Sorry for the 1980s Thompson Twins reference, but I could not resist.
There was plenty of USL action this past week as Charlotte played twice, Colorado Springs got a massive home win, and Phoenix suffered a mildly disappointing draw. But, for the Colorado Rapids, their seven loanees got more time on the pitch (well, some of them) as the USL season kicks into high gear as summer has officially started
Here is how the Burgundy Boys on did last week (all matches on Saturday, June 23, except where noted):
Richmond Kickers 1:1 Charlotte Independence
The Jacks hit the road again and picked up a big road point against Richmond. Charlotte rolled out a 4-1-4-1 formation that featured Andrew Dykstra in goal again for the Jacks and Sam Vines at left back. Both started and played the full 90 for the Independence with Dykstra picking up four saves and Vines had 67 total touches with a passing percentage of 74%. Caleb Calvert and Ricardo Perez did not play
Rio Grande Valley FC 0:0 Phoenix Rising FC
Mike da Fonte started and played the full 90 again for Rising as they tied on the road against the Torros of Rio Grande Valley. Phoenix surrendered just one shot on goal and da Fonte was a big part of that playing in central defense in the 4-1-4-1 formation. He also recorded a shot on goal for Rising, in a match that was a disappointment for Phoenix but kept them firmly near the top of the Western Conference.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1:0 Fresno FC
The Switchbacks returned home to a capacity crowd and picked up a crucial 1-0 win over Fresno. The Switchbacks left it late and picked up the winner in the 86th minute to pull above the red line in the Western Conference. Sam Hamilton started and played the full 90 at left midfield in the 4-3-3 formation and had 63 total touches with a 90% passing accuracy rating. Niki Jackson did not play.
Charlotte Independence 2:2 Tampa Bay Rowdies (June 27)
The Jacks returned home to Matthews and face thunder and lighting and a Rowdies team that was up for it. All I’ll say is that if:
You are up 2-0 at home
In the 64th Minute
Dykstra started and played the full 90 in goal making two saves. Vines, Calvert and Perez did not play.
Friday, June 29
Phoenix Rising FC (9-3-5, 32 Points) vs Orange County SC (8-4-3, 27 Points)
Location: Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex—Tempe, Arizona—8:30 PM MDT
What to Watch For: Phoenix returns to Arizona with another winnable match against a team that is below the playoff line. It is a broken record, but da Fonte continues to have a solid, if understated year, for Rising as they sit just 5 points out of first place in the Western Conference.
How to Watch: This match, and all USL matches, are streamed on ESPN+ (subscription required)
Saturday, June 30
Bethlehem Steel FC (5-5-5, 20 Points) vs Charlotte Independence (6-4-6, 24 Points)
Location: Goodman Stadium—Bethlehem, Pennsylvania—3:00 PM MDT
What to Watch For: The Jacks have picked up four consecutive ties and play their third game in a week. This could be a stretch for them, but they need to find a way to put all three on the board. But more importantly, they need to play a full 90 minutes
How to Watch: This match, and all USL matches, can be found at ESPN+ (subscription required)
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (7-8-2, 23 Points) vs San Antonio FC (5-4-5, 20 Points)
Location: Weidner Field—Colorado Springs, Colorado—6:00 PM MDT
What to Watch For: The Switchbacks have picked up two massive wins in a row and take on a San Antonio team that is looking for the same thing: playoffs. The Switchbacks are playing some of their best football of the year and have to feel confident rolling into this one.
How to Watch: This match, and all USL matches, are streamed on ESPN + (subscription required)