LCFC nearly took the lead in the first half when Chandler Hoffman put the ball in the net but an offside call nullified the play. RBII keeper Ryan Meara stopped another Hoffman shot and the teams left the field for halftime at 0-0.
A foul on Junior Flemmings in the 74th minute -- which was reviewed by the video assistant referee -- yielded the penalty kick that Allen knocked into the net. Red Bulls II (15-3-5, 50 pts.) has swept all four games in the series between the teams that started last year, and holds a three-point lead over second-place LCFC (13-4-8, 47 pts.) with two games in hand.Despite the defeat, LCFC also clinched a playoff spot over the weekend when Bethlehem Steel FC and Wilmington Hammerheads both lost. RBII and LCFC are the first two teams to claim postseason berths, which go to the top eight teams in each conference.
On Thursday, RGVFC blew the game open after a scoreless first half. Emilio Garcia started the goal parade in the 52nd minute, Dzendan Catic netted twice, and Eric Bird and Ruben Luna also tallied. Keeper Calle Brown logged five saves as the Rhinos’ record fell.
Against Colorado Springs Luna scored the winner and though Catic replaced
him with only four minutes left, it was enough time for Catic to net as well. The double-dip of victories lifted RGCFC (10-5-9, 39 pts.) to within one point of Vancouver and Sacramento.
SANNER THE MAN IN WHITECAPS’ WIN. Thomas Sanner -- who previously had collected just one goal in 232 minutes of play -- demolished Arizona United SC by scoring three goals in the final minutes as the ‘Caps rolled to a 3-1 victory that kept them alongside Sacramento in the Western Conference.
The eighth goal of the season for Tyler Blackwood minute in the 17th minute provided Arizona a lead that looked precarious when Blair Gavin departed with a second caution in the 58th minute. VWFC2 needed a while to exploit the advantage but quickly took command once it broke through with Sanner’s equalizer in the 84th minute set up by Thomas Gardner’s precise cross preceded by a brave dribble through several challenges.
Sanner scored the winner three minutes later when he got to the rebound of his own saved header and knocked it in with his right foot. Deep into stoppage time Sanner and Kyle Greig cruised into the goalmouth unopposed and Sanner knocked Greig’s pass into the net.
Vancouver (11-6-7, 40 pts.) shares the conference lead and the same record with Sacramento, which pummeled Portland Timbers 2, 4-0.
USL Leading Scorers:
G PLAYER, TEAM
15 Jack McBean, LA Galaxy II
14 Chandler Hoffman, Louisville City
11 Brandon Allen, NY Red Bulls II
11 Sean Okoli, FC Cincinnati
11 Irvin Herrera, St. Louis FC
10 Kyle Greig, Whitecaps FC 2
10 Sammy Ochoa, Tulsa
10 Michael Cox, Orlando City B
10 Cameron Iwasa, Sac Republic FC
9 Yudai Imura, Richmond
9 Romario Williams, Charleston
9 Corey Hertzog, Pittsburgh