USL First Division Weekend Round-Up
Vancouver Whitecaps and Charleston Battery remain in the top two of the United Soccer Leagues First Division standings, despite suffering weekend defeats.
Carolina RailHawks had a less than successful two-game road to Puerto Rico and Miami, while Atlanta Silverbacks settled for stalemates on their excursions west. In Quebec, Montreal Impact finally gave the home fans something to cheer about after a first goal and win at Saputo Stadium.
The weekend action began on Thursday, with Puerto Rico Islanders having three different goalscorers in 3-0 home win over Carolina, who had Ryan Solle sent off for two bookable offences late on at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium. In Oregon, meanwhile, an eventful four-goal affair saw Portland Timbers cap a disappointing week with a 2-2 home draw versus Atlanta. Portland finished the contest with nine men after Tom Poltl and Scot Thompson received their marching orders at PGE Park.
The two games on Friday saw the league's top two fall at the hands of a pair of USL-1 strugglers. Rocco Placentino's second-half strike gave new Impact head coach John Limniatis his first win since taking over from Nick De Santis, as they downed Charleston 1-0. Down in Upstate New York, Rochester Rhinos stunned the league-leading Whitecaps with a 3-0 win in a game that delayed nearly two hours because of inclement weather in and around Rochester's PAETEC Park. The Brazilian duo of Mauricio Salles and former Whitecap Ze Roberto were highly influential in the three-goal victory.
Saturday's two games concluded the latest weekend of action, with Miami FC Blues finally winning a home league game at the seventh attempt with a 2-0 result over Carolina. In Minnesota, Blake Camp's late strike gave Atlanta a 1-1 draw with the Thunder at the National Sports Center in Blaine.