USL First Division Weekend Round-Up

Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers continue to lead the way in the USL First Division, as the 2007 regular season nears its conclusion. Montreal Impact completed a four-game road stint this weekend, while Atlanta Silverbacks and Puerto Rico Islanders were the latest USL-1 clubs to clinch playoff berths for next month. There were two midweek games involving the league’s top two teams, with Seattle defeating Atlanta 3-0 at Qwest Field on Wednesday evening. On Thursday night, a record crowd of 15,833 saw Portland’s Justin Thompson score a spectacular winner in a 1-0 victory over Charleston Battery. Friday evening saw Montreal take their unbeaten run to seven games with an important 2-0 win at Rochester Raging Rhinos (pictured). There were three games on Saturday, with Portland all but ending Miami FC’s chances of making the playoffs with a 2-1 victory at Tropical Park Stadium. Atlanta recovered from their midweek defeat in Seattle to book their place in September’s playoffs with a 3-2 win at Minnesota Thunder. Vancouver Whitecaps, meanwhile, ended a club record 12-game winless streak with a vital 1-0 win over Charleston at Swangard Stadium. Three more games took place on Sunday, with Puerto Rico taking their place in the post-season after a 1-0 home win over Portland. In Cary, North Carolina, a second-half Kupono Low penalty gave Carolina RailHawks a 1-0 victory over Montreal. The result keeps Carolina’s hopes of reaching the playoffs in their inaugural USL-1 season alive, with the RailHawks receiving some much-needed help from Seattle. The Sounders went to the top of the USL-1 standings after a 1-0 home victory over 10-man Charleston, who had Burnaby native Gordon Chin sent off late in the second half at Qwest Field. The result took Seattle’s unbeaten run in the league to 11 games.