USL Rewind: Kickers, FC Cincinnati claim playoff spots

Two more Eastern Conference teams nailed down postseason berths last weekend.

A 1-0 defeat of Orlando City B nailed down a sixth consecutive playoff berth for Richmond Kickers. Scott Thomsen scored his first pro goal in the Kickers’ ninth straight game without defeat.

The City Stadium crowd also celebrated the return of Matt Delicate, who has recovered from kidney cancer and came off the bench to make his first appearance since being cleared to play in July.

FC Cincinnati lost its game to Red Bulls II, 2-0, but is playoff-qualified nonetheless thanks to other results. A 2-2 tie for Wilmington Hammerheads FC with Rochester Rhinos and Bethlehem Steel’s 1-0 loss to Louisville City FC opened the door for FC Cincinnati to walk through in its expansion year.

Richmond and FC Cincinnati join Red Bulls II and Louisville City as playoff teams from the Eastern Conference.
TOROS ARE A TALE OF TWO STREAKS. The Rio Grande Valley FC shutout streak ended at 760 minutes, but the Toros did extend their unbeaten run to nine games by beating Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, 2-1, on Saturday.

Josh Suggs’ goal in the 39th minute snapped the streak and opened up a 1-0 lead for the Switchbacks. RGVFC hit right back before halftime with a penalty kick tucked away by Ruben Luna, who knocked home another PK in the second half after Emilio Garcia drew a foul.

Luna’s pair of goals increased his recent haul to five in the last four games, and moved Rio Grande Valley FC (11-5-9, 42 points) to within two points of Western Conference leader Sacramento Republic FC (12-6-8, 44 pts.).

Second cautions to Josh Phillips and Miguel Gonzalez reduced fourth-place Colorado Springs (11-8-7, 40 pts.) to nine men and rendered them ineligible for its game this weekend against LA Galaxy II (9-6-9, 36 pts.), which slid to sixth place by losing to Swope Park Rangers, 2-1. 
CARDONE STEALS THE SHOW. A sellout crowd of 5,262 came to World Wide Technology Park to see the first game between Saint Louis FC and San Antonio FC, and the visiting goalkeeper turned in a vintage performance.

Matt Cardone capped off a seven-save shutout by stopping Irvin Herrera’s penalty kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Goals by Sebastien Thuriere and Rafa Castillo staked San Antonio to a 2-0 lead that Cardone protected. The keeper also got some help from the woodwork when a Vince Ciciarelli header from a corner kick hit the crossbar.

A third straight victory kept SAFC (9-8-7, 34 pts.) in a playoff spot as the eighth-place team in the Western Conference. Saint Louis (7-10-8, 29 pts.) has just five games remaining to climb into a postseason slot.

USL Leading Scorers:
15 Jack McBean, LA Galaxy II
14 Chandler Hoffman, Louisville City
12 Brandon Allen, NY Red Bulls II
11 Sean Okoli, FC Cincinnati
11 Irvin Herrera, St. Louis FC
11 Cameron Iwasa, Sac Republic FC
11 Corey Hertzog, Pittsburgh
10 Kyle Greig, Whitecaps FC 2
10 Sammy Ochoa, Tulsa
10 Michael Cox, Orlando City B
9 Yudai Imura, Richmond
9 Romario Williams, Charleston

Results | Standings | Schedule

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