USL Week 20 Recap: NYRBII, Louisville continue jostle for first

USL

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Week 20 in the USL was all about closing the gap at the top of the table in both the East and West.

New York and Louisville continued their season long battle for first place in the East with NYRB II taking the top spot momentarily with the an early week win. Louisville took it back by the weekend as both sides continue to mirror each other in form.

Out West Sacramento has crawled back into the picture, taking advantage of LA and Vancouver’s dropped points during the week.

Mirror Match: Louisville and New York Keep Consistent Form

New York and Louisville had chances over the past few weeks to put the opposition in the rearview mirror but both suffered losses. This week, keeping up the mirror match, both teams locked down wins and kept the race air tight with one point separating them at the top of the Eastern Conference.

NYRB II had their most dominant performance early in the week with a 5-0 win over Harrisburg. A second half onslaught from Vincent Bezecourt and Junior Flemmings was the difference, sinking the City Islanders with four goals. The dominant win got them back in the win column and continues their fantastic road form in 2016.

Louisville City got back on the horse as well with a rugged 2-1 win over Pittsburgh at Highmark Stadium. New York kept the pressure as a draw would have seen City remain in second, but the front runners were able to meet the challenge. Second half  goals by George Davis IV was the difference against a game Riverhounds side.

Vancouver and LA Stumble While Sacramento Gains Ground

Sacramento hopped into third place this week grabbing four points from two games while Vancouver and LA could only get one point combined. The results leave the Republic only three points out of first place in, what has been, a seesaw season. The team now has a three game point streak and appears to have turned a corner defensively as Paul Buckle’s system is finally setting in.

Sunday’s game against San Antonio was the first time the Republic have played at Bonney Field since the first week of July. The result may not have been what the team wanted, especially against a lower side in the table, but the team has to be happy with its defense. One goal allowed in the last three games in a turnaround that could signal a late season push.

WEEK 20 RESULTS:

Real Monarchs SLC: 1
Seattle Sounders FC 2: 4

New York Red Bull II: 5
Harrisburg City Islanders: 0

Sacramento Republic FC: 1
OKC Energy FC: 0

FC Cincinnati: 2
FC Montreal: 0

Charlotte Independence: 1
Charleston Battery: 1

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 2
Arizona United SC: 3

Richmond Kickers: 1
Rochester Rhinos: 0

Swope Park Rangers: 1
St. Louis FC: 1

Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 1
Portland Timbers 2: 1

Orange County Blues: 2
Tulsa Roughnecks: 1

Louisville City FC: 2
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 1

Richmond Kicers: 2
FC Montreal: 1

Toronto FC II: 1
Orlando City B: 2

Portland Timbers 2: 4
LA Galaxy II: 3

Seattle Sounders FC 2: 1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 1

OKC Energy FC: 0
Rio Grande Valley FC: 0

San Antonio FC: 1
Sacramento Republic FC: 1

Wilmington Hammerheads: 0
Rochester Rhinos: 2

Charlotte Independence: 2
Bethlehem Steel FC: 2

Arizona United SC: 2
Orange County Blues: 1


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