USSF D2: Islanders take lead on Railhawks, Rhinos jump to USL Pro

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Advantage, Puerto Rico Islanders.

Over the course of 2010, the plucky USSF D2 side has mastered the art of two-legged performances. The trend continued on Sunday, as the Islanders defeated the Carolina Railhawks 2-0 on home soil in the first leg of the USSF D2 championship. 

Sandy Gbandi opened the scoring in the second half after a scoreless first, and as the Railhawks pressed for an equalizer, Jonathan Fana added what could be a vital second goal in the 87th minute.

Carolina will look to overturn the deficit when the two sides will square off in the second leg on Saturday, October 30 at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

SECOND DIVISION NOTES

As the offseason nears for second and third division soccer, the future of USL Pro and NASL is set to be determined. With that in mind, the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester is reporting that the Rhinos — owners of the best record in USSF D2 this year — will rejoin the USL fold, jumping to the Pro League.

Another USL announcement is scheduled for 2 p.m. today, as the Pro League will add an Orlando team, as the Austin Aztex will move to Florida. The team has released a statement, confirming the relocation:

“We have been actively seeking to broaden the investment base for the Aztex for the past 12 months. It has proven extremely difficult given the economic climate,” Aztex President Phil Rawlins said in the statement. “Our first and overriding preference was always to keep the Aztex in Austin. But after we exhausted all our options this has not proven possible.”

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What do you think of Puerto Rico's performance? What will happen with the second division soccer saga this offseason?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to USSF D2: Islanders take lead on Railhawks, Rhinos jump to USL Pro

  1. babieca says:

    At least Orlando soccer fans will know exactly what they can expect from Phil Rawlins & Co.

    Caveat Emptor

  2. MensreaJim says:

    Oi. Sans an incredible highpoint Friday night, not the best weekend for us Austin sports peoples. Sure to get worse tonight.

  3. doktoramor says:

    after reading the linked article it appears that the Rhinos are relegated to division 3 (USL-Pro) after winning division 2 (USSF D2)? if we aren’t going to have relegation in the US, can we at least not have the complete opposite? wow, that really sucks for all of Rochester’s fans! correct me if i am wrong, thank you!

  4. starrock says:

    Ffffuuuu Phil Rawlins. Thought you were trying to build a fan base and a good association with the city. It takes time, not 2-3 freaking years. Nice business plan.

    This sucks. Now I know how my Houston Oilers friends feel about Bud Adams.

  5. Queso says:

    What a gut punch for Austin fans. No one in the fan base saw this coming. 2010 was a great year for the Aztex as the fan base grew ~25% compared to last year. Then at the end we get this kind of goodbye. @#!*%! it I need a drink.

  6. ERic says:

    Mr. Tramps. 6pm. Out-of-towners welcome.

  7. Kejsare says:

    If not for the MLS I fear the news would’ve been the same for Portland.

    Poor Austin.

  8. PseudoNEmous Commenter says:

    Actually, reading the Rochester article, the owners are pretty much banking on the NASL not getting sanctioned next year, especially with Montreal etc. soon to be leaving. If NASL falls through, USL-pro is the de facto Div. 2 as the last kid standing on the dodgeball court that is US sub-MLS soccer. Plus USL pro is more regionally focused, so less travel costs and a more modest overhead.