USL FIRST DIVISION WEEKEND ROUND-UP
The action started on Thursday night with two games, as Minnesota Thunder drew with Portland Timbers for the third and final time this regular season after a 2-2 result. The draw meant that Portland became the first USL-1 club to clinch a playoff berth for next month. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Montreal edged towards the playoffs themselves with a 2-0 win over the struggling California Victory.
On Friday evening, Puerto Rico saw Hurricane Dean miss their Caribbean island and their Islanders side claim a late winner from English striker Taiwo Atieno to defeat Miami FC 1-0 in Bayamon. Carolina RailHawks were awarded their first piece of silverware as a USL-1 club after receiving the Southern Derby Cup (pictured) following a goalless home draw with regional rivals Atlanta Silverbacks.
Saturday saw three more clubs claim playoff berths with victories. Rochester Raging Rhinos reached the post-season for a 12th straight time after a 1-0 win over ten-man Minnesota in St. Paul. Seattle not only claimed a playoff place, but top spot in the league standings with a late 1-0 success at California. Montreal joined Portland, Rochester, and Seattle in the playoffs after a 2-0 away win over Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps. The result gave the Impact their sixth-straight Voyageurs Cup title as the top Canadian USL-1 side this season.
The lone game on Sunday saw Puerto Rico repeat their efforts of Friday with another home victory over Miami FC. A Willie Sims hat-trick gave Colin Clarke’s side a 3-2 win at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium.