USL Week 11 Recap: Colorado Springs Jumps Up the Table; NY, Louisville Top East

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Week 11 in the USL saw big results and riveting finishes across the league when many eyeballs were diverted for the Copa America Centenario kickoff.

The biggest shocker of the weekend came when Real Monarchs ended the undefeated streak of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, thus costing the Canadian side the top spot in the Western Conference. Colorado Springs was able to leapfrog Vancouver with their own dominant win over the weekend and now stand poised to make themselves the team to watch in the West.

In the East, both New York and Louisville have separated themselves from the pack. Wins for both teams keep them six and three points above FC Cincinnati respectively, but New York could potentially be tied when they make up the game in-hand.

Colorado Springs Emerges as New Western Power

The Colorado Springs Switchbacks were slow to climb but waited for the opportunity and now sit on top of the Western Conference on goal differential. Their 2-0 win over St. Louis FC continued the team’s hot run of form where they’ve gone five games without a loss and four out of those five were wins. On top of this, the Switchbacks have allowed the second fewest goals in the Western Conference with seven.

This ascension wouldn’t have been possible without a mammoth upset in Vancouver. Real Monarchs SLC traveled to UBC Thunderbird Stadium and took the game with a stoppage time goal from Amass Amankona. The win brought the Monarchs back to .500 but also exposed holes in Vancouver that were once thought impenetrable.

The Whitecaps have now gone three games without a win and two consecutive against the Monarchs. While still technically tied on points, the run of form is in favor of Colorado Springs. Still, the situation in the West had dramatically shifted on a number of occasions, making it an incredibly unpredictable race.

Louisville and New York Continue to Maintain Success

Second year teams New York Red Bull II and Louisville City FC have been the class of the Eastern Conference thus far and continued with impressive results this weekend.

For New York, they remain perfect on the road with five game and five wins with a 1-0 victory over Bethlehem Steel FC. The win leaves NYRB II just three points under Louisville with a game in-hand. New York is also currently sporting the best defensive record in the USL with six goals allowed all season and seven clean sheets.

Louisville didn’t have as easy of a run as they won a seven goal thriller on the road against Orlando City B. The new upstart MLS2 side put up a mighty fight but Louisville’s offense has continue to be their defining characteristic with four different players lining the score sheet. FC Cincinnati’s late surrender of a goal against Richmond bumped them down a peg in third place as they now sit three points behind New York. At this rate it looks like New York and Louisville could be separating themselves early on in the summer months.

WEEK 11 RESULTS:

Harrisburg City Islanders: 2
Wilmington Hammerheads: 3

Rochester Rhinos: 2
FC Montreal: 0

Toronto FC II: 2
Charlotte Independence: 2

Charleston Battery: 2
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 1

Richmond Kickers: 1
FC Cincinnati: 1

Oklahoma City Energy: 2
Tulsa Roughnecks: 0

San Antonio FC: 0
Rio Grande Valley FC: 1

St. Louis FC: 0
Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 2

Swope Park Rangers: 1
Portland Timbers 2: 2

Seattle Sounders FC 2: 2
Orange County Blues FC: 5

Real Monarchs SLC: 1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 0

LA Galaxy II: 2
Sacramento Republic FC: 2

New York Red Bull II: 1
Bethlehem Steel FC: 0

Louisville City FC: 4
Orlando City B: 3


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