis, and Lachappelle account for 11 of the Sounders’ 19 goals this season.
Currently, the Sounders have played three fewer matches than the first-place LA Blues and four fewer matches than the second-place Bay Area Breeze in the Western Conference. Based on points per game, the Sounders rank second in the West with 2.5 ppg. The LA Blues average 3.0 points per game, the Bay Area Breeze 1.9 ppg, and the Colorado Pride 2.0 ppg.
In the 2014 W-League playoffs the first and second seeds will compete against each other, with he winner advancing to the W-League Championship Final Four in Bradenton, Florida.
Charleston Battery News Release -- www.charlestonbattery.com
Friday, June 27, 2014
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Persistent lightning near Blackbaud Stadium forced the postponement of Friday night's match between the Charleston Battery and the Richmond Kickers in the 18th minute of play.
The USL PRO match will be rescheduled for a yet-to-be determined date, and will resume at the point at which it was stopped.
Fans who purchased tickets for tonight’s match may redeem their tickets in advance for any other regular season match to be played this season.
The Battery will next face the Harrisburg City Islanders in a USL PRO regular season game on Saturday, July 5, at Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, Pa, at 6 p.m. ET.
Tickets to Battery matches are available starting at $10. To purchase tickets or for more information, please call 843-971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Two years later, it’s still surprising to the Western New York Flash’s Kathryn Williamson that she was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 W-League Championships.
“I felt like I played as hard as I possibly could, but I didn’t take a PK, PKs aren’t really my thing, and I think there were a lot of girls on our team that could have been named MVP,” Williamson said by phone recently. “I kinda feel like it was more of a team award for us because I think everyone gave it all they had, and that’s why we were able to win.”
While Williamson wasn’t one of those who took a penalty kick to earn the Ottawa Fury their first W-League Championship, the defensive stalwart was a key figure throughout the weekend. She first helped stifle a D.C. United Women attack that included current NWSL standouts Lianne Sanderson and Joanna Lohman in a 1-0 semifinal victory, and then kept the Fury in the championship after they fell behind early to the Pali Blues to allow Ottawa to rally to victory in a shootout.
Her performances in both games not only drew praise from observers, but also instilled a confidence in Williamson before she returned to the University of Florida for her senior season.
“The final four teams that were involved were quality teams, so it was a really good experience for me to get ready for that level of soccer and just play those couple of games,” she said. “We were able to win it all, which was awesome, because I know that was something that [Fury coach] Dom [Oliveri] reiterated to us that he really wanted us to get to that championship game and take it.”
Oliveri had reached out to Williamson prior to the season to see if she might be available to play for the Fury. The experience was a new one for the Texan, who hadn’t previously played in the W-League, but the opportunity to play for one of the top teams in the league was one that she couldn’t turn down.
“I would usually go spend a couple of months at home, and then come back to Florida to train with them,” Williamson said. “Dom, the coach at Ottawa, called me and was wondering if I would be interested, and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me, and I was really thankful that I took that opportunity.”
Williamson appeared in every game for the Fury and led the team in minutes. Her stability at the back allowed the Fury to finish tied for second in the league in goals conceded, and earned her All-Central Conference honors, which provided a nice boost before her final season with the Gators.
“For me, it gave me some confidence going into the season,” Williamson said. “I think that it kept me fit and mentally ready to go, so I was really glad that I took that opportunity because it prepared me just going straight into the Florida season.”
Williamson has gone from strength to strength since then, as she led the Portland Thorns in minutes played as a rookie before a trade to the Flash in April this year. Williamson has settled in well with her new teammates and is looking forward to the challenge of helping the Flash make a move in the second half of the season into a playoff position.
“It’s definitely going to be a battle, but starting the second half of our season the majority of our games are going to be at home, which is a great thing for us. Not travelling and playing at our home field should give us a slight advantage, so that will be nice to not have to play the majority of our games away as we did in the first half of the season.”
And although she has moved on from the Fury, Williamson believes that while there is a learning curve for those who get the chance to compete in the NWSL, the opportunity to compete and train that the W-League offers is certainly a means to earn that opportunity for those in the league this summer.
“It definitely is a jump to the NWSL; I don’t think there’s a team where you can say, ‘oh, that’s a weaker team,’ you can’t really take a day off here,” Williamson said, “but I think the more you can train yourself to prepare every game, regardless of who you’re playing against, I think that will help you get to the next level no matter what you’re doing. As long as they’re working hard and are focused on doing what they need to do, they can make it to the next level.”
USL PRO Game Report
Friday, June 27, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders got a 90th-minute goal from Coady Andrews to force a 1-1 draw with the Charlotte Eagles at Skyline Sports Complex on Friday night. Fred Sekyere had given the Eagles the lead just before the hour-mark, but Andrews' header from a corner kick earned his side a point as honors ended even.
The first half was relatively low on action; the Eagles took only three shots and the Islanders had two. Charlotte came out strongly, and had a goal ruled out for a handball in the second minute. Ben Newnam came close to breaking the deadlock just before the halftime break for the Eagles, but his shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounce out to safety.
At the other end, Andrews and Jimmy McLaughlin went close for the City Islanders before the break. Andrews had an opportunity off a corner in the seventh minute, but the ball skimmed just over the crossbar. Ten minutes later, Mclaughlin found some breathing room through a patch of Charlotte defenders and let one fire. The shot looked good, just out of reach of Eagles' keeper, Alec Kann, but the ball met the right post and rebounded to safety to leave the game scoreless.
The Eagles grabbed the lead in the 57th minute after some nice movement from midfielder Fred Sekyere. The move began with Wells Thompson, who angled a cross from the left side to Sekyere, whose first-time finish found the back of the net and gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The Eagles almost doubled their lead through Thompson in the 59th minute, but Noble came up big with the save to keep it a one-goal game.
The City Islanders pushed forward to try and score late in the second half, and they would be rewarded just before the final whistle, Harrisburg midfielder Danny DiPrima set himself up for a corner kick, and his delivery to the center of the penalty area found Andrews, whose downward header bounced high into the top-right corner of the net past a defender on the goal line for the equalizer.
Harrisburg remains at home next Saturday as it hosts the Charleston Battery on Saturday, July 5 at 7 p.m. ET. The Eagles will move on to face the Rochester Rhinos on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. ET as they complete their weekend road trip before returning home to the Queens Sports Complex to face the Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday, July 5 at 8 p.m. ET