USL Rewind: Richey sets record as 'Caps claim road point

Clutch goalkeeping is especially important away from home, and by posting nine saves Spencer Richey helped Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 claim a 1-1 tie in Colorado Springs Saturday night.

Richey hasn’t been an automatic first-choice in 2016, but in his 10th start he set a team record for saves as VWFC2 held on to get a point after Brett Levis polished off a one-two with Daniel Haber by netting an equalizer in the 55th minute. Levis evaded several challenges while cutting across the top of the 18 before slotting a right-footed shot inside the far post.

USL: Week 19 Results

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC had controlled most of the first half play without scoring, but finally broke through two minutes into the second half when Mike Seth stole in behind the back line and set up Miguel Gonzalez for a straightforward finish.

But despite a 27-9 edge in shots, the Switchbacks could not breach Richey a second time. The keeper survived a few hairy moments by stoning the home team with sharp saves.

Vancouver (10-4-6, 36 pts.) leads the Western Conference by a point over Galaxy II. Colorado (9-6-5, 32 pts.) is tied for third.

USL Standings:
Louisville City 42 points; NY Red Bulls II 41; FC Cincinnati 38; Charleston 36; Richmond, Rochester 32; Charlotte 31 // Orlando City B 28; Bethlehem Steel 25; Wilmington 24; Toronto FC 23; Harrisburg 21; Pittsburgh 13; FC Montreal 7.
WESTERN CONFERENCE: Whitecaps FC 2 36; LA Galaxy II 35; Colorado Springs, OC Energy 32; Sac Republic FC 30; Rio Grande Valley FC 29; OKC Energy FC 28; Saint Louis FC 27 // Sounders 26; Orange County 25; San Antonio FC 24; Real Monarchs 22; Arizona United 21; Timbers 2, Tulsa 18.

-- 2017 Update: The USL Board of Governors approved a 32-game schedule that will begin the weekend of March 24-26. The schedule will allow each team to play its conference opponents at least twice, one home and one away, with regional rivalries rounding out the schedule. The top eight teams in each conference will qualify for the postseason.
LOS DOS DOWNED IN DERBY. By losing, 2-0, to Orange County Blues FC in the Interstate-405 derby, Galaxy II failed to tie or pass Whitecaps 2 in the standings.

Dan Kennedy got the start in goal for Galaxy II, but twice he and his teammates fell victim to Trinidad & Tobago international Trevin Caesar. He scored in the 18th minute on a nice setup from Christopher Santana that enabled him to round Kennedy and hit the target. He struck again on the hour, pouncing on a steal and feed by Roy Meeus and powering into the penalty area to tally his sixth goal of the season.

Brandon Miller got the shutout without recording a save as Galaxy II recorded just two shots. The result left Galaxy II (10-6-5, 35 pts.) a point out of first place and Orange County Blues FC in 10th place (7-9-4, 25 pts.) two slots and two points shy of a postseason berth.
RED BULLS TAMED BY KICKERS. Like its LA Galaxy counterpart, Red Bulls II failed to take advantage of a chance to move into first.

On a night it squandered opportunities on the field and in the standings, Red Bulls II lost, 2-1, to Richmond on a stoppage-time goal by Jackson Eskay. The victory provided by his first professional goal extended the Kickers’ winning streak to four games and kept the Red Bulls second behind Louisville City FC, beaten at home, 2-1, by Orlando City B.

Anatole Abang nearly scored for Red Bulls II in the first minute but his deflected shot came back off the crossbar and the visitor wasted a second chance to take the lead in the eighth minute. Brandon Allen drew a penalty kick when he was fouled in the box but drilled his spot kick over the crossbar. He atoned by scoring two minutes later, yet in another two minutes the game was tied when Yudai Imura connected on his penalty kick.

Red Bulls keeper Ryan Meara thwarted Sunny Jane to extend the deadlock into stoppage time and set the stage for Eskay’s dramatic final stroke. The Kickers (9-6-5, 32 pts.) are tied for fifth with Rochester and play the Rhinos on Wednesday.

Goals by Tyler Turner and Keegan Smith pulled back Orlando City B from a 1-0 halftime deficit to down leader Louisville City, which has the league’s best record at 12-3-6 (42 pts.), a point ahead of Red Bulls II (12-3-5).
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