The rain blew in during a dark and stormy week seven. No major shifts in power this week but we did learn a few things about some of the teams at the top of the chart. No-one got bit, not a single red card was issued. Just when we thought it would be a nice calm week in the USL, Saint Louis’s stadium flooded and Pittsburgh signed former Riverhounds spine kicker Romeo Parkes. Phew, that was almost close to normal.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Toronto FC II 1-0
The first game of the week proved to be fairly exciting despite what the score line suggests. Toronto had a couple chances to get back into this match. The real highlight came early as the Hounds’ Souto nailed his professional goal and gave Pittsburgh their first back to back win on the season. It was beauty from outside the box and landed a number two spot on ESPN’s top 10. Pittsburgh and Toronto keepers were able to swipe away a couple other chances to lock the early score line in. The Riverhounds gain three more points and are looking good in the five spot on the eastern standings.
First career pro goal ✔️
Well done, @soutoav8. Well done. #PGHvTOR pic.twitter.com/lhbr8GSf4H
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) May 3, 2017
Ottawa Fury FC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies 0-0
Round two of the NASL defection derby was a rough match. The rain came down in Canada which caused both teams to struggle for footing. Tampa did manage to score a goal in the fourth minute only too see it stripped away via an offside call. The Rowdies kept up their aggressive play, but after three early yellows the attack seemed to stifle. Tampa Bay leads the east in shots, but failed to generate very many with the wet field. The Rowdies resorted to more longer passes than we used to seeing. Each team gains a point here and a chance to jump the Battery for lead in the east goes wasted.
New York Red Bulls II vs. Harrisburgh City Islanders 3-1
After a slow start to the season the Baby Bulls are starting to win the matches they would be expected to win. The young attackers are starting to find the back of the net and the Bulls’ Allen put up a brace against Harrisburg. His first goal came in the 26th minute and Harrisburg responded going into the half with a 1-1 scoreline. New York broke out after than pinning Harrisburg behind and making them pay for defensive errors. The Red Bulls II took 11 shots in this game however seven were on frame. That is shot efficiency.
Richmond Kickers vs. FC Cincinnati 1-1
FC Cincinnati continued it’s road trip without two of their attackers. Djiby and Craven both are serving suspensions so FC Cincinnati got a bit of help from Crew SC. Croatia. Martínez came on a one game loan and started in a wide attacking role in the formation. Richmond caught Cincy off guard by scoring in the seventh minute and forcing them to play catch up. The catch up goal came however, via Jimmy McLaughlin. Jimmy got his first on the year via some beautiful passing inside the box. Cincinnati still struggled to find shots and is looking for someone to step up in that #9 role. Richmond has not allowed more than one goal to any team all year.
Charleston Battery vs. Bethlehem Steel FC 1-0
Bethlehem may be able to slay FC Cincinnati but that is the only team they have been able to beat all season. The Battery had no trouble keeping their lead in the east during this match. Charleston reverted back to their shell and played a strong defensive game. They still had plenty of counters taking fifteen shots but most never got close. The Battery did score an early goal and then managed to hold that scoreline the rest of the game. The lead was extended with Louisville off this weak and Tampa ending in a tie.