USL Rewind: Louisville celebrates another milestone

Good news off the field often begats success on it.

Such was the case for Louisville City, which during the week unveiled plans for a 10,000-capacity stadium in the Butchertown section, and on Saturday knocked Tampa Bay from the unbeaten ranks, 2-1.

Goals by George Davis IV and Cameron Lancaster pushed LCFC into first place as a crowd of 9,074 -- second-largest in team history -- at Slugger Field celebrated a major milestone for the team.

“I thought the supporters were incredible, to see so many people come out and support us tonight was fantastic,” said head coach James O’Connor. “It tops off a great week for us with the stadium announcement.”

Davis scored in a third straight game to provide a halftime lead and Lancester’s goal, instead of being superfluous, instead turned out to be the difference when Martin Paterson struck very late in regulation time.

The result handed Tampa Bay (3-1-0, 9 points) its first loss but the Rowdies are just a point behind co-leaders Louisville City (3-0-1, 10 points) and Saint Louis FC (3-1-1, 10 points).

USL 2017:
Scoreboard | Standings
RHINOS SHOCKED BY BATTERY. Being named after the great Brazilian striker Romario is a heavy burden to bear, yet Romario Williams lived up to the legend of his namesake by nailing a hat trick in a 5-0 Charleston route of Rochester.

It was Superhero night at MUSC Health Stadium, and Williams was every bit of that as he bagged his three goals in an amazing span of just 12 minutes. He held off two challengers to shoot low in the 15th minute, blew past a few Rhinos to score again 10 minutes later, and then embarrassed them again by latching onto a O’Brian Woodbine throw-in to tally a third.
In the 31st minute, the reeling Rhinos conceded a fourth goal with Williams this time the setup man and Ataulla Guerra the scorer. Maikel Chang rounded off the rout with a goal in the 81st minute.

Charleston is tied with the Rowdies for third place with the same 3-1-0 record. Rochester (1-1-1, 4 points) is 10th and gave up the most goals since a 4-2 loss to Charlotte in August, 2015, the year it won the USL title. It hadn’t given up five goals in a game since 2013.

SWOPE PARK STILL PERFECT. With wins in all three of its games, Swope Park Rangers stands alone as the lone perfect team. Mark Anthony Gonzalez scored the only goal that SWP needed to down Sacramento Republic, 1-0, at Children’s Mercy Victory Field.

The victory ran SWP’s home unbeaten streak to eight games but it didn’t score until Gonzalez, who attended a camp for Canada’s U-23 team in Qatar last month, broke free in the 70th minute. Centerbacks Amer Didic and Erik Palmer-Brown led a defensive effort that limited Sacramento Republic to two shots on goal as SWP posted a second straight shutout.

The Republic (3-2-0) is holding up well during a rough start to the season. It is in the midst of playing six of the first eight away from home. It hosts Portland 2 on Saturday.
WHITECAPS 2 FOLLOWS SUIT. Vancouver won both ends of a Cascadia Cup “doubleheader,” with Whitecaps 2 downing Timbers 2 by a 1-0 score at Providence Park on Sunday, a day after the first team topped Seattle, 2-1.

Thomas Sanner scored his second goal of the season in the 84th minute to hand Portland its second home loss of the weekend. The Timbers first team fell to Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, on Saturday. (The NWSL Thorns won their season opener against Orlando Pride, 2-0, prior to the Portland loss to SKC.)

Whitecaps 2 stunned Timbers 2 on a counterattack to get the victory. Gloire Amanda raced in from the left wing and drilled a low shot that forced a good save by keeper Jeff Attinella, and Tanner tucked home the rebound.
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