USL First Division Weekend Round-Up

Vancouver Whitecaps and Charleston Battery continue to lead the way in the United Soccer Leagues First Division after claiming victories in the latest weekend of action. There were three goalless draws and three 3-1 wins among the seven games to take place, as clubs begin to near the midway point of their league campaigns. Action started last Wednesday night in Quebec, with Montreal Impact extending an unwanted record of failing to score in their new Saputo Stadium to four games after a goalless draw with fellow strugglers Miami FC Blues. Impact defender Stefano Pesoli was sent off for the home side in the match. The same scoreline was seen the following evening at Portland's PGE Park, as the Timbers and visiting Minnesota Thunder also drew 0-0, despite chances aplenty at both ends. Stalemate was also the order of the day in Georgia on Friday, as Atlanta Silverbacks winger Ansu Toure cancelled out Noah Delgado's opening strike for the visiting Puerto Rico Islanders in a 1-1 draw at the RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. Saturday's action saw Montreal's woes continue in South Carolina, despite recent signing Rocco Placentino ending the Impact's scoreless streak at 551 minutes with an early goal at Charleston Battery. However, goals by Ian Fuller, Aaron King, and David Kenga gave the Battery a second 3-1 home win over Montreal this season. In Upstate New York, Rochester Rhinos and Miami FC took a total of 33 shots at PAETEC Park, but both still had to settle for a 0-0 draw. In the Pacific Northwest, two Saturday games went the way of the home side, with Vancouver overcoming a one-goal deficit to defeat Cascadia Cup rivals Portland Timbers 3-1 at Swangard Stadium. Down Interstate 5 in Tukwila, Washington, defending USL-1 champions Seattle Sounders snapped a three-game winless streak after second-half goals from Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar and Sebastien Le Toux, as well as a Leighton O'Brien penalty, helped them to a 3-1 win over Minnesota at the Starfire Sports Complex.