USSF D-2 Pro League Round-Up
By Simon Fudge/whitecapsfc.com
Austin Aztex and Vancouver Whitecaps FC lead the way in the USSF D-2 Pro League following the latest round of action.
Austin's undefeated run, however, was brought to an end over the weekend, while Rochester Rhinos moved towards the upper echelons of the USL Conference standings with another home victory.
CLICK HERE for USSF D-2 Pro League standings
There were four league matches on Wednesday. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Miami FC and Crystal Palace Baltimore played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Lockhart Stadium. Randi Patterson scored twice and Lucio Gonzaga added a third for visiting Palace, while the Blues found the scoresheet with goals from Brian Shriver, Ariel Germiniani, and Christian Gomez. In Minnesota, a late goal by Melvin Tarley gave NSC Minnesota Stars a 1-0 home win over Montreal Impact. It was the Quebec club's third league match without a victory.
In the Texas state capital, Austin extended their unbeaten run to eight matches following a goalless draw at home to struggling Portland Timbers, while in Vancouver, the Whitecaps had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Carolina RailHawks. Ansu Toure gave the 'Caps a first-half lead at Swangard Stadium, but an Etienne Barbara penalty just before halftime earned a valuable point for the North Carolina-based outfit. The RailHawks are now unbeaten in four league games.
The action wrapped up with five matches on Saturday. In the Caribbean, Athletic Club of St. Louis put their well-documented problems off the pitch behind them to claim only their second win of the season following an impressive 1-0 victory at Puerto Rico Islanders. Brad Stisser's goal just before halftime at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium proved the difference between the two sides. Miami FC also claimed just their second win of 2010, as a first-half goal from Kyle Veris gave the Blues a 1-0 home win over Portland. Defeat for the Timbers in South Florida took their winless streak to seven matches. In Tampa Bay, Florida, second-half goals by Peter Byers and Roberto Brown helped Montreal to a 2-1 victory over FC Tampa Bay Rowdies at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
In Upstate New York, Rochester completed an undefeated three-game home stand with a 2-1 victory over Baltimore. Isaac Kissi scored both goals for the Rhinos at Marina Auto Stadium. Finally, in Texas, the Whitecaps claimed their first away win of the season following an impressive come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Aztex in Austin. Second-half goals by on-loan Marcus Haber and Nizar Khalfan cancelled out Lawrence Olum's opener for the home side just before halftime at House Park.