USL Week 5 Preview: Louisville Returns Home and Portland visits the Champs

by ANTHONY J. MERCED
USL Beat Writer

Week 5 in USL sees another week where several teams will play multiple games. This time around it is Sacramento who will play tonight against Vancouver and then host Portland three nights later. The schedule is certainly jam packed as it begins to shape out more like an NBA schedule than a stereotypical soccer schedule. To this point it hasn’t effected many teams as Wilmington proved by losing to Richmond and then turning around and scoring an upset win over New York 48 hours later. All of this continues to prove that the 2015 USL season is extremely unpredictable and full of narratives in every fixture.

Louisville Returns Home to Play a Tough Rochester Team

After three road games to start the season the Rochester Rhinos are in second place with seven points and looking to continue their league leading defensive ways against Louisville City FC. Louisville also has to feel good as the remain undefeated despite playing home and away to start their campaign. Both teams have a lot riding on this game despite how early in the season it is. A win for Rochester would send them into first place without having played a single home game. For Louisville, they can leapfrog the Rhinos for second and put the Eastern Conference on notice by making Louisville Slugger Field an impenetrable fortress.

Player to watch for Rochester is Christian Volesky who has scored twice in three games. Last season, Rochester ranked as one of the worst offensive teams but so far in 2015 they are one of the leaders in goal differential. Volesky and Alex Dixon, who has taken a whooping nine shots on target so far this season, have been the offensive force Rochester has been missing. For Louisville Charlie Adam will return to the field after an injury kept him away against Richmond. He scored the second goal for City FC and effectively buried St. Louis in their home opener.

Tulsa Faces Tall Order Against Sounders 2

The Tulsa Roughnecks have not had a great start to the season, grabbing only one point in their first three games. To make matters worse they still haven’t ventured out of ONEOK Field yet this season. On Thursday they welcome a Seattle Sounders 2 team that is undefeated and recently dispatched arch rival Portland at Starfire Stadium over the weekend. Seattle’s offense is something Tulsa will have a hard time keeping in check as they’ve scored ten times, more than any other team in the league.

Tulsa will have some new faces as defender Iarfhaith Daveron joins the team from Irish League team Sligo Rovers and midfielder Chad Bond from Welsh side Port Talbot Town. The injection of new talent will try to keep an inform Sounders team from running the table in their first four game. Needless to say that Tulsa is certainly the underdog. However a pumped up crowd can do wonders as we’ve seen in games past.

The Champs Welcome Portland

Sacramento may have the toughest week as they begin tonight, hosting Vancouver Whitecaps 2 and then three days later hosting Portland Timbers 2 to round out the MLS merry go round. The champs have returned to form after a rough three game road trip to start the season where they were only able to get a victory over LA Galaxy 2. That same LA Galaxy 2 side lost again to Sacramento last week in the team’s home opener.

The Republic will certainly be looking for revenge as Portland handed Sacramento an away loss 2-1 several weeks back. From Portland’s perspective, they are hoping to regain the momentum they lost from a heartbreaking loss to Seattle due to a late defensive lapse. Sacramento will not be easily beaten as Rodrigo Lopez and David Estrada have hit their stride and the ever present 12th man in Bonney Field can’t be taken for granted.

All Games for Week 5:

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 vs. Sacramento Republic 4/15 at 10:30PM
Rochester Rhinos vs. Louisville City FC 4/16 at 7:30PM
Seattle Sounders 2 vs. Tulsa Roughnecks 4/16 at 8PM
Real Monarchs SLC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks 4/17 at 9PM
Charlotte Independence vs. Richmond Kickers 4/18 at 7PM
FC Montreal vs. Harrisburg City Islanders 4/18 at 7PM
New York Red Bull II vs. Charleston Battery 4/18 at 7:30PM
Seattle vs. Oklahoma City Energy 4/18 at 8PM
Rochester Rhinos vs. St. Louis FC 4/18 at 8:30PM
Arizona United SC vs. Orange County Blues 4/18 at 10PM
Portland Timbers 2 vs. Sacramento Republic FC 4/18 at 10:30PM
Louisville City FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds 4/19 at 3PM
Toronto FC II vs. Vancouver Whitecaps 2 4/19 at 6PM
Austin Aztex vs. LA Galaxy 2 4/19 at 8PM


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