USL Week 17 Recap: Big Shake Up in West, Front Runners Surge in East

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Week 17 in the USL had upsets across the board with devastating results for Vancouver and Sacramento. Others teams had a bit better luck with OKC scoring two big wins to boost their playoff hopes and Louisville City continuing their epic point streak.

Many teams have also been distracted by international friendlies which once again raise questions about team participation in the middle of the season. FC Cincinnati hosted the EPL’s Crystal Palace to a sold out crowd of near 30,000 and Richmond scored a win over former League Cup winners Swansea City. However, these games may be taking away from the focus of season play.

Louisville and New York Continue Unbeaten Run

Both New York and Louisville are pulling away from the rest of the Eastern Conference. Louisville’s 4-1 win on Sunday extends their point streak to 17 games while New York has reached 11. At this point, Red Bull II is only four points back with two games in hand. As July draws to a close, NYRB II will have a chance to overtake Louisville as their games even up with big fixtures against FC Cincinnati, Charleston and Richmond before August.

Both teams will meet again in what could be a dramatic showdown at Red Bull Arena on August 19th. Both teams will also have five games before that stretch, but if form holds true, it could be an early decider for the top team in the Eastern Conference.

Vancouver and Sacramento Fall in Epic Fashion

The Western Conference just became a bit more chaotic as Vancouver lost two games last week: the first, a shocking 4-0 slaughter against Rio Grande Valley, and the second, a 2-0 loss to San Antonio. Combined with a win from Los Dos and the Galaxy II are now even on points with Vancouver who hold the top spot by goal differential.

Sacramento had their own woes to worry about as they dropped an important game to Colorado Springs. The loss drops them to fourth with 29 points and bumps Colorado Springs to two points from the top of the table. Expect the standing to continue this shift all summer long as teams are so evenly matched that the outcomes will become more and more unpredictable.

WEEK 17 RESULTS:

OKC Energy FC: 2
Swope Park Rangers: 0

Orlando City B: 0
Charleston Battery: 0

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 0
Rio Grande Valley FC: 4

Wilmington Hammerheads: 0
Bethlehem Steel FC: 3

Richmond Kickers: 2
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 0

St. Louis FC: 0
Tulsa Roughnecks: 2

LA Galaxy II: 4
Portland Timbers 2: 1

FC Montreal: 1
Rochester Rhinos: 3

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 0
San Antonio FC: 2

New York Red Bull II: 2
Charlotte Indpendence: 1

Orange County Blues FC: 1
OKC Energy FC: 2

Sacramento Republic: 0
Colorado Spring Switchbacks: 1

Seattle Sounders FC 2: 3
Arizona United SC: 2

Louisville City FC: 4
Wilmington Hammerheads: 1

Harrisburg City Islanders: 2
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 1


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