Sunday, September 9

LD Update: Battery win USL Pro title; Cunningham gets first NASL goal

Charleston celebrates title | courtesy Charleston Battery
Two rookies led the Battery, the playoff team with the most losses on the season (10), to the franchise's fourth championship in 20 years as Charleston defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads for the USL Pro title.

Meanwhile, in the NASL it was all ones... nearly. Three of the four matches concluded in 1-1 draws with the fourth finishing with just one strike between the two clubs.


Charleston Battery 1 :: 0 Wilmington Hammerheads -  The league's third best defense shut down the high-flying visitors, who came into the match with seven goals in its previous two playoff victories on the road against Richmond, 3-2, and one-loss two-time regular season champion Orlando City, 4-3. Rookie of the Year winner Jose Cuevas set up the winning strike with 16 minutes remaining with a through ball to midfielder Mike Azira, who one-timed his effort from the left side of the box for his first goal as a professional with the Uganda native out of the University of Mobile joining the club after impressing the team at the USL Pro Combine. The victory gave the Battery their second title in three years after previously winning  championships in 1996 and 2003. - MORE


Carolina RailHawks 0 :: 1 San Antonio Scorpions - After a two hour delay before the match due to weather, it was an even longer wait before the visitors found a special winner with six minutes remaining. Walter Ramirez delivered the ball to MLS all-time leading goal scorer Jeff Cunningham, who tallied his first goal of the season. - MORE

Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1 :: 1 Puerto Rico Islanders - Two goals in the first nine minutes left impressions of more, but the two sides played to a stalemate the rest of the way. Nicholas Addlery put the Islanders in front three minutes in and Pecka answered in the ninth with a strike that ultimately put the Strikers into the postseason. - MORE

Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 :: 1 Atlanta Silverbacks - In another stalemate after two first half strikes, the visitors took the lead at the half-hour mark through Matt Horth. Takuya Yamada put the terms back to even for Tampa Bay with three minutes remaining in the half. - MORE

Minnesota Stars 1 :: 1 FC Edmonton - The hosts were one kick away from clinching the final playoff berth as FC Edmonton took away two points with a literal last-second strike via Shaun Saiko. Amani Walker had given the home team the lead 19 minutes into the contest - MORE

Playoff Chase: San Antonio, Tampa Bay, Puerto Rico, Fort Lauderdale and Carolina have clinched playoff berths with the race for the top two spots and byes to the semifinals still open. Minnesota has firm control in the race for the final playoff berth, sitting eight points ahead of both Edmonton and Atlanta with all three clubs having three games remaining.


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