USL PRO log: Week 9
Week 9: May 15-21, 2013
5/17- Blanco, Dorados announced to face Norwich on Sac Pro Soccer Day
5/17- Dom Dwyer sets franchise record with 12 goals in a season for OCSC
5/18- Dutch Lions come from behind to tie Hounds at Highmark Stadium
5/19- Battery earn victory in Houston
5/19- Jesse Myers sacked by Rhinos
5/21- Eight USL PRO teams advance to Third Round of US Open Cup
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Outstanding performances once again this week by players from all over the league made it difficult to choose. Dwyer scored a brace for Orlando in Harrisburg to earn a franchise record of twelve goals in a season only ten games in. Players such as Shay Spitz, Erik Ustruck, and Sean Francis were all considered for Player of the Week with their individual performances. Dane Kelly scored the lone goal in Houston for the Battery to earn a one to nil victory over the Dynamo and earned the league’s player of the week honors. This week’s Reckless Challenge Player of the Week goes to a man who wears orange not for Charlotte but for the Dayton Dutch Lions, his name is Tjeerd Westdijk.
Westdijk and his Dutch Lions were down 2-0 heading into the 65th minute until he sent a pass over to his team mate Gibson Bardsley who buried a shot from thirty yards away to cut their deficit in half. With just six minutes remaining in the match, Westdijk scored to equalize the match at two after being tapped a short pass by his team mate Irakli Khutsidze just inside the penalty area. The Netherlands native pocketed his first goal and assist of the season to help earn his team a point on the road after being down by two goals. Note, his individual performance made him the first player in Dutch Lions history to earn player of the week honors in the USL PRO log. Things are look bright on the horizon of the Dutch Lions 2013 season and he will not be the last player at his club to be honored.
5/17- Orlando City SC 2-2 Harrisburg City Islanders
5/17- LA Blues 1-1 Richmond Kickers
5/18- Dayton Dutch Lions 2-2 Harrisburg City Islanders
5/18- Orlando City 1-0 Rochester Rhinos
5/18- LA Blues 1-2 Wilmington Hammerheads
5/19- Charleston Battery 1-0 Houston Dynamo Reserves
US Open Cup
5/21- Harrisburg City Islanders 0-1 Reading United AC (PDL)
5/21- Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0-1 Ocean City Nor’easters FC (PDL)
5/21- Orlando City SC 2-1 Ocala Stampede (PDL)
5/21-Dearborn Stars SC (USASA) 1-4 [AET] Dayton Dutch Lions
5/21- Icon FC (USASA) 1-4 Richmond Kickers
5/21- Seattle Sounders U23 (PDL) 0-3 Charlotte Eagles
5/21- Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) 2-1 VSI Tampa Bay FC
5/21- GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) 0-1 Rochester Rhinos
5/21- Ventura County Fusion (PDL) 1-5 LA Blues
5/21- Charleston Battery 1-0 Portland Timbers U23 (PDL)
PLAYER TO WATCH:
This week’s Player to Watch comes from a team that has been struggling that needs a break out performance from a certain player to earn them their first points of the season. The player to watch could be anyone from Antigua Barracuda FC, all of the players are hungry for a positive result. Tamorley Thomas could break out and start scoring goals; he is able to create scoring opportunities with his pace on the ball but just cannot connect with the target. Possibly Eugene Kirwan could start setting his team mates up from the midfield for some goals or possibly Molvin James stands on his head to record a clean sheet. One player that stands out to me from this team is defender George Dublin, he is a veteran in Antigua and Barbadian football. The thirty-six year old has been playing professionally since 1997 and with his experience and motivation he can lead the back line to a stellar performance this weekend against Dayton or Pittsburgh.
Antigua has struggled to keep the ball out of the net early this season. In two games this year, they gave up two goals in less than five minutes. After a bye weekend and plenty of rest in the Caribbean, look for a rejuvenated Barracuda to seize their opportunity to earn points against a struggling Pittsburgh Riverhounds this weekend and carry that momentum to Beaver Creek High School against the Dayton Dutch Lions. Antigua Barracuda FC will earn points this season, will it be this weekend? If George Dublin can organize his backline to protect Molvin James from an assault of shots to keep his team in the game they may earn points. Thirty-six year old George Dublin is the player to watch but more importantly Antigua Barracuda FC is the team to watch.
A LOOK AHEAD:
On Thursday night at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium, the Charlotte Eagles will begin their west coast road trip against Phoenix FC. At City Stadium on Friday night, Harrisburg will be coming off an early round US Open Cup exit to face a strong Richmond Kickers side. Antigua Barracuda FC will travel north once again, this weekend they face Pittsburgh on Friday and Dayton on Sunday. Rochester Rhinos will play their first league game under new management with a very tough test at Blackbaud Stadium against the Charleston Battery. Orlando City SC will return to the Citrus Bowl after a long road trip to face the Wilmington Hammerheads who eliminated the Lions from the playoffs last year at the same venue. Charlotte will wrap up their west coast trip in the late game at LA Blues on Saturday. Plant City Stadium and VSI Tampa Bay FC will play host to the Wilmington Hammerheads on Sunday night.
US OPEN CUP
Coming off a 4-1 route, the Kickers will face their affiliate DC United yet again at City Stadium. Returning home from a statement victory at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon in the second round, Charleston will host the San Jose Earthquakes. Orlando City SC will play their first US Open Cup game at the Citrus Bowl when they play the Colorado Rapids. Another team to face their new affiliate the Rochester Rhinos and New England Revolution will clash at Sahlen’s Stadium. LA Blues will play cross town opponent CD Chivas USA at home. All of these matches will take place on Tuesday May 28th.