LOCALS: Blues cling to National hopes
The L.A. Blues are doing their National Division title hopes no favors -- Sunday's 3-0 loss at Antigua Barracuda all but killed them off.
The islanders scored three second-half goals to close their first USL Pro campaign with a season-series victory over the Blues (8-7-7), who wrap the regular season with two home games this weekend against Richmond.
Win both of them and, with help elsewhere, L.A. can vault past National leader Rochester (11-8-4) and second-place Harrisburg (9-6-7). Don't count on it.
The Blues have won just once in their past six games and dropped both games on their final regular-season road trip, also falling Friday at Wilmington despite a sizzling second-half performance.
To finish first:
- L.A. (31 points) must win both games, Friday at Cal State Fullerton and Sunday at Norco College.
- The Rochester Rhinos (37), who lost last week to Charlotte and New York, have to lose Saturday to Pittsburgh.
- The Harrisburg City Islanders (34) can't win Wednesday at Charlotte or Friday at Orlando City.
One more thing, too. The Blues must make up a five-goal deficit in differential against Rochester -- that's the toughest part of the equation. Richmond (11-7-3) has conceded no more than two goals in any game this year.
The Blues were without first-choice forwards Peter Byers and Jonathan de Leon and winger Akeem Priestley against Antigua (9-13-2), which finished last in the American Division but would be fourth and on the verge of a playoff berth if it were in the National. Ranja Christian scored in the 70th and 83rd minutes and Tamarley Thomas in the 90th.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Three more playoff berths have been determined -- Pittsburgh (7-10-6) completed the National quartet, and Wilmington (13-6-3) and Richmond clinched American spots -- leaving one spot for either the Charlotte Eagles (9-7-6) or Charleston Battery (9-9-5).
If Charlotte fails to win at home Wednesday against Harrisburg, its game Friday at Charleston will decide the final team.
Now it's all jockeying. Orlando City (14-3-6) clinched the American and overall titles. Pittsburgh will be No. 4 in the National. Every other spot is open.
PDL: The Kitsap Pumas, from Bremerton, Wash., won their first Premier Development League title, and the Michigan Bucks won three of the five end-of-season awards in the national amateur/semipro league.
UCLA's Chandler Hoffman, who scored 13 goals for Orange County Blue Star, was an MVP finalist. Former Westmont College standout Dillon Barna, the Ventura County Fusion's backline leader, was a finalist for Defender of the Year.
Fresno Fuego star Milton Blanco was selected MVP.
- DIVISION 3
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
L.A. Blues 1 (Byers 23), Antigua Barracuda 1 (Thomas 8)
Orlando City 1 (Watson 16), Charleston Battery 0
Wilmington Hammerheads 2 (Guzman 31, Budnyy 77), L.A. Blues 1 (Byers 62)
Harrisburg City Islanders 0, FC New York 0
Rochester Rhinos 0, Charlotte Eagles 3 (Bundu 20, Toby 46, Martins 80)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2 (Deighton 13, Gray 78), Charlotte Eagles 2 (Bloom 39, Toby 56)
Richmond Kickers 3 (William 24, Delicate 30, pen. 54), Dayton Dutch Lions 0
Orlando City 2 (Watson 65, Alvarez 72), Charleston Battery 1 (Kelly 84)
FC New York 2 (Arteaga 17, Turizo 43), Rochester Rhinos 1 (Kissi 71)
Antigua Barracuda 3 (Christian 70, 83, Thomas 90), L.A. Blues 0
National: 1. x-Rochester Rhinos 37 points; 2. x-Harrisburg City Islanders 34; 3. x-L.A. Blues 31; 4. x-Pittsburgh Riverhounds 26; 5. FC New York 22; 6. Dayton Dutch Lions 12
American: 1. x-Orlando City 48; 2. x-Wilmington Hammerheads 42; 3. x-Richmond Kickers 36; 4. Charlotte Eagles 33; 5. Charleston Battery 32; 6. Antigua Barracuda 29
x -- clinched playoff berth
This week's games (all times Pacific)
Harrisburg City Islanders at Charlotte Eagles, 4 p.m.
FC New York at Dayton Dutch Lions, 4:30 p.m.
Richmond Kickers at Wilmington Hammerheads, 4:30 p.m.
Harrisburg City Islanders at Orlando City, 4:35 p.m.
Charlotte Eagles at Charleston Battery, 5 p.m.
Richmond Kickers vs. L.A. Blues at Titan Stadium, Cal State Fullerton, 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Rochester Rhinos, 4 p.m.
Wilmington Hammerheads at Dayton Dutch Lions, 4:30 p.m.
Richmond Kickers vs. L.A. Blues at Norco College, 5 p.m.
- DIVISION 4
USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Last week's results
Laredo Heat 4 (Bayona 38, Ibarra 64, Lopez 85, Escovar 90), Long Island Rough Riders 1 (Gabriele pen. 69)
Kitsap Pumas 3 (Burke 60, Friesen 72, pen. 90), Thunder Bay Chill 1 (Oliveira pen. 34)
Kitsap Pumas 1 (Christner 11), Laredo Heat 0
1. Chandler Hoffman (Orange County Blue Star) 13
2. Milton Blanco (Fresno Fuego) 12
3. Fernando Monge (Orange County Blue Star) 9
Ryan Shaw (Southern California Seahorses) 9
Jose “Chivas” Reyes (Fresno Fuego) 9
1. Blanco 16
2. Hoffman 9
3. Danny Barrera (Ventura County Fusion) 9
1. Blanco 40
2. Hoffman 35
3. Barrera 23
4. Monge 22
5. Cuevas 19
6. Shaw 18
David Ponce (Orange County Blue Star) 18
Our MVP: Blanco
NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
1. Larry Emeanua (San Diego Flash) 13
2. Juan Miranda (Hollywood United) 12
3. Lodule LoSarah (San Diego Flash) 10
4. Justin Picou (San Diego Boca) 9
5. Manolo Piņa (Sacramento Gold) 8
Cameron Roget (San Diego Boca) 8
Brent Whitfield (Hollywood United) 8
Our MVP: Emeanua
- WOMEN'S DIVISION 2
1. Sydney Leroux (Vancouver Whitecaps) 11
2. Edite Fernandes (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) 9
3. Lindsey Horan (Colorado Rush) 8
4. Liz Franco (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) 7
Sophie Reiser (Seattle Sounders) 7
Tiffany Weimer (Vancouver Whitecaps) 7
1. Stacey Rodwell (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) 7
2. Jessica Price (Pali Blues) 5
3. Fernandes 4
Justi Baumgardt (Seattle Sounders) 4
1. Leroux 26
2. Fernandes 22
3. Weimer 18
4. Horan 16
5. Franco 14
WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
1. Shannon Cross (Orange County Waves) 7
Katrin Omarsdottir (Orange County Waves) 7
Ashlin Yahr (San Diego SeaLions) 7
4. Tanya Taylor (Orange County Waves) 6
5. Anessa Patton (Clovis Sidekicks) 5
1. Kiki Bosio (Orange County Waves) 7
2. Taylor 6
1. Taylor 18
2. Cross 16
3. Bosio 15
5. Yahr 14
Our MVP: Bosio