Photo courtesy Chris Cowger / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
1. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC had gone six games without leading scorer Neco Brett finding the net, but with a pair of goals in the side’s 3-0 victory against the Richmond Kickers the Jamaican surged back into form to snap the Hounds’ two-game losing streak and push the side back into third place in the Eastern Conference. Brett most recent tallies prior to Wednesday night came in the Hounds’ 3-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II on June 16, so getting their standout forward back on track was a very good sign for the hosts on top of the win.
2. As the two players that have played every minute of the season for Orange County SC, midfielder Aodhan Quinn and forward Thomas Enevoldsen have been arguably the club’s two most important players in 2018 and they made a key difference in the second half to allow the hosts to claim a point in a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers 2 on Wednesday despite a sluggish first half. Quinn recorded a goal and assist, while Enevoldsen moved back into a tie for the league-lead with his 12th goal of the season to equalize with six minutes to go as Orange County’s undefeated streak reached four games.
3. The Swope Park Rangers took a point for a second consecutive outing, but again needed a stellar goalkeeping display to do so in a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy II to open their trip to Southern California. The Rangers got a five-save performance by Adrian Zendejas that included a game-saving stop on Geoffrey Acheampong’s penalty kick with 14 minutes to go as Los Dos had much the better of the game, outshooting their visitors 22-3 overall. Swope Park remains above the playoff line but is now winless in its last five games and will need to be better on Saturday when it faces Orange County.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy II and Swope Park Rangers played to a 1-1 draw at StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium as a penalty kick-save by Adrian Zendejas preserved a point for the Rangers on the road. The Galaxy II almost took the lead in the ninth minute when Frank Lopez got past Zendejas on a breakaway, but SPR defender Graham Smith trailed back to block the shot as the visitors cleared. Swope Park’s first big chance arrived in the 28th minute as Hadji Barry got in behind the Galaxy II defense only for Los Dos goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg to save as he came quickly off his line, but the Rangers took the lead six minutes into the second half as Barry fired home a first-time finish from 12 yards off a centering pass by Colton Storm from the right. Los Dos leveled on the hour-mark when Lopez put home a good finish to the right corner after a run and cross from the left by Ariel Lassiter, and then had the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot with 14 minutes to go only for Zendejas to deny Geoffrey Acheampong with a diving save to the left corner. The Rangers were reduced to 10 men with two minutes to go when Barry was sent off after receiving his second yellow card of the game for simulation, and Lopez just shot wide for the Galaxy II in stoppage time as the hosts looked for a late winner, but honors ended even as the Rangers held on for a point.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Frank Lopez, LA Galaxy II – Lopez scored the equalizer with a good finish, set up the chance that led to the Galaxy II’s penalty kick and finished with nine shots and three key passes on the night for Los Dos.
PITTSBURGH – Neco Brett struck in either half as Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC took a 3-0 victory against the Richmond Kickers on Wednesday night. Brett put the Hounds ahead in the fifth minute as he capitalized on a long ball forward that fell to him after a Kickers defender was unable to direct his clearing header back upfield. Pittsburgh continued to have the better of the game before the halftime break, and the hosts thought they had added to their lead early in the second half only for the offside flag to rule out Brett’s finish from the right side of the penalty area. Brett got his second of the night and 10th of the season in the 69th minute, however, as he rifled home a finish to the left corner from the top of the penalty area, and Pittsburgh wrapped up all three points with nine minutes to go as Ben Fitzpatrick scored his first professional goal with a good finish to the right corner from the left side of the penalty area.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Neco Brett, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Brett’s brace – including a fifth-minute tally that gave the Hounds a key early lead – lifted the hosts to an important victory to end their recent downturn.
IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC and the Portland Timbers 2 played to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday as the hosts rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit at the Champions Soccer Stadium. Portland took the lead in the 13th minute when Renzo Zambrano sprang a counterattack for Marvin Loria, who took possession in his own half and beat three defenders before producing a chipped finish over advancing Orange County goalkeeper Luis Lopez. T2 doubled its advantage in the 31st minute when Jack Barmby fired home a low finish to the right corner from the left side of the penalty area, and then held onto its two-goal lead as goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh made a point-blank save to deny Orange County’s Walker Hume on a header from the top of the six-yard area. McIntosh came up big again early in the second half with a string of three consecutive saves in the same sequence that kept the hosts from cutting into the deficit, but Aodhan Quinn pulled a goal back in the 62nd minute as he tucked home a finish off a slipped pass from Michael Seaton as Quinn broke into the penalty area. Orange County the drew level with six minutes to go as Thomas Enevoldsen stole in between the T2 back line and McIntosh to win a chipped ball over the top by Quinn that allowed him to finish into an open net for his 12th goal of the season, but honors ended even despite Orange County’s late attempt to grab a winner through Hume was denied by McIntosh in stoppage time.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Aodhan Quinn, Orange County SC – Quinn pulled the hosts back into the game with his goal just past the hour mark and then notched his eighth assist of the season on Thomas Enevoldsen’s winner to earn OCSC a point.