Saturday, June 9

Lower Division Five Stars - Round 9... plus US Open Cup Rd 4

A little late, but here is the Five Stars for the lower division campaign through games of June 3 along with the fourth installment of the US Open Cup rankings. in the Lower Division rankings, it started out as a strikers' league, but has definitely transitioned into being all about the goalkeepers. In the Open Cup, the all-tournament list saw little change as the MLS teams are yet to have any consistent goal scorers to move up a list featuring a lot of great early round performances. 

Five Stars of the Week – Round 9

1 – Corey Hertzog – F – Wilmington Hammerheads: A fantastic performance with two goals and an assist gave the Hammers a 3-1 win over the previously unbeaten league leader Orlando City.  

2 – Ronnie Pascale – G – Richmond Kickers: One goal allowed and 19 saves in a pair of positive road results, a 1-1 draw in Harrisburg and a 1-0 win at Rochester.

3 – Ciaran O’Brien – M – Atlanta Silverbacks: A goal and an assist helped the club get its first win of the season, downing FC Edmonton 2-1.

LD Update: USL Pro Game Night & signings

After a perfect six-game win and shutout streak start, the Rhinos can't find a win at all. Rochester has gone five league games now without a victory (0-2-3) with the only win during that stretch coming against an NPSL side in the US Open Cup before falling out, 3-0, to MLS Philadelphia.

Wilmington Hammerheads 1:1 Rochester Rhinos - Although Rochester avoided giving up a goal in the first five minutes for a third consecutive game, Wilmington still created some of the more dangerous early opportunities, including one in the 19th minute that had to be cleared off the line by Troy Roberts. The Rhinos took the lead at the half-hour mark on a play started by goalkeeper Kristian Nicht. He sent long ball to Danny Earls, who delivered the ball to Tyler Rosenlund to head in at the near post. A second chance ball in the 68th minute was hammered past Nicht by Paul Nicholson to level terms. - MORE

Thursday, June 7

LD Update: Honors; W-League signing; Canada HoF; Claudio Suarez

NASL News: The league named Ciaran O'Brien of the Atlanta Silverbacks the Offensive Player of the Week and honored Minnesota Stars goalkeeper Matt VanOekel the Defensive Player of the Week... The Atlanta Silverbacks are undergoing a front office change with president Michael Oki resigning and that Andy Smith is the club's new General Manager after serving as the interim director of sales.

USL Pro News: The league announced Richmond Kickers goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale, in his final season, as the Player of the Week, highlighting the Team of the Week.

Monday, June 4

LD Update: NASL Game Night - Winless no more

Winless no more. With Carolina winning Saturday and Atlanta picking up a victory on the road Sunday, every club in the NASL has now tasted success and put a tally in the win column.

FC Edmonton 1:2 Atlanta Silverbacks - The first part of Atlanta's two game swing to the Northwest started dreadfully with a 5-1 US Open Cup loss in Seattle, but Ciaran O'Brien powered the Silverbacks to their first win in Edmonton. A free kick in the 31st was O'Brien's first strike, beating Lance Parker from just outside the box on the set play. Ten minutes later O'Brien delivered a cross to Shane Moroney, whose header game him three goals in as many games. Standout Shane Saiko continued his hot streak, connecting with Kevin Hatchi off a free kick in the 52nd, but it was not enough even with Atlanta's Martyn Lancaster being sent off in the 79th. - MORE

Sunday, June 3

LD Update: NASL & USL Pro Game Night

The Carolina RailHawks picked up their first victory with coach Colin Clarke downing his former club, Puerto Rico Islanders. The result allowed the Minnesota Stars to move into a tie for first in a meeting of the league's two hottest teams, finishing in a scoreless draw with San Antonio. In another first, the Strikers picked up their first win against rival Tampa Bay.

Two of the top three clubs in USL Pro suffered losses on the night, including the previously unbeaten defending champion Orlando City. Charleston's victory, meanwhile, allowed them to jump up into second.


Carolina RailHawks 2:1 Puerto Rico Islanders - The hosts suffered a setback in the first half with the loss of Gale Agbossoumonde to a red card, but overcame the handicap in the second half. A free kick took some fortunate deflections for an own goal to give Carolina the lead in the 52nd minute. The Islanders equalized in the 79th when Jonathan Fana found defender Jay Needham for a tap-in. With the matched headed to a draw, late sub and Open Cup hero Ty Shipalane put away a long ball from goalkeeper Ray Burse with two minutes remaining. - MORE