USL Update: Reno Debuts; Carolina Gets Late Equalizer

Blackbaud Stadium: Home of the Charleston Battery

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

USL clubs are preparing for the regular season in regional cup competitions and friendlies before the 2017 season kicks off. Last weekend brought the debut of the league’s newest team, Reno 1868, which played its MLS affiliate, the San Jose Earthquakes.

Memorable Finish in Carolina Challenge Cup

The Charleston Battery started the preseason with a game against the MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders at a sold out MUSC Health Stadium. Seattle struck first, in the 32nd minute, as a cross rattled off the head of Taylor Mueller for an own goal. Kotaro Higashi equalized in stoppage time.

The Battery’s preseason schedule includes games against the Columbus Crew and Atlanta United.

Reno Debuts in Chippy Game

Fans turned out at Greater Nevada Field to watch Reno 1868 play its first game. Coach Ian Russell had his team press in a 4-4-2 formation, playing hard against the Earthquakes. Reno dominated possession and had the better of the scoring opportunities.

The game’s only goal came in the 40th minute when the former Sacramento Republic forward Tommy Thompson scored on a highlight-reel back heel goal.

Rowdies Lose in Suncoast Invitational

Tampa Bay opened its preseason against with an intense game against the Philadelphia Union. The only goal came in the 73rd minute, scored by the Union’s Derrick Jones. Tampa Bay’s lineup included Joe Cole, Matt Pickens and Leo Fernandes.

Next up for Tampa Bay is a match against the Montreal Impact.

USL PRESEASON SCORES:

Reno 1868 0
San Jose Earthquakes 1

Charleston Battery 1
Seattle Sounders 1

Tampa Bay Rowdies 0
Philadelphia Union 1

OKC Energy 3
Cincinnati: 2

Swope Park Rangers 5
University of Missouri-Kansas City 0

Duke 0
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2