Sunday, April 8

LD Update: Match Night Recap from Opening Weekend

Following last night’s opener in Antigua, action across the Lower Divisions got into full swing Saturday night for USL Pro (Div. 3) and North American Soccer League (Div. 2).

Offense was hard to find on the first night of action for the second-year NASL with only two goals across the four matches with Fort Lauderdale and Puerto Rico registering 1-0 home victories. The league saw just as many red cards, however both the Strikers and Islanders managed to score despite playing a man down.

Three games into the four on the weekend in USL Pro, none of the home clubs have been able to celebrate a victory. And for the second consecutive evening, a winning goalkeeper stopped a penalty kick.


Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1:0 FC Edmonton - Former Chicago Fire player Andy Herron provided the winner for the Strikers just after the hour mark while the club played a man down due to a red card given to forward Aly Hassan in the 40th minute. – More 

Puerto Rico Islanders 1:0 Tampa Bay Rowdies – The Islanders may not be in their regular home, but they managed to find success in their alternate venue Saturday night. The back-and-forth match saw its first big twist come in the 58th when Jamie Cunningham was sent off for the hosts. Longtime star Nicholas Addlery, however, came through for Puerto Rico when a deflected free kick found its way to him to place into the right corner of the goal in the 69th. – More

Atlanta Silverbacks 0:0 San Antonio Scorpions – The new club from Texas may not have scored, but earning a point on the road in your first official match is nothing to complain about. Both teams had plenty of chances, but the goalkeepers stood firm on the night. – More

Minnesota Stars 0:0 Carolina RailHawks – Colin Clarke’s new club may have a little work still to do being outshot by the hosts 22-2 on the night, but a scoreless draw at the Metrodome is not a terrible start. The result is a relief considering Minnesota’s Neil Hlavaty missed a penalty with 18 minutes remaining, perhaps a reaction to RailHawks keeper Ray Burse making two excellent saves in the first half. – More


Charlotte Eagles 0:2 Orlando City – The game was decided for the defending league champion Lions on a goal three minutes in and secured with one two minutes into second half stoppage time.  Dennis Chin, a late start due to a Max Griffin injury, wasted no time with the nice 15-yard early strike on an assist from John Rooney. Late in the first half Jorge Herrera was taken down into the box, but his subsequent penalty was stopped by Sean Kelley, who was in for the suspended Miguel Gallardo (red card in championship last year). Kevin Molina locked the game up with the late tally. – More

Richmond Kickers 1:2 Charleston Battery – The Kickers were in full celebration mode for their 20th Anniversary, but it proved to be a case of history repeating itself. In the second game of their 1993 campaign, they fell 2-1 to the Battery with current coach Leigh Cowlishaw netting the only goal. On Saturday Jose Cuevas led the visitors to the win with a pair of goals. The ageless John Wilson beat four Kickers on a run before finding Cuevas with a cross four minutes before the break. Richmond, answered right back, though, with Stanley Nyazama, who had created two dangerous chances after the goal, reversing roles and becoming the finisher in stoppage time for a stalemate at halftime. The winner in the 67th was amid some debate as it appeared Salieu Bundu may have dribbled over the end line prior to connecting with Cuevas with a cross. – More


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