USL FIRST DIVISION WEEKEND ROUND-UP
Seattle Sounders returned to the top of USL First Division standings, while Montreal Impact and Puerto Rico Islanders made the most of their weekend games.
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.