Molino scores twice as Lions take 4-1 win against Charlotte
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL August 4, 2014 – Orlando City SC became the first side to clinch a place in the 2014 USL PRO Playoffs as Kevin Molino led the Lions to a 4-1 victory against the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Coming off back-to-back contests in which they had been shut out, the Lions grabbed the lead just before the halftime break as Dennis Chin put away the rebound of Adama Mbengue’s finish after a good pass from Molino created the chance. Orlando doubled its lead three minutes into the second half as Tyler Turner scored his first professional goal when he headed home Darwin Ceren’s free kick.
Molino quickly added a third from the penalty spot in the 51st minute after Brian ‘Cobi’ Span was brought down in the area, and then scored his 13th goal of the season nine minutes later with a beautiful chipped finish over Charlotte’s Alec Kann after a good through ball from Luke Boden.
Charlotte pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to go when Wells Thomson fired home a finish off the underside of the crossbar, but the Lions were never in danger of relinquishing their lead as they claimed a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season and remained four points clear of the Richmond Kickers at the top of the USL PRO standings.
CHARLESTON 1, MONTREAL RESERVES 0: Colin Falvey scored the only goal as the Charleston Battery took victory against the Montreal Impact Reserves at the Stade Claude-Robillard.
In an entertaining interleague clash, both teams had the chance to take the lead before the Battery struck in the 20th minute. After a foul on Quinton Griffith, Jarad van Schaik sent a free kick into the penalty area and Falvey was on hand to head home.
Montreal had chances to find an equalizer, particularly late as the Impact Reserves had a goal denied by an offside flag and another opportunity that was sent over the crossbar from close range. Charleston held on, however, to claim its second consecutive victory.
HARRISBURG 3, LA GALAXY II 1: Second-half goals by Jimmy McLaughlin and Robbie Dershang gave the Harrisburg City Islanders victory against the LA Galaxy II at Skyline Sports Complex.
After a bright start the City Islanders took the lead in the 17th minute when Pedro Ribeiro’s pass found Jamiel Hardware just outside the penalty area, and the Jamaican fired home a finish. The Galaxy II responded five minutes before the break, however, as Jack McBean held up possession well and laid a pass back to Rafael Garcia, who sent a low shot into the left corner.
Harrisburg regained the momentum at the start of the second half, and Ribeiro came close to restoring the lead six minutes in as his shot went just over the crossbar. Three minutes later McLaughlin struck as he broke in on goal after a good through ball by Yann Ekra and finished into the left corner.
The Galaxy II came close to another equalizer with seven minutes to go, only for Chandler Hoffman’s shot to hit the inside of the left post and bounce away to safety. The City Islanders put the game away three minutes later as Derschang took advantage of a counter-attack and put home a finish from 15 yards into the right corner.
RICHMOND 3, WILMINGTON 1: Matt Delicâte scored his league-leading 14th goal of the season as the Richmond Kickers extended their undefeated streak to 19 games with victory against the Wilmington Hammerheads at Legion Stadium.
The Kickers took the lead in the 19th minute when Shay Spitz fired a shot that came back off the crossbar straight to Delicâte, who put home the rebound. Spitz then doubled Richmond’s advantage at the stroke of halftime as he buried Sascha Görres’ delivery of a free kick from close range.
Richmond added to its lead at the hour mark as a counter-attack was finished off by Samuel Asante. The Hammerheads pulled a goal back six minutes later as Drew Ruggles curled home a shot, but the Kickers held on comfortably to claim victory.
ROCHESTER 0, CHARLESTON 0: The Rochester Rhinos and Charleston Battery finished scoreless at Sahlen’s Stadium as the Battery extended their undefeated streak to three games.
After a quiet first half, the Rhinos came close to opening the scoring as Minh Vu’s header forced a save from Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper. Quinton Griffith also went close for the Battery, as his volley forced a diving stop from John McCarthy, who also had to be sharp to deny Dane Kelly’s half-volley in the 73rd minute. Rochester’s Babacar Diallo also went close three minutes later, but neither side broke the deadlock as the game ended in a draw.
SACRAMENTO 2, ARIZONA 1: Sacramento Republic FC moved into third place in the USL PRO standings as Justin Braun’s goal with 12 minutes to go earned victory against Arizona United SC at the Peoria Sports Complex.
After a scoreless first half, Republic FC took the lead in the 52nd minute as Rodrigo Lopez recorded his league-leading eighth assist of the season when his cross found J.J. Koval for a finish from the top of the penalty area. Arizona got back on level terms 12 minutes later when second-half substitute Jon Okafor had an immediate impact as his cross was finished by Jonathan Top.
Sacramento claimed all three points in the 78th minute, however, as Braun took a through ball, beat his defender and then chipped a finish past an advancing Evan Newton. The win was Republic FC’s first against Arizona, and moved it past the LA Galaxy II in the standings.
PITTSBURGH 3, LA GALAXY II 1: The Pittsburgh Riverhounds overcame an early deficit as they took victory against the LA Galaxy II at Highmark Stadium.
Los Dos took the lead in the 18th minute when Raul Mendiola sent a through ball that found Jose Villareal, and the standout young forward chipped a beautiful finish over the advancing Michael Lisch for a 1-0 lead. Pittsburgh took the lead before the halftime break, however, as Joseph Ngwenya leveled the score at the half-hour mark, and Danny Earls made it 2-1 six minutes before the break with a fine free kick.
The Riverhounds put the game away with 12 minutes to go as Kevin Kerr got on the end of a near-post cross from the right by Matt Dallman and headed home into the right corner. The victory was Pittsburgh’s fifth in its past seven games, and moved it within three points of the eighth and final playoff position.
HARRISBURG 1, DAYTON 0: An early goal by Garrett Pettis proved the difference as the Harrisburg City Islanders moved into seventh place in the USL PRO standings with victory against the Dayton Dutch Lions FC at DOC Stadium.
Pettis’ goal arrived in the eighth minute as he outpaced Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams to a pass and lifted his finish past the goalkeeper for the lead. The Dutch Lions had chances to find an equalizer, but weren’t able to find a way past Nick Noble, who made seven saves to record the shutout.
|Sacramento Republic FC||21||12||6||3||34||23||39|
|LA Galaxy II||22||11||7||4||43||31||37|
|OKC Energy FC||21||8||8||5||29||28||29|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||21||7||8||6||30||30||27|
|Wilmington Hammerheads FC||18||6||4||8||22||21||26|
|Orange County Blues FC||21||8||13||0||25||40||24|
|Arizona United SC (-2)||22||6||11||5||21||36||21|
|Dayton Dutch Lions FC||22||5||15||2||22||46||17|
p- Clinched Playoff Berth
Monday, July 28
Charleston 1, Montreal Reserves 0
Wednesday, July 30
Harrisburg 3, LA Galaxy II 1
Friday, August 1
Richmond 3, Wilmington 1
Rochester 0, Charleston 0
Saturday, August 2
Pittsburgh 3, LA Galaxy II 1
Harrisburg 1, Dayton 0
Orlando 4, Charlotte 1
Oklahoma City 1, Orange County 0
Sacramento 2, Arizona 1
Wednesday, August 6
Harrisburg vs. New York Reserves, 7:30 p.m. ET
Friday, August 8
Pittsburgh vs. Orange County, 7 p.m. ET
Charleston vs. Dayton, 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, August 9
Harrisburg vs. Orlando, 6 p.m. ET
Richmond vs. Charlotte, 7 p.m. ET
Wilmington vs. Dayton, 7:30 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy II vs. Arizona, 10:30 p.m. ET
Sacramento vs. Oklahoma City, 10:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, August 10
Rochester vs. Orange County, 6:05 p.m. ET
USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). Focused on league stability and franchise performance longevity, USL PRO features 14 teams, including expansion teams in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Teams have already been announced for 2015 in Austin, Colorado Springs, Louisville, Saint Louis and Tulsa, with more additions expected soon. Through aggressive and deliberate growth in adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and US Soccer standards, USL PRO is building a robust, national professional soccer league in a format that promotes the benefits of regional league play. In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is the longest-standing pro league affiliate member of US Soccer.