Thursday, April 19
LD Update: Match Previews; Signings; Charity
USL Pro has been almost the exact opposite with only one match of nine finishing in a draw. There have been six shutouts, including one scoreless stalemate. Six of the eight match-winners scored at least two goals in the contest. The third weekend will finally see its last remaining season opener as Harrisburg City takes to the field.
NASL Previews: Three of the four matches are Saturday once again. The winless Atlanta Silverbacks (0-0-2) play host to the perfectly even Tampa Bay Rowdies (1-1-1, 2 GF, 2 GA). Tampa won the series 2-1-1 last year with a 9-5 aggregate score, but split the two contests in Atlanta… Also winless, the Carolina RailHawks (0-0-3) head to the Caribbean to face the unbeaten Puerto Rico Islanders (2-0-1). Carolina is looking to reverse last year’s 1-0-3 record against the CFU champions with the help of their opponent’s former coach Colin Clarke, who makes his first appearance in Bayamon… The expansion San Antonio Scorpions (0-1-1) host their second match of the year, facing the 1-1-0 Fort Lauderdale Strikers. In Fort Lauderdale’s most recent Texas trips, the then Miami FC side lost twice by the same 3-1 scoreline to the Austin Aztex (now Orlando City) in the 2010 USSF Division 2 season.
On Sunday, the defending champion Minnesota Stars look for their first goal and win after a pair of scoreless draws to open the season, travelling north of the border to face and FC Edmonton in a similar situation having no goals through a 0-2-1 start. It could be a defensive stalemate as the two clubs have allowed a combined two goals in five games. Minnesota went winless against Edmonton last year (0-2-2), losing both games in Alberta.
NASL Signing: The Minnesota Stars signed midfielder Michael Reed, a rookie out of the University of New Mexico.
USL Pro Previews: The action kicks off with two contests Friday night. In the east, the Charlotte Eagles will play host for the third consecutive week to a club opening their season as the Harrisburg City Islanders visit North Carolina. The Eagles, though, are hoping to break the other trend, their scoreless and winless streaks through the first three games of the year (0-2-1). Last year Harrisburg won 4-0 at home and then played to a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 win in Charlotte… Then in the west, the Los Angeles Blues host the Rochester Rhinos for the second straight weekend, looking to reverse the 1-0 loss to the visitors from last Saturday…
Three east coast games are set for Saturday with the Dayton Dutch Lions (0-0-1) head to Pittsburgh to face the Riverhounds (1-1-0). The two clubs won their respective home games in the two-game series last year… The Richmond Kickers (1-1-0) will play host to defending champion Orlando City (2-0-0). 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… Harrisburg finishes up a North Carolina doubleheader with the Wilmington Hammerheads (0-1-0). Wilmington swept the series a year ago with a 3-1 home win and 2-1 road victory.
PDL Signings: Mississippi Brilla added two more players to the squad, bringing in a pair of players from NAIA Lubbock Christian University in Texas… The Sounders U23 announced three additions, including local product Mark Lee, who won the league championship with Kitsap a year ago. Also signing was University of Akron’s Aodhan Quinn, son of former EPL player and US international Brian, and local player Anthony Arena, a former US youth international.
W-League News: The Ottawa Fury added former University of Virginia striker Meghan Lenczyk who was a rookie for the WPS Atlanta Beat a year ago… The Colorado Rush Women brought in Virginia Tech goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts, who was a member of the Canadian U20 squad at the CONCACAF U20 Championship in Panama... The DC United Women are participating in the inaugural Headers for Hope tournament, playing against the University of Maryland in the feature match at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown. Other participating teams include the College of William and Mary, the U.S. Naval Academy, Villanova University, Loyola University, the NY Fury and the Maryland Capitols. Funds raised and donated in the name of Headers For Hope will help to assist communities improve the cancer experience of those affected with this life challenge.