USL First Division Weekend Round-Up

By Simon Fudge/ Carolina RailHawks remain top of the United Soccer Leagues First Division standings, despite having their 100 per cent record come to an end in Portland. Vancouver Whitecaps earned a second-straight win during the latest weekend of action in USL-1. Puerto Rico Islanders and Rochester Rhinos also claimed maximum points in their latest matches, while Charleston Battery and Portland Timbers finally got themselves in the win column. It was in Oregon on Thursday night that the weekend action began, with both the Timbers and RailHawks playing out a goalless draw at PGE Park. On Friday evening, Cleveland City Stars had a disappointing home opener as a USL-1 club after falling to a third-straight defeat at Middlefield Cheese Stadium in Bedford, Ohio. In wet and windy conditions, second-half goals by Taiwo Atieno, Johnny Menyongar, and Mike Ambersley gave Rochester a 3-0 victory over last season's USL Second Division champions. The weekend action ended with four interesting matches on Saturday. In Puerto Rico, last season's USL-1 representatives in the CONCACAF Champions League faced each other, with the Islanders edging Montreal Impact 3-2 at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium. Kendall Jagdeosingh scored the winning goal for the Islanders in the dying stages. Meanwhile, Charleston claimed their first win of the season after Ian Fuller's second-half strike gave the Battery a 1-0 away win over Miami FC Blues. In Minnesota, a hat-trick from Marlon James gave Vancouver a deserved 3-2 victory over the winless Thunder at the National Sports Center Stadium, while Portland got their first win of the year with a 2-0 home win over Carolina. Goals by Brian Farber and Ryan Pore meant the RailHawks suffered their first defeat of 2009.