USL Rewind: Rhinos' revival continues

A first professional goal by a first-half substitute earned Rochester Rhinos a 1-0 defeat of FC Cincinnati that extended their unbeaten streak to five games.

Bradley Kamdem replaced an injured Rayane Boukemia in the 22nd minute and though the 22-year-old Frenchman labored through an up-and-down performance, his low shot into the corner with 25 minutes remaining turned out to be enough. Kamdem’s goal followed a pair of good opportunities for Jochen Graf, who hit the post with a redirected shot, then fired over the crossbar from the edge of the goal area.

By winning Rochester (4-1-3) moved level with FC Cincinnati (4-5-3) on points with 15, even though through a scheduling quirk it has played four fewer games. They are two of five teams -- fifth place through ninth -- with the same points total.

The Rhinos begin to make up those games in hand this week when they travel to Orlando City B and Tampa Bay.

CASTILLO SCORES TWICE IN FAREWELL TO EAGLE FIELD. Two goals by defender Dennis Castillo marked a 2-2 tie with Tampa Bay that will be the last game at Eagle Field (at Winthrop) for the Charlotte Independence.

Castillo tallied twice inside of five minutes to wipe out a 1-0 deficit and give Charlotte the lead, but Keith Savage equalized for the Rowdies in the 83rd minute. They nearly spoiled the occasion entirely in stoppage time when Tamika Mkandawire’s shot came back off the post.

A Georgi Hristov penalty kick had opened the scoring for Tampa Bay (6-3-4, 22 points), which is second in the Eastern Conference and two points behind leader Charleston. Like Rochester, Charlotte (3-2-3, 12 points) has played just eight games. It moves into the Sportsplex at Matthews, a new multisport facility expanded last year, June 17 against Harrisburg City.

USL 2017:
Scoreboard | Standings
 
HIGH-FLYING MONARCHS WIN AGAIN. The USL record for consecutive wins, eight, will be on the line this weekend when Real Monarchs SLC host Portland Timbers 2.

A Chandler Hoffman goal in the first minute and penalty-kick save by Connor Sparrow was enough for the Monarchs to beat Orange County SC, 1-0, for a seventh straight victory. The record of eight was set by Orlando City SC in 2014, the year before it stepped up to MLS.

Hoffman scored his seventh goal of the season after OCSC partially cleared a free kick. Charlie Adams centered it low and hard for Hoffman to bang into the net. In first-half stoppage time Sparrow thwarted the spot kick of Jerry van Ewijk to extend the frustration of OCSC, which has been blanked in three straight games.

The victory also pushed Real Monarchs SLC (10-1-0, 30 points) into a first-place tie with San Antonio FC (9-0-3), which has played one more game. Orange County (3-4-1, 10 points) is 12th but has a bunch of games in hand.
 
SEATTLE SWEEPS LOS DOS. The struggles of Galaxy II in the post-Curt Onalfo era continued with a 3-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC 2.

Irvin Parra scored a pair of goals and set up one for Ray Saari, who returned the favor five minutes after his own tally to round off the win. Seattle thus swept the season series; it prevailed April 15, 2-1.

The victory ended a three-game winless run for S2 (5-5-2, 17 points), which is tied for third place a long way behind the co-leaders. Under head coach Mike Munoz, Los Dos is second from bottom at 2-7-2 (8 points).

USL Leading Scorers:
G PLAYER TEAM
10 Dane Kelly (Reno)
10 Romario Williams (Charleston)
7 Brandon Allen (NY Red Bulls II)
7 Chandler Hoffman (Real Monarchs)
6 Billy Forbes (San Antonio FC)
6 Sebastian Velasquez (Real Monarchs)
6 Djiby Fall (FC Cincinnati)
6 Georgi Hristov (Tampa Bay)
6 Seku Conneh (Bethlehem Steel)

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