USL Week 19 Recap: Mirrored Losses in East, Lost Chances Out West

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Week 19 was filled with upsets that rocked the solid bases of USL’s top teams, both in the Eastern and Western Conference. Teams like New York Red Bull II, Louisville City FC, LA Galaxy II and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 couldn’t pull out wins when the results would have separated them from the pack.

New York and Louisville Win Together and Lose Together

This season, New York and Louisville have been in a tight race for the top of the Eastern Conference and this week’s results prove that their form mimics the other as well. NYRB II remains one point back of Louisville with a game in hand despite losing two in a row. One saving grace is that Louisville have dropped their last two games, mirroring the form of their standings rival.

This week, Louisville was at home where they hadn’t dropped a game since the second week of the season. Facing an over-matched but always difficult Orlando City B team, it seemed like Louisville had themselves an easy fixture to pad their lead. However, the game didn’t go as planned. Louisville led for a majority of the game but surrendered two goals in stoppage time to take all three points. Tyler Turner converted a penalty kick, and minutes later, Keegan Smith finished off the number one team in the East with a lethal strike on the counter.

For New York, stoppage time was their undoing. A crazy first 12 minutes saw New York go up 1-0 — despite missing a penalty opportunity. They then relinquished the lead on a penalty kick of their own. From there the game normalized and New York seemed destined to extend their road point streak. However, Jackson Eskay headed a ball past Ryan Meara in stoppage time to give Richmond the win at City Stadium.

LA Galaxy Drop Points to Rival OC Blues

Orange County Blues were the 2015 USL Western Conference regular season champions but have shown little signs of that form this year. This weekend’s fixture against LA Galaxy II changed many minds as they scored a 2-0 win against a team that has been rarely shut out this season. Both goals came from Trevin Caesar in the first and second half past MLS-caliber goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

The result hurt Los Dos as they had the opportunity to move past Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 who dropped points in a draw to Colorado Springs earlier in the week. They remain one point back of Vancouver and will post T2 this weekend with another chance to move up in the standings. Vancouver will travel to Arizona for their second straight road game.

WEEK 19 RESULTS:

Rochester Rhinos: 1
Harrisburg City Islanders: 1

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 1
Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 1

Charlotte Independence: 1
FC Montreal: 0

Charleston Battery: 1
FC Cincinnati: 1

Sacramento Republic FC: 0
Rio Grande Valley FC: 0

New York Red Bull II: 1
Richmond Kickers: 2

Orlando City B: 2
Louisville City FC: 1

OKC Energy FC: 0
St. Louis FC: 0

Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 4
Wilmington Hammerheads: 1

San Antonio: 1
Swope Park Rangers: 2

LA Galaxy II: 0
Orange County Blues FC: 2

Tulsa Roughnecks: 2
Arizona United SC: 1

Toronto FC II: 3
Bethlehem Steel FC: 2