USL Week 17 Review: Rochester, LA Have Dominant Weekends

IMAGE, BOB LARSON FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED
USL Writer

We are now well past the midway point of the USL season and Rochester’s dominance remains one of the key talking points of the league. Week 17 saw the Rhinos play two games and solidify two wins against Canadian Eastern Conference competition. The series of impressive performances are more than just streaking luck as the team has only surrendered six goals all season. Beyond a doubt we are now witnessing what may be one of the most dominant single seasons in modern day American Soccer.

On the west coast, things are as tight as ever. The LA Galaxy II made a dominant statement by defeating the Sacramento Republic FC 4-0 at Bonney Field. Seattle Sounders FC 2 also boasted their own four goal performance and draw even at the top of the table with LA.

Rochester Dominates Toronto and Montreal

As the season wears on Rochester is becoming one of the more interesting stories in American soccer. Not only are they undefeated after 17 games but they have allowed the fewest goals of any team in the top three divisions. First it was FC Montreal, who gave their best effort late in the game but fell to the Rhinos by a score of 2-1. Colin Rolfe and Christian Volesky were the goalscorers with an 85th minute goal by Montreal creating a bit of drama.

Toronto held a bit less drama as Rhinos keeper Brandon Miller posted his league leading eighth shutout of the season. Two second half goals sunk Toronto FC II who remain one of the worst teams in the league. While FC Montreal boasts having one of the youngest teams in the league, Toronto seems more unsure about direction than many of the other USL affiliated teams.

LA Galaxy II Trample the Republic

A sell out crowd of over 11,000 people were on hand at Bonney Field for head coach Preki’s final game with the Republic. Unfortunately Los Dos were not interested in playing along with the heartwarming storyline. Goals from Villareal, Lassiter, Auras and McBean buried Sacramento and they never looked to be in the game. The win moves LA into first place and gives Sacramento yet another loss at Bonney this season. Last year the team didn’t lose a game at home whereas this season the shutout loss to LA marked their third.

LA has quietly become the most defensively sound team in the Western Conference. Their 17 goals allowed is the fewest in the conference. After a shaky start to the season, they’ve been one of the most consistent sides in a chaotic group of teams. Their point streak has now extended to five games with max points from all but one.

Week 17 Results:

Charleston Battery: 4
Harrisburg City Islanders: 0

FC Montreal: 1
Rochester Rhinos: 2

Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 2
Toronto FC II: 0

Orange County Blues: 1
Tulsa Roughnecks: 4

Portland Timbers FC 2: 1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 2

Rochester Rhinos: 2
Toronto FC II: 0

Charlotte Independence: 0
Louisville City FC: 1

Orange County Blues: 2
Oklahoma City Energy: 2

Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 1
Tulsa Roughnecks: 3

Richmond Kickers: 3
St. Louis FC: 1

Austin Aztex: 1
Real Monarchs SLC: 3

LA Galaxy II: 4
Sacramento Republic FC: 0

Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 2
FC Montreal: 4

Harrisburg City Islanders: 2
New York Red Bull II: 0

Arizona United SC: 0
Seattle Sounders FC 2: 4