USSF D-2 Pro League Round-Up
By Simon Fudge/whitecapsfc.com
Austin Aztex returned to winning ways during the latest round of action in the USSF D-2 Pro League.
The USL Conference leaders continue to set the pace amongst all 12 clubs in the league, while Vancouver Whitecaps FC remain at the summit of the NASL Conference after a creditable result in the Caribbean.
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The action started on Wednesday night, with the Whitecaps earning a 1-1 draw at Puerto Rico Islanders. Ansu Toure gave Vancouver an early lead at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium before English striker David Foley made sure there was a share of the spoils in Bayamon.
On Thursday night in Oregon, Portland Timbers' struggles continued after a 1-0 home defeat to NSC Minnesota Stars. Ely Allen's first-half strike was enough to give the Stars a valuable win at Portland's PGE Park, with the Timbers having James Marcelin sent off during the contest. The result took Minnesota's unbeaten run to four matches.
There were four matches on Saturday, with Carolina RailHawks overcoming a Matt Bobo own-goal to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace Baltimore. A Floyd Franks penalty early in the second half at WakeMed Soccer Park meant matters ended in stalemate in Cary, North Carolina. In Minnesota, Portland avenged Thursday's home defeat to the Stars with a 2-0 win at the National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine. Ryan Pore and Josh Cameron scored for the Timbers, as Gavin Wilkinson's ended a wretched run of eight league matches with a win.
In the Texas state capital, a hat-trick from Maxwell Griffin gave Austin a 3-1 home win over Miami FC. Paulo Araujo Jr. replied for the Blues in a game that saw Austin's Sullivan Silva and Miami's Sean Cameron both sent off on the hour mark at House Park. In Puerto Rico, the Islanders returned to winning ways after a 1-0 victory over Tampa Bay Rowdies. Foley's fifth league goal of the season was the difference between the two clubs in the Caribbean.
The lone match on Sunday saw Rochester Rhinos held to a 1-1 draw at Montreal Impact. Aaron Pitchkolan gave the Rhinos an early lead at Montreal's Stade Saputo before former Whitecaps striker Eduardo Sebrango struck a late equalizer for the Quebec outfit. The draw extended Rochester's unbeaten run to four matches in USSF D-2.