USL Week 23 Recap: NYRB and Toros Show Dominance

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

USL Week 23 was all about galvanizing playoff spots and putting the opposition on notice. New York’s two wins set them up as not only the favorites at the top of the East, but also as potential USL Championship contenders.

Out West the standings have been far more chaotic. Rio Grande Valley FC has emerged to be a contender while Sacramento Republic’s return to form has them on top of the pile.

Two for Two in New York

New York Red Bull II had a rough week but you couldn’t tell based on the results. Two games this week, one on the road in Toronto and one at home against Cincinnati, proved the resolve of John Wolyniec’s team. The opposition went scoreless against NYRB II as they took all six points, extending their winning streak to five games. Over that stretch they’ve only allowed one goal, seeming to find the groove that made them the most dominant defense in USL.

This week’s results also put them in good standing to take the Eastern Conference title. Should that happen, New York would host each of their potentially four playoff games at Red Bull Arena.

Toros Are Coming for First

Rio Grande Valley started the season off slowly but this week’s win over Colorado Springs has extended their unbeaten streak to nine games and moved them into second place. Now only two points off of first, the Toros are confident that they can make a run for the top.

Their success is largely due to their unstoppable defense. Over this nine game stretch they have surrendered only one goal and recorded eight straight shutouts. Their 22 goals allowed ties them for fourth best in the USL. Whether they can maintain this momentum remains to be seen but either way, they have positioned themselves into a strong playoff spot. H-E-B Park is not a place where teams want to go this season.

WEEK 23 RESULTS:

New York Red Bull II: 1
Toronto FC II: 0

Rochester Rhinos: 1
FC Cincinnati: 1

Sacramento Republic FC: 1
Orange County Blues FC: 0

Wilmington Hammerheads: 1
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 4

OKC Energy FC: 0
Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 2

Orlando City B: 0
Richmond Kickers: 1

Bethlehem Steel FC: 0
Louisville City FC: 1

Tulsa Roughnecks: 0
OKC Energy FC: 1

Rochester Rhinos: 2
Wilmington Hammerheads: 2

LA Galaxy II: 1
Swope Park Rangers: 2

Real Monarchs SLC: 1
Arizona United SC: 0

Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 1
Harrisburg City Islanders: 1

Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 1
Rio Grande Valley FC: 2

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 0
Sacramento Republic FC: 0

Charlotte Independence: 0
Charleston Battery: 1

San Antonio FC: 2
St. Louis FC: 0

FC Montreal: 4
Toronto FC II: 3

FC Cincinnati: 0
New York Red Bull II: 2