USL First Division Weekend Round-Up
By Simon Fudge/whitecapsfc.com
Portland Timbers remain top of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, despite a draw during the latest weekend of action.
The Oregon-based outfit are in a three-way tie for first place with Charleston Battery and Puerto Rico Islanders. Charleston won their lone weekend match, while Puerto Rico saw their unbeaten run come to an end in the Pacific Northwest.
The action started on Wednesday, with Montreal Impact ending a five-match losing streak with a convincing 4-1 home win over Cleveland City Stars. Eduardo Sebrango scored both goals for the Quebec-based club at Stade Saputo. On Thursday night, Portland and Puerto Rico played out a goalless draw, with 14,103 taking in the top-of-the-table clash at PGE Park.
The two matches on Friday saw Charleston record their ninth win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Southern Derby rivals Carolina RailHawks. First-half goals by Matt Bobo and Tom Heinemann gave the Battery all three points in South Carolina. In Minnesota, meanwhile, the Thunder saw their two-game winning streak come to an end after a 2-1 home defeat to Miami FC Blues. Paulo Araujo jr. scored both goals for the South Florida club at the National Sports Center Stadium.
There were three matches on Saturday. In Upstate New York, Johnny Menyongar's two goals helped Rochester Rhinos to a convincing 4-1 home win over struggling Cleveland. The City Stars are now winless in their last 10 games, as a result. In the Texas state capital, Montreal came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Austin Aztex. Rudolph Mayard and Roberto Brown scored the Impact's goals late on at Nelson Field. Saturday's other match saw Vancouver Whitecaps claim three valuable points with a 4-2 home win over Puerto Rico. In a match that had a delay of over two hours because of severe thunderstorms in the area, two second-half goals by Marlon James led the 'Caps to a crucial league victory at Swangard.
Finally, on Sunday, a Gregory Richardson hat-trick gave Carolina a convincing 4-0 home win over Miami FC Blues. The result took the RailHawks to within two points of the league leaders.