USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 17

CapsCarolina

By TRAVIS CLARK

The two best defenses in the USSF Second Division are face off this weekend.

Both the Carolina Railhawks and Vancouver Whitecaps have conceded a league-best 13 goals this season, and much is at stake when the two meet at the WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Vancouver will be boosted by a mid-week win over Montreal on Wednesday, while the Railhawks are coming off a loss to Rochester on Tuesday. Carolina is nine points behind Vancouver in the NASL Conference, though the Railhawks have played four fewer games than their Canadian counterparts. A win for the hosts would help cut the deficit, though offensive chances will be few and far between.

Here's a look at the rest of this weekend's D2 action:

SATURDAY

Montreal Impact vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore, 7:00 p.m.

Can Crystal Palace Baltimore provide the antidote for Montreal's woes? July has been a bad month for the Impact, posting a 2-4 record this month. A trip to the SoccerPlex in Maryland could fix that, but it'll require goals, something that has eluded the Impact in 2010. Evan Bush, who has had a solid year in goal for Baltimore, will look to keep Montreal at bay long enough to prevent the visitors from taking revenge for an earlier loss Palace inflicted up at Saputo Stadium this month.

Portland Timbers vs. FC Tampa Bay Rowdies, 7:30 p.m.

A four-game road swing is coming down the stretch as Portland visits Tampa Bay. The Rowdies are fresh off a win against Miami, and look to take the scalp of the Timbers and start building a winning streak. For Portland, it's been a broken record this season — a solid defense, and a lot of Ryan Pore goals. Outside of that, it's hit or miss.

Miami FC vs. Austin Aztex, 8:30 p.m.

Table-toppers Austin play host to bottom-feeding Miami at House Park, and with a week of rest the Aztex will be raring to get back out there and score early and often. Jamie Watson, Maxwell Griffin and Eddie Johnson are always a threat to score, and will be a handful for Caleb Patterson in the Miami goal.

SUNDAY

NSC Minnesota Stars vs. A.C. St. Louis, 5:00 p.m.

Two expansion teams, and two different stories in 2010. Minnesota has managed a tight budget, kept expenses in check and put together a decent run of results. A.C. St. Louis has jettisoned a number of higher-paid players and until only recently has been poor on the field. However, Mike Ambersley discovered his scoring touch this week, putting three past Portland and will look to continue that against Minnesota.

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6 Responses to USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 17

  1. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Portland will wilt in the 95 temps in Tampa with extremely high humidity this weekend. They will fall like trees.

    Ironically, coinciding with the hot temps, the Rowdies have a special running on the purchase of SCARVES!!

  2. ERic says:

    I must admit that I wonder why I keep bringing my scarf. But I’m really not sure why. Going to be near 100 Saturday night here in Austin. Shouldn’t make Miami any worse than they are, though.

  3. Ivan says:

    Matt:

    I also saw the scarf promo and I thought it was too funny…well, I bought my Rowdies scarf a long time ago, but I won’t be bringing it to the game on Saturday…sporting the Rowdies shirt will do it for me…

    The Rowdies/Timbers game is at the same time as the Yankees visit to St. Pete. Still, it’s a Saturday and I am hoping for 4,000 + crowd to come and see Team Dalglish make a decisive step to the playoffs.

    Go Rowdies!!!

  4. Matt C in Tampa says:

    I expect a pretty good crowd and i think the higher-ups are as well. Avg attendance is near 5k, which i think is pretty impressive.

  5. Rick says:

    5000? How do you make payroll with that…

    In MTL, 10, 000 is a bad crowd.

  6. paul says:

    Rick, 5K is the number the owner, Andrew Nestor said he needed for the team to be successful. We have some good players, but the FO isn’t breaking the bank. It’s also the first year the team has been around. Montreal draws great crowds, but I don’t see the team going out and signing big name players with its profits. This weekend the top two teams in the MLB AL East are playing at the same time as the Rowdies. Yes, 4K would be a good crowd. What’s going on in Montreal?