Thursday, April 26

LD Update: Antigua wins; Weekend previews; International signings

Antigua Barracudas 3:2 Charlotte Eagles - After two weeks off, the island club showed no rust. They immediately took the advantage through Peter Byers in the 12th minute. Jorge Herrera tied the contest up eight minutes before the break, but Stefan Smith scored two in five minutes to give them a commanding 3-1 lead on the hour mark. A tally from Luke Williams, though, made the finish a close contest.

NASL Previews: Saturday night features three matches with teams looking to end winless streaks. First, there is the first-ever meeting between San Antonio Scorpions, who come to North Carolina still searching for their first-ever victory after finally ending their scoreless status last week at home.  And though the Carolina RailHawks have the second best goal total in the league, all they have to show for it are three draws and a loss... The Atlanta Silverbacks are at home looking to end two frustrating streaks with the Minnesota Stars visiting. They have draws in all three games this season, and last year went without a point against Minnesota. The fell, 1-2, at home in the first meeting and were blanked the rest of the way, falling 3-0 and then 2-0 twice... The other host, Tampa Bay Rowdies, are in the complete opposition situation having posted an unbeaten record against rival Fort Lauderdale last year. They finished level, 1-1, at Fort Lauderdale in the opening game of the series and then beat the Strikers in the next three with a 4-2 home win and then a pair of 2-0 shutouts. 

USL Pro Previews: Friday night's lone contest is a meeting of old foes with a unique history as the Charleston Battery play host to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The Battery went winless against the Riverhounds last year with a pair of scoreless draws and two losses. It was unusual for Charleston, which had not lost a regular season game against Pittsburgh since their first-ever meeting in 1999, a stretch of nine games (5-0-4). The only other odd note is that Pittsburgh had won the only playoff series between the two with a two-game sweep in a 2001 season in which they did not face one another.

In addition to the Charlotte Eagles playing in Antigua for the second time in three days, the Richmond Kickers will square off against Orlando City for the second consecutive week. The defending league champions blanked the host Kickers last Saturday, 2-0, in a game marred by a lightning stoppage. The two clubs played to a pair of 2-0 home wins in the first two months of last season, but the Kickers were knocked out in the league semifinals, 3-0, in Florida... The Rochester Rhinos will play a third straight game on the road to open the campaign, traveling to Ohio to face the Dayton Dutch Lions after a pair of wins in LA the past two weekends. Rochester swept the series last year with a pair of one-goal wins, similarly visiting Dayton in game three, only with two losses on the road beforehand. Dayton, meanwhile, is home for the first time and looking for both its first goal and win at 0-1-1... Pittsburgh plays its second in as many nights with a road tilt with the 0-1-1 Wilmington Hammerheads. Last year, the Riverhounds saw their even record with the North Carolina club swing to Wilmington's favor (5-3-3) with a pair of 3-1 road losses and a scoreless draw at home. Two of the Riverhound's three wins in the series, though, have come on the road.

Open Cup Qualifying - USASA Region III Preview: The schedule and the field of eight teams, representing five of its 12 associations, have been set for the USASA Region III tournament, which will determine the two Lamar Hunt US Open Cup berths from the region Friday and Saturday before crowning a champion Sunday. Four teams return to the tournament from a year ago, including defending champion ASC New Stars of Houston. The three other sides returning from last year’s event are the Greenville Eagles (South Carolina), Royal Eagles (Florida) and Boston Avenue (Oklahoma). The newcomers are Galveston Pirate (South Texas), FC Rahr (North Texas), Barracudas (South Texas) and NTX Rayados (North Texas). The two groups were worked out in even fashion with two returning squads and two new teams in each. - Schedule included below.

USL Pro Signings: The Battery announced the addition of two players on loan from Jamaica's Tivoli Gardens, bringing back Dane Kelly for a second season and Jamaican international Navion Boyd... The Los Angeles Blues have signed goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek, who spent the last two years abroad playing for RKS Garbarnia in the Polish second division...Reading United announced two foreign player additions with Jamaican youth international Deshorn Brown and James Madison standout Paul Wyatt.

PDL Signings: Worcester Hydra unveiled 11 players that have committed for the team's first season, including New Zealand U20 youth international Colin Murphy. They all come from Boston University, Boston College, Central Connecticut State, Merrimack, UMass Lowell and Quinnipiac... FC Tucson picked up a former Real Salt Lake Homegrown player, signing Donny Toia... Mississippi Brilla announced that Thomas Shannon is returning to the club from the University of Memphis...

W-League Signings: A trio of internationals are returning to the Pali Blues, with Italian goalkeeper Anna Picarelli and defenders Christie Shaner, a former US youth international, and Sasha Andrews, a veteran with Canada... The Pacific coast clubs are not the only ones inking US internationals. Colorado Rush announced the addition of US U20 member and University of Portland standout Kendall Johnson... Their local rival Colorado Rapids Women announced they are bringing in a pair of internationals as well with Laura Thacker (England) and Ode Fulutudilo (South Africa), who both have led Lee University to four consecutive NAIA National Championships.


Friday, April 27
USL Pro - Pittsburgh @ Charleston
USASA-RIII* - Galveston Pirates (TXS) v ASC New Stars (TXS)
USASA-RIII* - Royal Eagles (FL) v Barracudas (TX)
USASA-RIII* - FC Rahr (NTX) v Greenville Eagles (SC)
USASA-RIII* - Boston Avenue AC (OK) v NTX Rayados

Saturday, April 28
NASL - San Antonio @ Carolina
NASL - Minnesota @ Atlanta
NASL - Fort Lauderdale @ Tampa Bay
USL Pro - Charlotte @ Antigua
USL Pro - Rochester @ Dayton
USL Pro - Richmond @ Orlando City
USL Pro - Pittsburgh @ Wilmington
USL PDL - Fresno @ Los Angeles
NPSL - San Diego Boca @ Phoenix
NPSL - Santa Clarita @ Hasental
NPSL - North Coast @ San Francisco
NPSL - Bay Area @ San Jose
USASA-RIII* - Greenville Eagles v Galveston Pirates
USASA-RIII* - Royal Eagles v NTX Rayados
USASA-RIII* - ASC New Stars v FC Rahr
USASA-RIII* - Barracudas v Boston Avenue AC
USASA-RIII* - FC Rahr v Galveston Pirates
USASA-RIII* - Boston Avenue AC v Royal Eagles
USASA-RIII* - Greenville Lions v ASC New Stars
USASA-RIII* - NTX Rayados v Barracudas
USOC-Playoff* - Stanislaus (USCS) at Bay Area (NPSL)

Sunday, April 29
NPSL - San Diego Flash @ Fullerton
NPSL - Sonoma County @ Sacramento
USASA-RIII* - Championship (Two Group Winners)
USASA-RI* - 3rd Place, Maryland vs Jersey Shore

* US Open Cup Qualifying: USASA Regions I & III (in Houston) tournaments & Playoff between NPSL and US Club Soccer clubs

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