USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 4

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By TRAVIS CLARK

With the inclusion of Portland's 2-1 win over Vancouver last night, this weekend is another first for the USSF Division 2 — every team plays during this stretch of games.

Highlighting this weekend is the rematch of the 2009 USL semifinal that saw the Montreal Impact knock Puerto Rico out of the playoffs en route to the Impact's 2009 USL championship.

Much less is at stake in this early juncture of the season, but Montreal's sluggish start to 2010 has seen them come away with just a single point in two matches. On the other hand, Puerto Rico, having to cope with the departures of notables like Jonny Steele (Vancouver) and Cristian Arrieta (Philadelphia) is looking for a third straight win.

Here's a look at the rest of this weekend's USSF Division 2 matchups:

Carolina Railhawks at Rochester Rhinos, 7:00pm

Carolina takes to the road for the first time this season, while Rochester finally gets their home opener in a matchup of two teams in distinctly different places. There's the steady, consistent side of Carolina, defined by a tight and organized defense — and the Rhinos, shuffling their lineup consistently as they search for a new identity. So far so good for Rochester, who grabbed seven points from their first four games away from home, and can tie Portland at 10 points with a win against Carolina. Giving the Railhawks an edge, however, is Rochester's short rest after a Wednesday night trip to Minnesota.

FC Tampa Bay Rowdies at Miami FC, 7:30pm

Can a rivalry be reborn in Florida? Miami officials can only hope that the visit of Tampa Bay gets more out of the gate, after reporting attendances of 1,235 and 1,089 in their first two home games. The offensive improvements that Miami hoped for have yet to materialize either, going goalless in those two matches. The Rowdies have performed well in their two games this season, losing against Minnesota despite putting forth a solid effort. A win in Miami is within reach for Paul Dalglish and his Rowdies.

Austin Aztex at NSC Minnesota Stars, 8:00pm

Austin makes the trip up to Minnesota to face the Stars, aiming to bounce back from last weekend's loss against Rochester. Minnesota suffered a home loss of their own, meekly going down to Rochester 3-0 on Wednesday. It was the first time Joe Warren's rustiness proved costly, though Minnesota certainly had more problems than just in goal. The Stars could lose a second home match in a row if they don't show improvement this weekend against a solid Austin squad.

Crystal Palace Baltimore at A.C. St. Louis, 8:10pm

A battle of the bottom feeders could see one team walk away with their first win of the season. Baltimore and St. Louis have a collective six losses this season, with neither looking capable of beating better opposition. Visiting Baltimore is playing their first of five straight road games, and if they can't win against St. Louis it won't get any easier. That's far from guaranteed, as St. Louis will have the home support urging them on towards a first-ever win.

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9 Responses to USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 4

  1. TheRyan1979 says:

    We need Ralston to get back into the AC STL line-up fast. It’s going to be a long season.

  2. mark says:

    Agree, Ralston will make a huge impact for this team!

  3. e.a. says:

    For sure on Ralston, they were pathetic, in Portland without him.

  4. C-Note says:

    I am suprised that there was no mention on SBI of the Aztexs playing the Haitian National Team on Wed. night in Austin. More that 4,000 fans packed House Park and raised over $11,500 for the National team while they were training and preparing to take on Argentina in early May. This Aztexs also collected gently used cleats, balls, shin gaurds, and equipment to go directly to the children of Haiti.

    Good luck to haiti against an impressive agentina side.

  5. Paul says:

    The Rowdies have a bus bringing 50 fans down to Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow for the game against Miami F.C. Hopefully this can be the start of something special!

  6. ImaGoalMan says:

    FTA (NSC vs. Rochester): “The insertion of Two-Boys Gumede was one of the only bright spots of the evening for the 627 fans that showed up to watch the game. Two-Boys was substituted in the 59th minute and made good penetrating runs into the Rochester attacking third.”

    TWO-BOYS!!!!eleventy1!!1

    OTOH —-> 627 fans?!??!!?

  7. MadKingGeorge says:

    Who are they? 50 geriatrics going on a long day trip? What we need is to get the Universities involved with promoting the games. Where they have a vested interest in some way shape or form. And that is how you started to build a young fan base. Just a suggestion.

  8. El Fur de Ball says:

    I think AC St. Louis will be a decent side by the end of the season. Eventhough they got throttled by the Timbers, they actually out played us in the first half. I was impressed with their spunk. Was looking forward to seeing Ralston. Hope he recovers

  9. Alejo says:

    Aztex top NSC 2-1, we’re now 2nd in the league table and methinks once some of our key players return from early season injuries who knows what our limit will be!!!

    UP THE RAW

    VAMOS AZTEX!!!