USL Week 7 Recap: A Texas Rivalry is Born, Los Dos Fall, More

USL San Antonio Rio Grande

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

USL Week 7 is in the books and now only one team remains undefeated in 2016.

A game-filled week for LA Galaxy II started well with a win against Colorado Springs but ended with a tough loss against California rival Sacramento Republic FC. For the Republic it was a much needed win to get their season back on track, while for LA it shows just how difficult the USL schedule can be to remain consistent week to week.

The battle of California wasn’t the only state derby to happen this weekend. Rio Grande Valley FC and San Antonio also played their first game in what many hope will become a competitive rivalry. Rio Grande Valley FC got the first notch on their belt with a 3-2 win at Toyota Field.

Lastly, the uglier side of the game showed its head in New York’s visit to Pittsburgh. Dynamic striker Romeo Parkes lost his head and viciously attacked Karl Ouimette after both players receiving red cards.

LA GALAXY II FINALLY DROP A RESULT

An incredibly impressive start by head coach Curt Onalfo and Los Dos hit its first road bump after dropping their first result of the season to the Sacramento Republic. The Republic turned the tides after four straight weeks without a win. In fact, they had suffered three straight losses with two of them being at Bonney Field.

The fireworks started in the 16th minute when Emrah Klimenta ended the over 300 minute scoreless streak for the Republic. One of the few holdovers from the 2014 Championship run, Klimenta scored off of a free kick while also playing a hand in the second half goal by Harry Williams.

Los Dos could do little to counteract a Republic side that looked more dynamic than they have at any point this season. The impressive win sends the Republic to 3-3-1 on the season and just six points off the lead currently held by the LA Galaxy II.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY FC GET FIRST WIN IN TEXAS RIVALRY

Rio Grande Valley FC took the first game against potential rival San Antonio FC at Toyota Field. This goal-heavy game didn’t reach its dramatic peak until the 69th minute. Up until that point there were no goals in the game. Rob Lovejoy broke the game open with a goal and then provided the stunning finish in stoppage time to put San Antonio away.

Probably one of the most entertaining second halves this season, San Antonio would find itself down by two goals in the 72nd minute. Ex-New York Red Bull Manolo Sanchez started the comeback for San Antonio and by the 84th minute, the game had been drawn even by an equalizer from Shawn Chin.

The win gives Rio Grande Valley 10 points and keeps them competitive for a playoff spot as we approach a third of the way through the season. San Antonio may have lost but the team’s heart shows just how difficult they are as an opponent in their first year of operation in the USL.

SITUATION TURNS UGLY IN PITTSBURGH

In what has to be one of the most outrageous situations in American soccer history, Riverhounds striker Romeo Parkes kicked New York defender Karl Ouimette in the back as both were leaving the field following a red card. The incident happened late in Saturday’s game at Highmark Stadium. A physical but well-played game was mired by the situation which both the league and team have addressed swiftly.

First it was the USL who quickly suspended Parkes and opened an investigation. However, Pittsburgh moved just as fast terminating the contract for Parkes and issuing a statement against the actions of their striker. The move is notable as the Riverhounds have effectively terminated their top striker who had scored five goals in six games.

USL WEEK 7 RESULTS:

Louisville City FC: 2
Toronto FC II: 0

FC Cincinnati: 3
Orlando City B: 1

Tulsa Roughnecks: 2
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: 3

Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 2
LA Galaxy II: 3

Charleston Battery: 2
Rochester Rhinos: 3

FC Montreal: 0
Charlotte Independence: 1

New York Red Bull II: 3
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 1

Wilmington Hammerheads: 0
Richmond Kickers: 1

Bethlehem Steel FC: 2
Orlando City B: 2

Real Monarchs SLC: 1
Porland Timbers 2: 3

Rio Gande Valley FC: 3
San Antonio FC: 2

Swope Park Rangers: 0
St. Louis FC: 3

OKC Energy FC: 0
Arizona United SC: 0

Sacramento Republic FC: 2
LA Galaxy II: 0

Colorado Springs Switchbacks: 3
Orange County Blues FC: 0

Tulsa Roughnecks: 2
Seattle Sounders FC 2: 1