USL Week 12 Review: Upsets Rock the Standings

USL Writer

Week 12 in the USL 2015 season continues a trend we see in MLS quite often. Upsets are the norm.

Several teams this week had chances to solidify their positions but allowed the underdogs to come away with points. In particular, Seattle Sounders FC 2 lost to the biggest underdog of the weekend as the Tulsa Roughnecks pounded the Western Conference leaders by a final score of 5-1. Sacramento Republic FC also couldn’t escape the upset bug as they dropped a 1-0 decision to the Austin Aztex. Not everyone had a disappointing weekend as Richmond was able to gain ground in the East with a win over the Charlotte Independence.

Tulsa Hands Seattle Massive First Home Loss

Up until this point in 2015 Seattle had been perfect at Starfire Sports Complex. Five games and five wins to help S2 grab an early hold on the Western Conference. That advantage was not intimidating to the Tulsa Roughnecks who had been better on the road than they were at home. The scoring started early as the Roughnecks took the lead just ten minutes into the game when Adam Black curved a twenty-yard shot past the S2 goalkeeper. Black’s day wasn’t done there as he helped Tulsa take the lead again in the thirty-fourth minute after Seattle had tied the game.

The game was still reachable by Seattle who held a 3-1 deficit going into the second half. However, the situation got much worse as Sammy Ochoa, Lucas Cordeiro and Kidd Nwabueze scored to bury the Sounders and bring their hold of first place down to only a point. Tulsa also helped their own cause by bringing themselves within two points of the final playoff spot. With a string of consistent results and the Roughnecks may be able to solidify a more favorable spot.

Aztex Continue Republic Woes

One thing is for sure, the 2015 Sacramento Republic are not the same team that won the USL Championship last season. Their latest loss to the Austin Aztex gives them six losses on the season when the team only surrendered seven games in all of 2014. To make matters worse Austin handed Sacramento their second loss at Bonney Field this season. This time the Kris Trypak was able to burn the Republic with a goal in the fifty-eighth minute, putting a left-footed shot past keeper Patrick McLain. The win gives Austin sixteen points and a solid hold of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The underlying story to this game is how Sacramento continues to leak goals. They have survived by scoring the second highest amount of goals this season but have the weakest defense of all the top teams in either conference. They have only managed four clean sheets in thirteen games and surrendered multiple goals in five fixtures. This latest loss cost the Republic a chance to retake first place in the West as the team will have to embark on several tough road games in the coming weeks.

Richmond Gains Ground in the East

After a four game winless streak the Kickers have responded with two solid wins. Both coming at home with this week’s being against the Charlotte Independence. The win wasn’t without a bit of concern as Richmond went up by two goals but had to hold on in the face of a Charlotte onslaught. Goals from Jason Yeisley and Matthew Delicate were more than enough for the Kickers as they team now sits one point from second place and three points from the unstoppable Rochester Rhinos.

Next week Richmond has a chance to move up the standings yet again as they go head to head with the Charleston Battery who sit just one point above them. Their previous game this season produced a 2-2 draw. Now the Battery will host the Kickers in another chance to gain dominance in the East.

Week 12 Results:

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 2
Real Monarchs SLC: 2

Portland Timbers FC 2: 0
Oklahoma City Energy FC: 2

Tulsa Roughnecks: 5
Seattle Sounders FC 2: 1

St. Louis FC: 1
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 1

New York Red Bull II: 2
FC Montreal: 2

Charleston Battery: 1
Wilmington Hammerheads: 1

Toronto FC II: 0
Harrisburg City Islanders: 0

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 0
Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 3

LA Galaxy II: 2
Orange County Blues FC: 1

Austin Aztex: 1
Sacramento Republic FC: 0

Charlotte Independence: 1
Richmond Kickers: 2

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