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July 21, 2015
Leaders stay in place

With many of the top teams in the Western Conference earning draws in Week 18, the leaderboard remains the same with Seattle Sounders FC 2 and the LA Galaxy II atop the West in points. In the Eastern Conference, the second-place Charleston Battery and third-place Louisville City FC each won during the weekend, cutting into Rochester’s lead after the unbeaten Rhinos came away with a draw.

CARSON, Calif.---The Galaxy II overcame an early deficit to pick up a home draw against local rival Orange County on Thursday at StubHub Center. Ariel Lassiter provided the equalizer as Los Dos (10-5-3, 33 points) took sole possession of first in the West at the time, before Seattle Sounders FC 2 joined them later in the weekend. In their past 14 matches the Galaxy II have posted an impressive 10-2-2 record after opening their second USL season with a five-game winless streak. Los Dos have a challenging final 10-game stretch to close out the regular season with seven matches on the road.

PITTSBURGH---City FC stretched its winning streak to four games with a big victory on the road against the Riverhounds on Saturday at Highmark Stadium. Matt Fondy, who formerly played for the Riverhounds, provided the game-winning tally as Louisville moved to 9-3-5 (32 points) this season. Fondy leads the squad with 11 goals in 17 games. The victory marked Louisville’s second road win of the season and cemented the team’s spot in third place in the Eastern Conference. During this four-game winning streak, City FC has outscored its opponents by a 13-3 margin. Heading into Week 19, City FC is eight points behind conference-leading Rochester, but has played one less match than the Rhinos.

CHARLESTON, SC---Forward Dane Kelly scored a world-class tally, carving a right-footed strike into the upper right corner of the frame, to lead the Battery to a 1-0 victory against Wilmington on Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium. The second-place Battery (9-2-7, 34 points) moved a bit closer to the league-leading Rochester Rhinos (11-0-7, 40 points) who earned a point during the weekend after a 0-0 draw against the Charlotte Independence. Kelly leads Charleston with nine goals in 16 games this year.

In a matchup where either team would come away with first place in the Western Conference, it was S2 that retook the top billing. Sergio Mota scored a game-tying goal in the 61st minute to help Seattle earn a key road draw to move atop the West at 10-6-3 (33 points). However, Seattle will be without the Brazilian this Friday against the Portland Timbers 2 after he was issued a straight red card in the 88th minute. Colorado Springs’ Aaron King got the host side off to a good start with a ninth-minute goal, but the Switchbacks (10-6-2, 32 points) saw their seven-game winning streak at Sand Creek Stadium come to a close.

Player of the Week
FC Montreal forward Charles Joly has been voted the USL Player of the Week for the 18th week of the 2015 season after he recorded a hat trick in Montreal’s 5-2 victory against Saint Louis FC last Wednesday evening.

Joly earned 87 percent of the vote, which was conducted by a national panel of independent media representing every USL market.

USL Team of the Week
GK – Odisnel Cooper, Charleston Battery: In his return from injury, recorded five saves to post his third shutout of the season in a 1-0 win vs. Wilmington

D – Josh Suggs, Orange County Blues FC: Pushed up the flank well, and was solid as the 10-man Blues held on for a 1-1 draw with LA

D – Damion Lowe, Seattle Sounders FC 2: The key player in S2’s defense as it helped the side earn a point on the road against Colorado Springs
D – Janouk Charbonneau, FC Montreal: Was solid defensively, and joined the attack well to provide important passes on a pair of Joly’s goals vs. Saint Louis

D – Nick Bibbs, Saint Louis FC: Played a solid game defensively, and delivered the cross that resulted in the only goal in STL FC’s win against Toronto

M – Leo Stolz, New York Red Bulls II: Began a number of attacking forays for NYRB II, and was rewarded with the winning goal on the road in Harrisburg

M – Jarad van Schaik, Charleston Battery: Excellent performance in the center of midfield as the Battery took a 1-0 win against Wilmington

M – Santiago Biglieri, Portland Timbers 2: Recorded a pair of assists to help T2 overcome an early deficit to defeat Vancouver

F – Trevin Caesar, Austin Aztex: Scored a pair of goals, and also hit the post, in an excellent performance against Arizona United

F – Charles Joly, FC Montreal: Recorded his first professional hat trick in his second start for FC Montreal in a 5-2 win against Saint Louis

F – Kharlton Belmar, Portland Timbers 2: Scored the opening goal, and added an assist, as T2 moved back into the thick of the playoff race

Bench: Alec Kann (STL), Bilal Duckett (CLT), Andre Lewis (VAN), Aaron Kovar (SEA), Drew Yates (ATX), Matt Fondy (LOU), Dane Kelly (CHS)

Six players will be serving suspensions and fined an undisclosed amount for their actions from Week 18. Seattle Sounders FC 2’s Sergio Mota, who was sent off during S2’s 1-1 draw against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday, will be suspended for two games for violent conduct. The Brazilian will miss Friday’s home match against the Portland Timbers 2 and a road game against Sacramento Republic FC on Aug. 1.

Orange County Blues FC’s Brenton Griffiths and the Harrisburg City Islanders’ Dante Leverock each picked up two cautions and were sent off in their respective Week 18 matches. Griffiths will be unavailable for Saturday’s game against Real Monarchs SLC and Leverock will miss Harrisburg’s Sunday match against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

The Charleston Battery’s Maikel Chang, Rochester Rhinos’ Mike Garzi and S2’s Damion Lowe will serve one-game suspensions for yellow card accumulation. Chang and Garzi are out for Sunday’s Battery-Rhinos match and Lowe is suspended for Seattle’s match against T2 on Friday.

Wednesday, July 15
FC Montreal 5, Saint Louis FC 2
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 2, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 2

Thursday, July 16
LA Galaxy II 1, Orange County Blues FC 1

Friday, July 17
Austin Aztex 4, Arizona United SC 1

Saturday, July 18
Louisville City FC 2, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1
New York Red Bulls II 2, Harrisburg City Islanders 0
Rochester Rhinos 0, Charlotte Independence 0
Charleston Battery 1, Wilmington Hammerheads FC 0
OKC Energy FC 1, Tulsa Roughnecks FC 1
Saint Louis FC 1, Toronto FC II 0
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1, Seattle Sounders FC 2 1

Sunday, July 19
Portland Timbers 2 4, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 2

Tuesday, July 21
FC Montreal 1, Toronto FC II 0

Friday, July 24
Charlotte Independence vs. FC Montreal, 7:30 p.m. ET
Toronto FC II vs. Charleston Battery, 8 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 10 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Portland Timbers 2, 10:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, July 25
New York Red Bulls II vs. Richmond Kickers, 4 p.m. ET
Wilmington Hammerheads FC vs. Louisville City FC, 7 p.m. ET
Saint Louis FC vs. OKC Energy FC, 8:30 p.m. ET
Orange County Blues FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC, 10 p.m. ET
Arizona United SC vs. Austin Aztex, 10:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, July 26
Rochester Rhinos vs. Charleston Battery, 4:05 p.m. ET
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 6:30 p.m. ET
Portland Timbers 2 vs. LA Galaxy II, 10 p.m. ET

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