USL First Division Weekend Round-Up
Charleston Battery leapfrogged the idle Vancouver Whitecaps to go top of the United Soccer Leagues First Division after their win on Saturday.
Mike Anhaeuser's side were too much for bottom club Rochester Rhinos in the latest weekend of action, while Puerto Rico Islanders made the most of two home games with Minnesota Thunder to claim six valuable points.
Action started on Friday night, with Puerto Rico defeating ten-man Minnesota 1-0 after Cristian Arrieta's first-half penalty proved the difference at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium. Carolina RailHawks ended a five-game winless streak, as Martin Nunez's finely-taken early goal earned them a 1-0 home win over Portland Timbers.
Charleston's win headlined the three games on Saturday, as goals by Stephen Armstrong, Randi Patterson, and Aaron King gave the Battery a 3-1 home win over struggling Rochester. In the US state of Georgia, Portland bounced back from Friday's defeat with a 2-0 result at Atlanta Silverbacks. Chris Brown and Chris Bagley struck the goals for the Timbers. The final game saw Seattle Sounders held to a 1-1 home draw by the resurgent Montreal Impact. Andre Schmid gave the USL-1 champions the lead with ten minutes remaining, but Stefano Pesoli's first-ever goal for the Impact meant a share of the spoils at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.
Sunday saw Puerto Rico host Minnesota for the second time in three days, and goals by former Whitecaps striker Josh Hansen, Sandi Gbandi, and Jonny Steele gave the Islanders a 3-1 victory over Thunder, who see their winless streak extend to seven games.