USL Week 5 Preview: Portland, Cincinnati Look for Momentum

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Week 5 in the USL has moved in quickly with games starting on Wednesday night in the West coast and ending with some interesting fixtures in the East on Sunday afternoon.

A good number of teams are looking to take their upsets and turn them into trends this week with the chance of moving up the table. Other teams are looking to rebound after great expectations were not met in front of big crowds with high hopes.

PORTLAND AND OC WANT TO CONTINUE THEIR ASCENCION

One of those teams looking to keep momentum is Portland Timbers FC 2 as they travel to Orange County after an upset win over Sacramento Republic FC at Merlo Field.

This time, Portland will have to face an Orange County team very much interested in getting their own season going after some tough losses in the first few weeks. Last week they handed their opposition a 1-0 defeat of their own and hope to continue their solid defensive efforts. Only once this season has OC surrendered more than one goal. Conversely they’ve also not put more than one per game into the back of the net either.

T2 has not been strong defensively despite the 1-0 win over Sacramento. So far they have surrendered seven goals in just four games. They are certainly hoping to get their offense going against a side that also has woes scoring. Both Portland and OC have scored three goals this season and look for the striking options to have more shots in Wednesday night’s fixture.

FC CINCINNATI LOOKS TO REBOUND AFTER TOUGH LOSS

There was a lot to be excited about in Cincinnati on Saturday as the new USL side posted the largest crowd ever for a USL game at over 20,000. However, that excitement did not carry onto the field as Louisville City FC spoiled the party with three first half goals.

Despite being up a man for the entirety of the second half, Cincinnati was unable to pull even, dropping the game by a heartbreaking score of 3-2.

This week FC Cincinnati hope things will be different as they travel to Toronto to play a II team that is undefeated this season. With only three games, TFC II opened their home campaign with a hard fought draw against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Only Louisville City has scored more goals this season but Toronto’s defense has been their biggest sticking point. The team surrendered two goals to Pittsburgh, with one coming in stoppage time, in front of a sold out crowd.

WEEK 5 FIXTURES:

Portland Timbers 2 vs. Orange County Blues FC on 4/20 at 10:30PM
Richmond Kickers vs. Charlotte Independence on 4/22 at 7PM
Orlando City B vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds on 4/22 at 7PM
New York Red Bull II vs. Wilmington Hammerheads on 4/22 at 7PM
Louisville City FC vs. Harrisburg City Islanders on 4/22 at 7PM
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. LA Galaxy II on 4/22 at 10:30PM
San Antonio FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks on 4/23 at 3PM
FC Montreal vs. Rochester Rhinos on 4/23 at 5:05PM
Swope Park Rangers vs. OKC Energy FC on 4/23 at 8PM
Rio Grande Valley FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC on 4/23 at 9PM
St. Louis FC vs. Sacramento Republic FC on 4/23 at 10:30PM
Charleston Battery vs. Bethlehem Steel FC on 4/24 at 3PM
FC Cincinnati vs. Toronto FC II on 4/24 at 4PM


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