USL FIRST DIVISION WEEKEND ROUND UP

Rochester Raging Rhinos and Atlanta Silverbacks moved closer to the top of the USL-1 standings after wins over the weekend.

Both teams are within touching distance of leaders Portland Timbers and second-place Seattle Sounders, as the battle for playoff positions heads into the final stages of the regular season.

Though they remain in last place in USL-1, Minnesota Thunder have been a thorn in the side of some league’s top teams. After drawing 1-1 with Portland at home on August 4, Amos Magee’s side started a grueling three-game road trip through the Pacific Northwest by claiming another point off the Timbers with a 0-0 draw at PGE Park on Thursday night.

In what was a busy weekend of league games, Montreal Impact were held to a goalless draw by Miami FC at the Claude Robillard Sports Complex in one of three Friday night contests. In Upstate New York, goalkeeper Scott Vallow (pictured) made his first start in over three months to help Rochester to a 2-0 victory over the struggling Carolina RailHawks. Atlanta also claimed three valuable points on Friday, seeing off Puerto Rico Islanders 3-0 at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium.

There were three games on Saturday, with Charleston Battery getting a late Ian Fuller strike to defeat the visiting California Victory 1-0 at Blackbaud Stadium in South Carolina. The other two games took place in the Pacific Northwest, with ten-man Vancouver Whitecaps setting a club record ten-game winless streak after a 0-0 away draw with Portland, who saw their winless streak run to six games. In Seattle, the Sounders missed the chance to move into first place after needing to salvage a 2-2 draw with a resilient Minnesota side at Qwest Field.

Sunday belonged to both Rochester and Atlanta, as the two clubs recorded another three points. The Raging Rhinos were too much for Puerto Rico after a 2-0 home success, while Atlanta dealt with the hot South Florida conditions to defeat hosts Miami FC 3-0 at Tropical Park Stadium. The final game on Sunday came at Swangard Stadium, as another large crowd was left disappointed after the Whitecaps made it 11 games without a win following a 1-1 draw with Minnesota.