USL Pro Week 2: Richmond emerges as early leader, New York struggles

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The USL Pro season may only be two weeks old but the Richmond Kickers are already distinguishing themselves as early contenders.

Richmond toppled the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for its second win in as many games as several teams kicked off their season over the weekend.

Expansion side FC New York got off to a less than ideal start with a thrashing at the hands of Orlando City while another Puerto Rican derby ended in a draw courtesy of some late-game heroics.

Six teams, Wilmington, Dayton, Harrisburg, Rochester,Antigua and Los Angeles, have yet to make their season debuts.

Here is a closer look at all of the weekend's action.

An 87th-minute winner from Matthew Delicate gave the Richmond Kickers a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

Richmond dominated the first half but couldn't open the scoring on its home field. A couple of fine saves from Hunter Gilstrap kept the game scoreless but Gerson Dos Santos' strike gave Richmond the lead in the 68th minute.

The game was tied again just four minutes later when Ben Horner found a wide-open net but Delicate's volley sealed the second-consecutive win for Richmond.

An own-goal from Mark Bloom gave the Charleston Battery a 1-0 victory over the Charlotte Eagles in South Carolina.

Twenty-year-old Dane Kelly impressed for the Battery and put in the cross that Bloom deflected into his own net. It was a just result for the Battery, who forced goalkeeper Eric Reed into six saves on the night.

Orlando City got its season back on track after an opening-day loss with a 3-0 rout of the expansion FC New York.

In front of a crowd of nearly 8,000 supporters, Max Griffin gave Orlando the lead just before halftime by taking advantage of a sloppy New York defense.

After the break, Orlando piled on with goals from Yordany Alvarez and a second goal from Griffin, who almost completed a hat trick but his shot sailed just right of the post.

A last-minute goal from Hector Ramos salvaged 1-1 draw for Puerto Rico United against Sevilla FC Puerto Rico.

Sevilla FC controlled the first half, forcing several fine saves from United goalkeeper Jose Miranda but couldn't find the back of the net. The visitors finally broke through in the 66th minute with a goal from Alain Gustave.

Sevilla looked likely to extend that lead but Ramos found the end of a Mauricio Turizo free-kick for United's first goal of the season.

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What did you think of the weekend's results? Think Richmond is the early favorite? Can FC New York can rebound? When will a Puerto Rican side get a victory?

Share your thoughts below.

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10 Responses to USL Pro Week 2: Richmond emerges as early leader, New York struggles

  1. Richmond Man says:

    I wonder how long it will be until Leigh Cowlishaw gets a look from an MLS team, he consistantly makes a great team with little budget to work with and the team play a nice and appealing game for the most part.

  2. RK says:

    LA plays in a division with 4 Caribbean teams. Brilliant.

  3. Josh D says:

    Richmond!

  4. Ian says:

    It’s a head scratcher.

  5. CeeJay says:

    Hammerheads!

  6. Chris says:

    Richmond! o yea

  7. Naboo says:

    Love the kickers. good looks.

  8. matt in detroit says:

    Does anyone believe that either NAPL or USL can survive on their own?

    The US market has never been profitable for the second tiers, too many teams tend to go bankrupt on a regular basis. Now we have a half dozen “expansion teams” in Puerto Rico, Antiqua (?!), LA, NY, Orlando, etc. Half of these teams will fold by next summer (hopefully none will DURING the season).

    With the loss of the best franchises to MLS, these leagues need to set aside their differences and merge to form a solid base before both fold.

  9. yankiboy says:

    It’s beyon head scratching. It’s utterly ridiculous for a “regionaly based league”.

  10. yankiboy says:

    Matty, if it were only that simple. USL won’t be folding anytime soon. It is like Keith Richards and cockroaches–it manages to find a way to survive even when the odds would seem to be against it.

    The two leagues will not merge unless the NASL goes under and after all of the blood spilt during the second division civil war some franchises would rather go under and close up shop rather than go back to the USL.