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News from USL

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    Ottawa Fury FC News Release -- www.ottawafuryfc.com

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Fury FC clinched the W-League Central Conference's regular-season title, and the No.1 seed in the Central Conference playoffs, as they took a 3-0 victory against the rival Laval Comets on Saturday afternoon at the Algonquin College Soccer Complex. The victory mathematically ended K-W United's late-season bid for first. It marks the 10th divisional crown in the past 11 seasons after Laval ended their run at a 10th straight title last season.

    The Fury opened the scoring just 84 seconds in as Bryanna McCarthy's cross from the left flank was flicked on by Kristy Moore to Teresa Rynier. Rynier closed in on Laval goalkeeper Genevieve Richard before slotting home calmly to stun the visitors mere moments after the opening kickoff.

    Just five minutes later, Arin Gilliland was sprung in alone on a breakaway for Ottawa, but the play was negated by the assistant referee's flag which was raised for offside.  It was a theme that would present itself often, with Ottawa's counterattack stifled by no less than 15 offside calls over the course of the afternoon.

    The Fury continued to press, and were rewarded in the ninth minute. It was Rynier yet again who found the ball at her feet on the edge of the Laval penalty area, and it was Rynier yet again with a near-perfect finish as she drove a shot just inside the left post out of the reach of Richard to double Ottawa's lead.

    Ottawa continued to press, with Christabel Oduro and Gilliland both enjoying multiple chances in the first half. Had it not been for Richard's exemplary goalkeeping for Laval, the Fury could have led by more than two at halftime as they dominated the opening frame.

    The second half saw Laval come out of their shell offensively, as the Comets began to press Ottawa. Laval substitute Larissa Federowich saw her 53rd-minute chance miss high, as she skied a loose ball over the Fury net from just outside the Ottawa penalty area. The chances were beginning to come for the Comets, as they took over the midfield in the second half.

    Laval continued to push relentlessly, with Ottawa's only respite coming on counters which were, by and large, nullified by offside calls. Ottawa dodged another bullet in the 65th minute, when a Laval cross bounced around inside the penalty area before rolling harmlessly wide.

    Ottawa put the game to bed in the 79th minute, after withstanding substantial pressure from Laval. Kristy Moore made a slicing run through the heart of the pitch, before a tackle dispossessed her. Kayla Adamek tapped home the loose ball, and secured the three points, along with the conference regular-season title, for Ottawa.

    "It was a tale of two halves, really," said Ottawa coach Dom Oliveri. "We were excellent, hungry to start the match and it showed; Teresa had two solid finishes, and we led deservingly at halftime. We weren't aggressive enough in the second half, and it showed as Laval pressured us. It's a process for us, and we'll need to keep it going. Continue to build from here, really."

    The three points clinches the Central Conference regular season title for Ottawa, rendering tomorrow's date against Quebec meaningless standings-wise. As such, tomorrow's match against Quebec will serve as an opportunity for Dom Oliveri to showcase the talented depth of his squad.  Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Aaron Schoenfeld had a hat trick to lead the Dayton Dutch Lions FC to a 3-1 victory against the Charlotte Eagles at the Queens Sports Complex on Saturday night. The Columbus Crew loanee scored twice in five minutes late in the second half to lift his side to victory, and take the lead in the race for the USL PRO Golden Boot with his 10th, 11th and 12th goals of the season.

    Dayton struck first in the eighth minute when Schoenfeld took a header and put it in just below the crossbar past Charlotte goalkeeper Alec Kann to give Dayton the lead. The Eagles had a good chance to even the score when Wells Thompson got off a good shot in the 30th minute from the top of the penalty area, but it went just over the crossbar missing the net.

    Just before the halftime break, Charlotte had another chance that fell to Drew Yates, who took a cross and shot toward the top corner of the goal, but it was pushed over the bar by Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams to keep the Dutch Lions ahead.

    Charlotte continued to create opportunities to start the second half, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Eagles almost evened the score when Darren Toby took a header off a cross, but Williams managed to pin it against the post to keep it out of the net. Charlotte's pressure would eventually pay off in the 59th minute, however, as a scramble in the Dayton penalty area ended with Johnny Leathers putting home a finish from close range to give the Eagles an equalizer.

    The Dutch Lions responded strongly to the Eagles' goal, and Schoenfeld put the Lions back ahead in the 76th minute when he got another header into the net from a free kick by Shintaro Harada. Two minutes later Kann was awarded a red card for a tackle on Sebastian Thuriere as he broke in on goal, which resulted in a penalty kick. Brock Duckworth came into the game in the 79th minute to face Schoenfeld from the spot, but the Dutch Lions striker completed his hat trick with a low shot to the left corner. 

    Charlotte tried to get back into the game, and Zak Boggs took a header off a cross by Bilal Duckett and almost brought the gap to one, but Williams again came up huge with a diving save and punched the ball out. The Eagles were not able to come back from the two-goal gap in stoppage time as the Dutch Lions claimed their second win against Charlotte this season.

    The Eagles return home on Monday, July 14th to take on Sacramento Republic FC. Tickets can be purchased at a discounted rate up until the day of the game (midnight) and can also be purchased at the gates for regular price. If you can’t make it to the game make sure to follow the action on twitter with the hashtag #CE93 and watch the game LIVE on www.youtube.com/charlotteeaglessc.


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    Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers return to USL PRO action this Sunday evening when they host Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake Reserves and Food Truck Fest at 5 p.m. ET. Richmond’s iconic food trucks will headline the event with local favorites such as BoDillaz, Gelati Celesti, Mr. Softee, Mosaic, Hungry Turtle, Kona Ice, Carytown Burgers & Fries, Jadeans Barbeque and Opa scheduled to attend. Happy Hour in the Kickers outdoor bar and live music from The Southern Belles begins at 4 p.m. and admission is just $5 before 5 p.m.

    WATCH LIVE | TICKETS

    As a component of the inter-league affiliation between USL PRO and Major League Soccer, the Kickers host Real Salt Lake for the first time in club history. Sunday’s game, which counts in both the official USL PRO and MLS Reserves standings, is one of Real Salt Lake’s nine-game MLS Reserve league schedule.

    Real Salt Lake are 1-0-2 through their first three Reserve League games, most recently battling the Seattle Sounders Reserves to a scoreless draw on May 26. One week prior, they topped the Colorado Rapids Reserves 2-0 behind late goals by Nick Jackson and Olmes Garcia.

    Meanwhile, the Kickers enter Sunday’s match following a 1-1 tie in Wilmington last weekend. After conceding a second-half tally, the Kickers rallied to level the score 10 minutes from regulation when Hugh Roberts posted his first professional goal to preserve the hard-fought point on the road. Roberts was the hero again three days later when he notched his second equalizer in as many games in an international exhibition against the Mexico U21 National Team earlier this week.

    Players to Watch
    Kickers: Defender Conor Shanosky has played in nine games in Richmond during his second season on loan from the Kickers official MLS affiliate, D.C. United. A key contributor during the Kickers 2013 Regular Season Championship run, the 6-foot-4 native of Sterling, Va. made 14 appearances and added two goals last season. Midfielder Samuel Asante has contributed two assists this season, adding a goal during this year’s U.S. Open Cup tournament. The native of Sunyani, Ghana spent the 2013 season with the Charlotte Eagles, making 21 appearances en route to the USL PRO championship match. Rookie Hugh Roberts has become a versatile player, splitting time between the back line and the midfield during his debut season and posting his first professional goal in Wilmington last week. Impressing at the Kickers January 2014 pro combine, the native of Olney, Md. signed his first professional contract this year after making 69 appearances at George Mason University. 

    Real Salt Lake: Goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez is in his third season with Real Salt Lake after signing in 2012 as the club’s third-ever Homegrown Player.  The El Paso, Texas native has yet to feature for the first-team but backstopped to the Reserves to a 2-2-2 record last season and posted shutouts against Colorado and Seattle in May. Defender Abdoulie Mansally made his MLS debut at the age of 18 when he signed with the New England Revolution in 2007 before moving to Real Salt Lake in 2012. Making 14 appearances, including nine starts last season, the Gambia National Team player has made seven appearances with the Real Salt Lake first team this season, producing one assist. Forward Benji Lopez became the fifth player to graduate from the RSL-Arizona Academy when he signed with Real Salt Lake last season. The 19-year-old has made five appearances with the Reserves and notched his first professional goal in the 3-2 win over Vancouver last July.

    Kickers Host English Premier League Side Crystal Palace July 28
    The Richmond Kickers are pleased to host Crystal Palace of the world famous Barclay’s Premier League in an international exhibition at City Stadium on Monday, July 28 at 7 p.m. The historic match marks the first-time ever a team from England’s top flight will appear in Virginia. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.


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    PDL Game Report

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    WINNIPEG, Manitoba – No need to sweat this one out. With five matches left on its schedule, the Des Moines Menace have secured a berth in the PDL Playoffs.

    Extending their winning streak to five matches, the Menace downed WSA Winnipeg 2-0 on Saturday night at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex. The Menace’s 8-1-0 mark – the best start in franchise history – solidifies one of the Heartland Division’s two postseason spots.

    “It’s a mixed blessing. Clearly, we’re delighted to clinch the playoff spot early,” Menace head coach Mike Jeffries said. “It’s important to keep improving and keep re-upping our goals. We want to clinch the division and keep pushing forward and keep improving with every game.”

    A win or a tie in Sunday’s 7 p.m. rematch with WSA Winnipeg (2-6-2) would put the Menace in prime position for capturing the division crown in front of the home crowd. One week from today, Des Moines hosts St. Louis (4-3-3) – the only Heartland Division team still challenging the Menace for the regular-season title.

    Des Moines is riding its longest regular-season winning streak since 2006. The streak continued thanks to second-half goals by Lynn University teammates Javi Lopez and Chris Hellmann.

    Lopez broke the deadlock in the 64th minute when he headed home Hellmann’s corner kick. Hellmann sealed the victory in the final two minutes of regulation. After Winnipeg goalkeeper Josh Partaker denied his penalty-kick attempt, Hellmann followed his shot and scored on the rebound.

    “When you clinch the playoffs, it’s an awesome feeling,” said Hellmann, the current PDL Player of the Week. “Everyone’s focused, and it’s an extra motivation for us, to know we are in the playoffs, and we’re playing for the division title.”

    “We have a group of guys pushing each other real hard every day. Competitively, it helps make the team better,” Jeffries said. “We’ve always tried to go one step at a time. You have to take small steps to reach the bigger goals.”

    In the last five outings, Des Moines have outscored foes 12-3. The Menace backline have collected six PDL shutouts this season, and the team holds a 14-goal differential – tied for fourth-best in the league.

    The Menace can now start planning for the franchise’s 12th playoff appearance – its first in three years.


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    LA Blues News Release -- www.bluessoccerclub.com

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    LOS ANGELES -- The playoff-bound LA Blues (10-0-0, 30 pts.) will play the Santa Clarita Blue Heat (4-7-0, 12 pts.) for the second time this season on Sunday night at Patterson Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT as the Blues look to maintain their perfect season. 

    The first game of the season between the two sides saw the Blues take a 5-0 victory at The Master's College on June 26. After two goals from Katie Stengel, and one each from Shawna Gordon, Jamie Bell, and Mele French, the Blues took three points and added their seventh shutout of the season.

    The Blues are coming off an important victory in Seattle against the Sounders Women. With the win, the Blues locked in top spot in the Western Conference and will host the Western Conference Championship against the conference's second-place finisher at the end of the regular season. The Colorado Pride, Bay Area Breeze, and Sounders Women all remain in contention for the chance to face the Blues for a place at the W-League Championships at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

    Since the Blue Heat hosted the Blues they have played three more contests, going 1-2-0. The Blue Heat faced all three sides from Colorado in recent weeks, and took a 1-0 victory against the Colorado Storm, but fell 4-0 to the Colorado Pride and 6-1 to the Colorado Rush. 

    The Blue Heat are lead by Celina Menissian, who has seven points and three goals, and Natasa Radosavljevic, who has added three goals. 

    Sunday's match provides the Blues with an opportunity to continue their pursuit of the overall W-League Regular Season Championship. The game will start at 7:30 pm PT at Patterson Field. Gates open at 6:30 pm PT. For more information, visit www.bluessoccerclub.com.


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    Sacramento Republic FC News Release -- www.sacrepublicfc.com

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento Republic FC held a halftime lead, but Liga MX side Atlas FC scored two goals in the last 10 minutes to claim a 2-1 victory at a sold-out Bonney Field on Sunday evening. Max Alvarez scored for Sacramento in the club's first of four international exhibitions this summer.

    The first half saw both teams get their fair share of chances on goal.  Early in the match, Republic FC had a cross saved by Atlas FC keeper Miguel Ángel Frage Licona and an Alvarez free kick blocked away. 

    Atlas created its first chance on goal in the 23rd minute. Republic FC keeper Dominik Jakubek saved the first shot of the attack, parried the second shot away and then saved a third shot on the ensuing Atlas corner kick.

    The first goal of the match came in 40th minute when Republic FC striker Chad Bartlomé sent a through ball in the air to a streaking Alvarez, who found space behind the defense and got a one-on-one chance with Licona. Alvarez wrapped a left-footed curling shot past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to give Republic FC a 1-0 lead, which it would carry into halftime.

    Atlas controlled most of the possession in the second half. Its first goal came in the 80th minute off the foot of Sergio Amaury, who finished a far-post cross from Edy Germán Brambila Rosales to equalize. Atlas FC would take the lead four minutes later when Luis Nery Caballero received a through-ball from substitute defender Facundo Erpen and put a shot past a diving Jakubek. 

    “Bad taste in my mouth, I wanted to beat these guys,” said Jakubek. “I just step in when my number is called. I just want to win.“

    Republic FC will host Orange County Blues FC on Monday, July 7. The match was rescheduled after poor air-quality caused the match to be postponed on July 4.  Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. PT at Bonney Field. Tickets from the original July 4 match will be honored at the July 7 match. For more information please visit SacRepublicFC.com. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday. Updates of the match will also be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC and by using #SRFCvOCB.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers and Real Salt Lake Reserves played to a 0-0 draw on Sunday evening at City Stadium. Despite 15 shots, and a number of chances, the Kickers were never able to find the breakthrough as they regained sole possession of second place in the USL PRO standings.

    The Kickers came out guns ablaze with two chances early in the first half. The first came in the fourth minute when Richmond midfielder Shay Spitz intercepted a pass at midfield. Spitz carried the ball to the top of the penalty area before he found George Davis IV on his right. Davis’ shot was struck low and hard and forced RSL Reserves goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez to make a save to his right.

    The second came on a Spitz corner in the seventh minute. The inswinger found the head of defender Conor Shanosky, who was open inside the six-yard box, but his header went just over the bar.

    Real Salt Lake’s first chance of the game came in the 21st minute. Midfielder Luke Mulholland took a free kick from 30 yards that nearly caught Richmond keeper Joe Willis leaning, but the D.C. United loanee managed to recover and make a diving save to his right.

    The Kickers' next opportunity arrived in the 27th minute when midfielder Samuel Asante found Sascha Görres streaking down the left wing. Görres’ low cross found Jason Yeisley near the penalty spot, and his shot sent Fernandez sprawling to his right to make the save.

    Real Salt Lake’s best chance of the half came two minutes later. Forward Olmes Garcia found himself free after Richmond defender Shane Johnson mistimed his sliding challenge. Garcia took the ball in on the keeper, but Willis came off his line to cut off the angle, and made a big save.

    Yeisley had a chance to open the scoring in the 43rd minute after receiving a pass from Davis in the box. Yeisley took a touch into space near the six-yard box, but could not beat the 'keeper to the near post.

    Richmond’s final chance of the first half came in the 45th minute when Spitz was sprung down the right wing. The midfielder carried the ball into the right side of the box before centering the ball up for Asante, whose shot was hit on the ground, but Fernandez was up the task again with a diving save.

    RSL Reserves would turn the opening kickoff of the second half into their best chance of the game. RSL sent a long ball forward that Johnson could only head as far as Mulholland, and the former USL PRO Rookie of the Year found a pocket of space on his way to the top of the penalty area before he fired a shot off the crossbar and over.

    Richmond’s first chance of the second half came in the 76th minute. Davis danced around a defender to get to the byline, and sent in a cross that beat Fernandez, who came diving off his line, and found second-half substitute Tishan Hanley inside the six-yard box. Hanley’s volley went over the bar, missing an open net.

    Richmond’s final chance at a winner came in the 88th minute. Second-half substitute Nate Robinson’s low cross from the right edge of the box found Hanley inside the six-yard box. Hanley’s backheel attempt beat the goalkeeper, and then trickled through the goalmouth and out for a goal kick.

    The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium next Saturday, July 12 to host Sacramento Republic FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.


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    Seattle Sounders Women News Release -- www.sounderswomen.com

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

    TUKWILA, Wash. – Through a tough battle on Sunday afternoon at Starfire Stadium, the Seattle Sounders Women (18pts, 6-3-0) grabbed a 2-1 victory against the third-place Bay Area Breeze (19pts, 6-4-1) in a key W-League Western Conference clash. The win moves the Sounders up the table with a game still in hand over their competition, and firmly in the playoff hunt.

    In an eventful start to the match, back-to-back goals were scored in the third and fourth minutes. Up until the 89th minute of the match, however, the outcome was a mystery until Jaclyn Softli got on the end of a through-ball to score the game-winning goal for Seattle.

    Bay Area Breeze applied solid pressured on the Sounders in the first three minutes of the match, and were rewarded with a goal. As the ball was being volleyed in and out of the penalty box, the Sounders attempted to defend the goal, but couldn’t halt a soaring ball that Breeze defender Gina Woodworth headed home to the top-left corner for a 1-0 lead.

    The Sounders waited no time to equalize. A minute later, Seattle passed back and forth in Bay Area territory and forward Cara Ledman opened up a scoring opportunity, only to have a Breeze defender clear it out of the penalty area. Midfielder Lyndsey Patterson was prepared for the rebound and drilled a low shot home to make it 1-1.

    Throughout the first 45 minutes, the Sounders maintained pressure on Bay Area. Seattle kept possession in the Breeze's end for a large portion of the half, but were unable to take as many shots as Bay Area — Seattle tallied 5 shots, while the Breeze totaled 9.

    Upon returning from the halftime break, the Sounders had a hard time maintaining possession. The Breeze were able to hold a big portion of possession in Sounders' territory, with the Sounders taking 11 shots, and Bay Area taking 24.

    The Sounders got the chance to take the lead in the 61st minute, howevver, when Bay Area's Allie Dutto wiped Sounders Emma Follis out in the penalty area. The Sounders received a penalty kick, but the shot to the right side of the goal was saved by Bay Area goalkeeper Emily Kruger.

    Bay Area was inches away from taking the lead in the 85th minute when substitute Jordan O’Brien received a ball in the penalty area and pierced a shot to the right crossbar, forcing Anna Picarelli to make a diving save.

    A through-ball by Sounders substitute Elise Wyatt in the 89th minute created the game-winning goal, as she sent her pass just outside the penalty area to Softli, who went one-on-one with Kruger and sent the ball home for a 2-1 victory.

    Currently, the Sounders trail the third-placed Breeze by a point, having played two fewer games, and the second-placed Colorado Pride by four points with one game in hand. For the W-League playoffs, the first and second ranked seeds will compete against each other, in which the winner will advance to the W-League Championships at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

    The Sounders will compete in their last three matches of the W-League season on the road in Colorado. The Sounders will face Colorado Rush (17pts, 5-3-2) on July 9, Colorado Pride (22pts, 7-2-1) on July 11 and Colorado Storm (0pts, 0-10-0) on July 13. For match coverage and details, visit SoundersWomen.com.


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    Orlando City SC News Release -- www.orlandocitysc.com

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Orlando City SC defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-2 at Al Lang Stadium on Sunday evening to claim its second consecutive I-4 Derby title, 6-2 on aggregate, presented by United World Soccer. Numerous City supporters ventured on the away trip to witness the Lions defeat the Rowdies for the sixth time in as many matches over the past two seasons.

    “As I said to the players, you can never get tired of winning titles. We scored some very good goals tonight and all three were delights to watch,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Coming in with a three-goal lead, we could’ve taken our foot off the pedal but we didn’t. We worked and hard and I’m delighted not only for the players but also for our supporters. Once again, it was a great turnout from them, and I hope they’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.”

    Orlando broke through in the 31st minute when Kevin Molino played a crafty one-two with Corey Hertzog inside the penalty area before producing a composed finish from six yards away. Molino’s ability to provide the opening goal for Orlando continued an impressive 2014 campaign by the club’s first-ever Major League Soccer (MLS) signing, who currently sits second in USL PRO in goals (11), and leads the league in assists (6) and points (28).

    Tampa Bay leveled the score four minutes later, after a costly mistake from the Orlando defense. Midfielder Darel Russell was able to dispossess Lions’ center back Tommy Redding and play Georgi Hristov in behind with ample space, leaving Carl Woszczynksi with no chance.

    Molino was once again involved as Orlando regained the lead before the halftime break. The Trinidadian earned a free-kick for Orlando on the edge of the area in the 43rd minute, and Darwin Ceren’s ensuing set-piece featured a bit of cleverness, as the midfielder beat Thompson by striking his effort under the wall to find the back of the net.

    Less than 20 minutes into the half, Tampa coordinated a response to Ceren’s strike when Hristov scored his second goal of the match. The striker was played in behind by Ricardo Morris and slotted the ball underneath Woszczynski for an equalizer that was crucial for Tampa Bay to stand any chance of claiming the I-4 Derby title.

    Tampa Bay’s push to get forward in the second half seemed to re-motivate Orlando City, who had been in no rush to secure another goal, as they maintained a 5-2 lead on aggregate.

    After holding off Tampa Bay’s push early in the second half, City responded with another goal in the 75th minute via Hertzog. The striker’s finish proved to be the final dagger, as the Rowdies would’ve had to put forth a monumental effort to overcome four goals in 15 minutes.

    To prevent any further damage, Heath brought on Adama Mbengue and several trialist players to provide fresh legs as Orlando secured its second straight I-4 Derby title.

    Orlando’s next match will take place in league play when the Lions host the Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday, July 12 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. 

    The match will be live streamed via YouTube.com/OrlandoCitySC.


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    PDL Game Report

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

    BREMERTON, Wash. -- While the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 have been on a big tear lately with seven straight wins to move into first place in the PDL's Northwest Division, the Kitsap Pumas know if they take care of things on their end, they'll be celebrating a division championship.

    The Pumas took victory on a hot Sunday afternoon as they defeated the Puget Sound Gunners 3-0 in the club's regular season home finale to retake first place by a point. It's the second time the Pumas scored three goals this season and the club's fifth clean sheet of the year. Kitsap (7-1-4, 25 points) can clinch the division with a win against the Washington Crossfire on Friday in Redmond, Wash., and in turn guarantee a berth in the PDL's Western Conference Championship

    Chuy Sanchez, Joaquin Rivas and Michael Chamberlain all scored, while Joe Rayburn made his first appearance in goal this season and recorded three saves to earn his first clean sheet as a Puma.

    "Now that I've been out of [Pacific Lutheran University] for a while, I've been able to get my rhythm and get my feet under me and transition to play for Kitsap full time," he said. "I've been able to hit my stride and really get to where I want to be as a player. Matt [Grosey]'s done a phenomenal job - it's not a knock on him - I just felt like I earned some time in there and basically not screw up. That was my job today and I didn't want to be the one to make a mistake. The goalkeeping here is phenomenal. From one to three, no matter what the order is, we have great goalkeepers."

    Kitsap had trouble against Puget Sound's defense to start, but got the goal they needed when Sanchez was fouled in the penalty area in the 31st minute. He easily put it past Gunners goalkeeper Keegan Rogers for his team-leading fifth goal of the season.

    The Pumas put the pressure on the Gunners in the second half as Tommy Catalano was subbed in at halftime to provide another offensive threat.

    It paid off in the 66th minute as Catalano utilized some good passes by his teammates to dribble into open space and fire a shot off that Rogers had to parry away. Sanchez fired in a shot off the rebound that Rogers deflected, but Rivas poached his fourth goal of the season off that rebound. In the 80th minute, Michael Chamberlain scored his second goal of the season as he headed in a great cross from Catalano. The two worked well together as they created several more scoring opportunities but couldn't finish them.

    "That was a nice goal on Joaquin's part," head coach Andrew Chapman said. "Michael had a great finish on his goal as well... At halftime we told them that you guys have to tire them down [by making them run]. Just knocking the ball into the back doesn't tire them down, because they're packing it in. So you have to move the ball around and make them run. That's what we did."

    Despite Puget Sound's increasing frustration over foul calls not going their way and the play turning physical, Kitsap did its best to not get caught up and lose their cool.

    "We expected it," Catalano said. "They came out - they really have nothing to lose - and they came out and just played physical and tried to get us out of our game. But I think we came through and did the job today."

    Sanchez said they know they control their own destiny.

    "It's up to us," he said. "It's not up to Vancouver, it's not up to anyone else - it's up to us. If we want to win this division, it's there for us. We need one more win and we have two more games (to do it in), but we don't want to leave it until the last game. We wanted this win and we got it and now we want the next win. We want to win the division."


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    USL PRO Feature

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – Sacramento Republic FC’s Rodrigo Lopez has claimed the USL PRO Goal of the Month award for June for his goal against the Colorado Rapid Reserves on June 20.

    Lopez’s finish claimed 59 percent of the vote, beating out the Wilmington Hammerhead’s Will Heaney, who finished second with 19 percent, and Orange County Blues FC’s Josh Suggs, who took third with seven percent.

    Watch all the goals that were nominated.


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

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    WILMINGTON, N.C. – Wilmington Hammerheads FC has confirmed that the previously postponed match against Orlando City Soccer Club has been rescheduled for Thursday, August 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Legion Stadium. All tickets previously issued for the match will be honored.

    The match was postponed due to inclement weather from Hurricane Arthur, which caused heavy rain and 80 mph wind gusts in the area on Thursday, July 3 making for unplayable conditions.

    Gates are scheduled to open at 6 p.m. ET at Legion Stadium the day of the match. Tickets previously purchased may not be exchanged for any remaining regular season match.

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


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    Sacramento Republic FC News Release -- www.sacrepublicfc.com

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento Republic FC (8-5-2) will host Orange County Blues FC (8-8-0) on Monday night. The match was rescheduled after poor air-quality caused the match to be postponed on July 4. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. PT at Bonney Field. Tickets from the original July 4 match will be honored at the July 7 match.

    WATCH LIVE

    The match will be the third meeting between the two sides this year. In both of the prior match-ups the home side has come away victorious by a score of 2-1. The first game between the sides was held at Anteater Stadium on April 12, and was the first loss in franchise history for Republic FC.  The second match was held at Hughes Stadium on May 3, and was the first home win in franchise history for Republic FC.

    Republic FC enters the match after falling to OKC Energy FC 2-0 in their last USL PRO match on June 28. Despite controlling possession for most of the match and outshooting Oklahoma City 10-6, Republic FC was unable to score and dropped its second straight contest against Energy FC. 

    Midfielder Rodrigo Lopez has been in good form lately, having recorded an assist in four of his last six matches. He also enters the match tied for second in USL PRO for assists with five. Lopez also scored twice during that same six-match span.

    Defender Alvas Powell, on loan from Portland Timbers, and midfielder Tommy Thompson, on loan from San Jose Earthquakes, have both also been playing well since being added to the roster before the match against Arizona United SC on June 26.

    Orange County comes into the match as arguably the hottest club in the USL PRO, having won five of their last six matches. Orange County now sits in fifth place just two points behind Republic FC. 

    Orange County is led by midfielder Allan Russell, who has scored six goals and recorded four assists this season, including two goals against Republic FC. 

    The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday. Updates of the match will also be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC and by using #SRFCvOCB.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Octavio Guzman scored in stoppage time to extend Republic FC’s USL PRO home-unbeaten streak to six with a 2-1 victory against the Orange County Blues FC on Monday night at Bonney Field. Rodrigo Lopez had opened the scoring for Republic FC before Gabriel Gonzalez tied the game before the halftime break, but Guzman's second goal of the season solidified Republic FC's fourth-place position in the USL PRO standings.  

    The first half-hour of the match started slowly as both sides tried to establish a rhythm. Republic FC finally broke through in the 32nd minute when Justin Braun got in behind the defense and put a shot on goal that was blocked by Orange County goalkeeper Patrick McLain to the middle of the penalty area. Lopez was there to clean up and sent the rebound into the open net to give Republic FC a 1-0 lead.

    The lead would not last long as Orange County would equalize just three minutes later when midfieder Mershad Momeni attacked down the right flank and sent a low cross to Gonzalez, who hit a first-time finish past the outstretched arm of Republic FC goalkeeper Jake Gleeson to tie the score.

    The early stages of the second half saw some wide-open play as both teams created solid scoring chances. The match took an interesting turn in the 84th minute when Republic FC midfielder Tommy Thompson sent a low shot toward goal. McClain bobbled the save, before recapturing the ball on the ground as Sacramento's Thomas Stewart challenged late for the rebound. Republic FC's Lopez and Stewart and Orange County's McLain all received yellow cards following a scuffle caused by the challenge.

    Republic FC finally broke through again three minutes into stoppage time. Lopez delivered an in-swinging free kick from the left, which was punched out by McLain. Guzman, on as a second-half substitute, controlled the rebound just outside the penalty area and sent a low right-footed shot through a defender and past McLain. 

    “It’s exciting," Guzman said. "I couldn’t believe it at first when it hit the back of the net. I couldn’t describe it, I was just happy. I’m glad I was able to help the team out.”

    With the win Republic FC (9-5-2) moved two points back of the third-placed LA Galaxy II and three points back of the second-placed Richmond Kickers.

    Republic FC will be back in action on Saturday when it visits the Richmond Kickers. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m PT at City Stadium in Richmond. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday.  Updates will also be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC and using the hashtag #RICvSRFC.


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    Seattle Sounders Women News Release -- www.sounderswomen.com

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders Women (18pts, 6-3-0) will finish their W-League regular season on the road in Colorado as they chase a place in the postseason on a three-game road trip. The Sounders will face the Colorado Rush (17pts, 5-3-2) on Wednesday night, the Colorado Pride (22pts, 7-2-1) on Friday night, and the Colorado Storm (0pts, 0-10-0) in their final game of the season on Sunday. All three of the Colorado teams have one game in hand over the Sounders.

    Seattle moved up to fourth in the W-League's Western Conference after earning a 2-1 victory on Sunday afternoon against the Bay Area Breeze at Starfire Stadium.

    The leading scorer for the Sounders is forward Kennya Cordner from Young Harris College, who has five goals this season. Forward Elise Wyatt from DePaul University is ranked 10th in the W-League for assists with three, but a player to watch this week is Jaclyn Softli, who has scored goals in each of the side's past two games, including the game-winner against Bay Area on Sunday.

    The Rush are on a three-game winning streak, and sit fifth in the Western Conference. The Rush took a 5-1 win against Sedona FC on Saturday, and remain mathematically alive in the race for the conference's second playoff position should they win both of their remaining contests. The Rush took a 2-1 victory against the Sounders when they last played on June 27 at Starfire Stadium.

    The University of Portland's Danica Evans leads the W-League with nine goals, and had the game-winning goal the last time the two teams met. The Sounders will need to keep Evans under wraps in a key game for both sides. 

    The Colorado Pride are on a four-game winning streak that has moved them into second place in the Western Conference, trailing only the LA Blues. The Pride would clinch a place in the playoffs with victory against the Sounders, but Seattle will go in confident having earned a 3-0 victory in the first meeting between the teams on June 13. 

    The standout player for the Pride is forward Mallory Weber from Penn State. Tied for fourth in the W-League's leading goalscorers, Weber has scored seven times this season.

    The Colorado Storm are currently ranked seventh in the Western Conference, and are out of playoff contention. The Sounders took a 7-0 victory in their first meeting with the side on June 20, and could be in a position to claim the second seed in the playoffs with victory at Legend High Stadium with the right results against the Rush and Pride earlier in the week.

    The match against Colorado Storm will conclude the 2014 W-League season for the Sounders. The Sounders will be playing three matches over a fived-day span, which will require them to keep their momentum and focus in order to earn second place and a place in the postseason.

    For the W-League Playoffs, the first and second-placed teams in the Western Conference will compete against each other. The winner of that contest will advance to the W-League Championships at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

    For match coverage and details, see SoundersWomen.com or follow the team on twitter @SoundersWomen or facebook.com/sounderswomen.


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    OKC Energy FC News Release -- www.energyfc.com

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- OKC Energy FC has signed Javier Castro, general manager Jason Hawkins announced today. The signing is pending league and USSF approval.

    Castro appeared in seven matches and totaled 17 points for the LA Misioneros in the PDL's Southwest Division this season. He scored seven goals and had three assists in 490 minutes of action.

    He played collegiately at UC Santa Barbara, where he had three goals in 16 appearances for the Gauchos during the 2012 season.

    Castro won consecutive National Community College championships at Mt. San Antonio College, and was the 2010 South Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He was named to the NSCAA All-Region team twice and was a Sueño MLS finalist in 2009 and 2010. He tallied 23 goals and 21 assists in two season as the Mounties were ranked No. 1 in the final 2011 NSCAA poll and had a 38-game undefeated streak.

    Previouusly, Castro played for the Arsenal FC Academy and LA Galaxy U20 team and appeared in several friendlies against the Mexico U17 national team. He attended International Polytechnic High School.


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    Ventura County Fusion News Release -- www.vcfusion.com

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    VENTURA, Calif. -- With the World Cup in full swing and the American sporting public focused on world soccer more than ever before, Ventura County’s leading sports franchise is continuing its plans for arguably the biggest match to ever be played in the County, as Glasgow Rangers visit Ventura on Tuesday, July 15th, just two days after the World Cup Final.

    Rangers FC will take on the Ventura County Fusion in an exhibition match at the Ventura College Sportsplex, with ticket sales moving briskly and Rangers fans from all around the country preparing to flock to Ventura for this prestigious friendly. This match kick-starts Rangers' 2014 North American Tour that includes visits to Sacramento, British Colombia & Ottawa.

    “We are building towards a brilliant atmosphere for this exciting friendly match,” Fusion GM Ranbir Shergill said, “Its been exciting to see so many tickets sold to Rangers supporters from all different parts of the country.  To say the least, we’re looking forward to hosting Rangers and their fans.”

    Presale tickets can be purchased for $25 (Adult)//$15 (Youth 14 & under) at VCFusion.com, with ticket prices rising to $30 (Adult)//$20 (Youth 14 & under) at the gate on the day of the match, as available.  Rangers F.C. has won 54 Scottish top-flight league titles, dating all the way back to the club’s first championship in the 19th century.

    Barrelhouse 101 to Host Pre-Match Meet Up
    As Fusion & Barrelhouse 101 continues a series of successful World Cup viewing parties, both are proud to announce a Pre-Match Meet Up for Rangers supporters ahead of the July 15th friendly. Barrelhouse 101 will welcome Rangers supporters in both before and after the match.

    This “Meet Up” is the perfect opportunity for Rangers supporters to convene and catch up with fellow fans of their beloved club. Barrelhouse 101 is located in downtown Ventura at 545 E. Thompson Blvd. The Fusion are working to ensure there will be taxis or other for-hire transportation available ahead of the match.

    Fusion & Rangers Staff Excited for Friendly
    “This is another special occasion for Ventura County Fusion to show it’s one of the west coast’s leading soccer franchises and bring a celebrated team to Ventura,” Shergill said, “The match on July 15th against Rangers F.C. should be quite a thrill for our supporters, players, and soccer fans throughout Southern California.”

    Rangers last visited the United States in 2007, and are preparing for a key season in the Scottish Championship, the nation’s second division.  Rangers will open their North American tour with a six-day training camp in Ventura before taking on the Fusion. Rangers then head north to face USL PRO's Sacramento Republic FC on July 19.

    “The trip to America is a fantastic opportunity to re-introduce Rangers to the North American fans and I am confident the tour will be a success on a number of levels,” Rangers Manager and legendary forward Ally McCoist said, “We have a wonderful global fanbase and I am sure the members of NARSA (North American Rangers Supporters Association) will turn out in huge numbers at all of our games.”

    Ticket Availability and Pricing
    Tickets for this historic friendly are immediately available and can be purchased via phone (805) 830-8005 or on the team’s website, www.VCFusion.com. Tickets start at just $25 for adults and $15 for Children, with ticket prices rising to $30 (Adult)//$20 (Youth) on the day of the match.  The match is expected to sell out, so please purchase tickets via the presale to guarantee your seat at the game.


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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week 16 of the 2014 season on Tuesday as Dayton Dutch Lions FC forward Aaron Schoenfeld was named Player of the Week. Schoenfeld had four goals in two games for Dayton in the past week, including a hat trick in the Dutch Lions’ 3-1 victory against the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday night.

    Schoenfeld opened the scoring in Dayton’s 2-1 defeat to Pittsburgh last Wednesday, and again struck early against the Eagles as his eighth-minute finish gave the Dutch Lions a lead they  would carry to halftime. He then added two goals in five minutes in the second half after Charlotte had equalized to earn his side a vital three points in the race for the playoffs. Schoenfeld’s hat trick also moved him into the lead in the race for the USL PRO Golden Boot with 12 goals, just three shy of the league’s single-season record.

    Schoenfeld was joined on the Team of the Week Attack by Pittsburgh’s Mike Green, whose two goals led the Riverhounds to victory against the Dutch Lions, and the LA Galaxy II’s Charlie Rugg, who also bagged a pair of goals in Los Dos’ 4-2 win against Arizona United.

    Green led a contingent of three Riverhounds on the Team of the Week, with defenders Andrew Marshall and Alfonso Motagalvan both earning selection after each scored in Pittsburgh’s 2-0 victory against Rochester last Friday. The Harrisburg City Islanders’ Matt Bahner completed the defensive trio, while Richmond’s Joe Willis earned the goalkeeper spot after his four-save shutout for the Kickers against Real Salt Lake Reserves on Sunday evening.

    A pair of Harrisburg City Islanders were named to the Team of the Week’s midfield, with Jimmy McLaughlin and Jose Barril both selected after their side’s 4-1 win against Charleston. McLaughlin had a goal and assist, and Barril topped a fine performance with a bending free kick. Richmond’s Luke Vercollone also earned selection after a commanding display against RSL Reserves, while the LA Galaxy II’s Raul Mendiola rounded out the group after providing the assist on Los Dos’ opening two goals against Arizona.

    The USL PRO season continues on Friday night as the Rochester Rhinos host the FC Dallas Reserves at Sahlen’s Stadium at 7:35 p.m. ET. Saturday’s six-game slate is highlighted by a clash between the second-placed Richmond Kickers and fourth-placed Sacramento Republic FC at City Stadium at 7 p.m. ET, while the night also sees the Pittsburgh Riverhounds visit OKC Energy FC at Pribil Stadium at 8 p.m. ET in a key playoff battle.

    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.

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    Honorable Mention – Arizona: Jonathan Okafor; Charleston: Shawn Ferguson; Charlotte: Jonathan Leathers, Drew Yates; Dayton: Joel DeLass, Sebastian Thuriere; Harrisburg: Morgan Langley, Richie Marquez; LA Galaxy II: Bradford Jamieson IV, Jack McBean; Pittsburgh: Danny Earls, Anthony Obodai; Richmond: Henry Kalungi, George Davis IV; Rochester: Alex Dixon.  


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  • 07/08/14--15:40: USL Alumni Star For USMNT
  • USL Feature

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    The U.S. Men’s National Team’s run at the 2014 FIFA World Cup came to an end a week ago in the Round of 16 as the side fell 2-1 after extra time to Belgium, but the team returned home with its head held high after a number of standout performances across all four games.

    Among those to shine brightest were a number of USL alumni included in the squad, with Tim Howard, DeAndre Yedlin, Graham Zusi and Geoff Cameron all drawing praise for the key roles they played in the side’s success over the course of the tournament.

    Howard, who in the build-up to the tournament earned his 100th cap for his country, was outstanding throughout the tournament, but never moreso than in the team’s final game against Belgium. Howard – who began his professional career with the North Jersey Imperials before his ascent to MLS and then the English Premier League – made a World Cup-record 15 saves to keep the U.S. in with a chance of advancing to the quarterfinals, and earned Man of the Match honors despite Belgium’s victory.

    While Howard was the oldest member of the 23-man squad, it was one of the youngest that arguably saw his star rise the highest over the tournament. Yedlin, a 2012 PDL All-League selection for the Sounders FC U23, shone in both of his appearances as he helped the U.S. claim a crucial 2-2 draw with Portugal in the team’s second group game, and then provided dynamism down the right side against Belgium.

    The 20-year-old Seattle Sounders FC standout made history as the first MLS Homegrown Player to appear for the United States in the World Cup, and his potential has already attracted scouts from outside the U.S. with a potential move to Italy’s AS Roma being rumored.

    Zusi, who starred for the Central Florida Kraze in the PDL before being drafted by Sporting Kansas City, also had a solid tournament. The Longwood, Fla. native recorded a pair of assists, with none more important than that on John Anthony Brooks’ game-winning goal against Ghana in the team’s opening game of the tournament.

    Cameron, meanwhile, showed his versatility over the four games. After starting the tournament at center back, the former PDL All-Conference selection for the Rhode Island Stingrays earned high marks as a holding midfielder against Belgium, with his 8.6 rating earning a place alongside Howard on the WhoScored.com Team of the Round.

    While an early injury to Jozy Altidore brought the former Super Y League standout’s tournament to a premature end, and 2004 PDL Goalkeeper of the Year Brad Guzan remained inactive due to Howard’s heroics, the contributions made by the USL alumni that were named to Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad illustrated the important role USL plays in the development of professional and national team players.


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    PDL Game Report

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 clinched a place in the PDL Playoffs as they completed their regular season with a dramatic 2-1 victory against Lane United FC at the Willamalane Center. The victory was the Whitecaps U-23's eighth in a row, and came in the second minute of stoppage time as Jordian Farahani headed home a free kick to grab all three points. 

    Vancouver's Ali Musse opened the scoring in the 69th minute, but Lane United fought back to equalize with nine minutes to go through an outstanding free kick by Edgar Gomez. After a back-and-forth for the final 10 minutes, Vancouver hoisted in a long free kick that Farahani nodded home from six yards out. The game was over less than a minute after the ensuing kickoff as Lane suffered its third home defeat of the season. 

    United had started out strongly when Johnny Chronopolous -- starting at forward for the first time this season -- was played into the left channel by Baldo and dragged a shot wide after 15 seconds. Half-chances abounded for both teams in the first half, but clear-cut ones did not. The best for either team came when Vancouver’s leading scorer Cody Cook fanned on a low cross that had hit him in stride eight yards out. Baldo shot high from a good position on the left side of the penalty area a few minutes later, but the rest of the half passed without many standout incidents.

    Vancouver flew out of the traps to start the second half. Lane United were up to the task of stopping them, but only barely in some cases. Wade Hamilton had to make several very good saves, including three from Brett Levis, who had also waged a personal assault on Hamilton’s net in the second half when the two teams met four days ago in Canada.

    Daley Stevens had to slide to clear the ball off the goal line in the 50th minute, then Musse rounded Hamilton and almost scored four minutes later. United had a few decent chances on the counter, but Vancouver was beginning to squeeze the game and it wasn’t a surprise when they scored on an efficient move down the left. It ended with Levis playing a centering pass for Musse to sweep in from the center of the penalty area for a 1-0 lead.

    Vancouver continued to press the Reds for a short spell, but United began to push back and was rewarded with a brilliant equalizer in the 81st minute. Baldo craftily won a foul 25 yards out, from which Gomez curled a flawless shot into the top-right corner that no goalkeeper could have stopped. United's Pierce Kiembi, on as a sub, had the best chance of the ensuing 10 minutes when he broke forward carved out a shot on his favored right foot from the top of the box, but his connection wasn’t strong enough to put it past Nolan Wirth in Vancouver’s goal.

    But then, from what appeared to be a harmless free kick near the center circle, the Whitecaps snatched away victory. The ball was floated to the back post, where Musse met it with his head and guided it across the face of goal for Farahani to crash into the net from six yards.

    The victory moved the Whitecaps U-23 back on top of the Northwest Division, two points clear of the Kitsap Pumas, who also claimed a playoff berth on Tuesday as the Sounders FC U-23 fell to the Washington Crossfire. The Pumas have two games remaining to try and regain first position and a bye to the semifinals of the Western Conference Championship, while the Victoria Highlanders can claim the division's third and final berth with one win from their final two games.


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