It may be an International Break for most of the world, but for the United Soccer League, there is a full slate of games to enjoy. Last week was an exciting start for Colorado Rapids players on loan with four of them seeing 90 minutes of action in their respective games.
Week 1 Review
Charlotte Independence 4, Ottawa Fury FC 1
What a start for the Jacks as they gave a proper hiding to the team out of the Canadian capital. Highlights of the match can be found here, but needless to say, it was a terrific start for Charlotte. This was the first time in team history that the season started with three points for the Independence, so confidence is high. Andrew Dykstra, Sam Vines, and Caleb Calvert all started and played 90 minutes for Charlotte. For Vines, it was his first start at the professional level. Calvert created three chances with two shots and looked solid whereas Vines looked like a rookie and struggled with positioning and marking in the first half. Dykstra recorded one save for his day. Ricardo Perez came in as a late sub.
Orange County SC 1, Phoenix Rising FC 1
A bit of a yawn fest (compared to the Charlotte match) but one of the nice things was that Mike da Fonte started and played 90 minutes for Phoenix. Da Fonte finished with a 75% passing percentage and played solid for a Phoenix team that was minutes from walking away with three points on the road.
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Charlotte Independence vs Toronto FC II
Location: Sportsplex at Matthews (Matthews, NC) at 5:00 PM MDT
What to Watch For: So dang. That was a heck of a start for Charlotte and one that took most of us by surprise. I would have settled for a result, but a 4-1 win? Heck. Yes. In this one, I am looking for some further development from Vines and see how his positioning works and whether Calvert continues to show the form that makes me think he should be in Commerce City.
How to Watch: All USL games are streamed on YouTube and this match can be found here. (Of course, I will be watching in the parking lot at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park before the Rapids v Sporting Kansas City match.)
Phoenix Rising FC vs OKC Energy FC
Location: Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex (Tempe, AZ) at 8:00 PM MDT
What to Watch For: Look, I am not the biggest fan of da Fonte and I think he took unnecessary fouls and has a tendency to turn things off during games. But he looked solid last week and has a chance to continue to impress. And who knows, maybe he will play in MLS again, even if not for the Rapids.
How to Watch: All USL games are streamed on YouTube and this match can be found here.