Monday, August 20

LD Update: Dramatic finish of USL Pro ; Scorpions clinch in NASL

Clutch wins and missed opportunities highlighted a dramatic final night in the USL Pro regular season as the Charlotte Eagles failed to take advantage of prime position to clinch a playoff berth and the Richmond Kickers were unable to claim the second-place berth direct to the semifinals, leaving Rochester in second.

Meanwhile, Wilmington jumped over Charlotte in the table with a win over their state rivals after a loss the night before in their two-game series, and the Harrisburg City Islanders picked up a crucial win on the other side of the country to slip by the Eagles for the final playoff berth.

As the USL Pro season came to an end, the beginning of the end of the NASL season was marked by the league-leading San Antonio Scorpions becoming the first to clinch a postseason berth.

USL Pro Playoffs

First Round - Saturday Aug 25
(5) Wilmington @ (4) Richmond
(6) Harrisburg @ (3) Charleston

Semifinals - Friday Aug 31
Lower seed @ (1) Orlando City
Higher seed @ (2) Rochester


Charlotte Eagles 1:2 Wilmington Hammerheads - New York Red Bulls loanee Corey Hertzog gave the visitors the initial advantage 29 minutes into the contest, and nearly had a second before the break. Needing just a draw, a free kick from Mauricio Salles led to a scramble in the box that wrapped up with Darren Toby burying the equalizer in the 58th minute. Second-half sub Steven Perry became the Hammerheads hero in the 77th minute when he took advantage of a mis-stepped defender on a counter and struck for the winner. - MORE

LA Blues 0:1 Harrisburg City Islanders - The hosts had numerous quality scoring chances, many denied by Nick Noble, that allowed the visitors to keep their playoff chances alive. Harrisburg capitalized on the opportunity in teh 66th minute when Lucky Mkosana made an excellent individual play by beating several Blues players en route to dropping the ball to an unmarked Yann Ekra for the easy tap-in winner. - MORE

Antigua Barracuda 2:1 Richmond Kickers - The hosts capped the season with a positive result, playing the role of spoilers against Richmond by avenging Friday's 1-0 loss. It took very little time for Antigua to show Richmond they were not going to lay down, sending a ball down the left wing in the first minute of play to Ranja Christian, who found Quinton Griffith for a 12-yard rip into the upper corner just 27 seconds into the contest. Richmond nearly equalized twice before the break with a stunning 40-yard shot from Sascha Gorres that was narrowly put aside by the keeper in the 16th minute and Luke Vercollone hitting the frame in the 31st. The near-chances proved costly as Randolph Burton drove to the box and blasted a 20-yarder to double the lead in the 38th. The Kickers attempt at a rally found some success, but too late as a throw-in during stoppage time finished with Chris Agorsor tallying. - MORE


San Antonio Scorpions 4:0 Tampa Bay Rowdies - It was all Scorions right from the start. Walter Ramirez provided the opener eight minutes in and Pablo Campos pushed the lead to three before the break with strikes on a one-v-one with the keeper in the the 17th and a penalty in the 28th following a play in which he was fouled. He nearly had a third on a second spot kick four minutes later, but was denied by Jeff Attinella. Estaban Bayona capped the night off with a tally in stoppage time. - MORE

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