USL PRO News Release
Saturday, August 24, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. – The semifinals of the 2013 USL PRO Playoffs were set on Saturday night, with the top three seeds each taking the first step toward a championship with victories against their lower-seeded opposition. The regular-season champion Richmond Kickers will host the No. 5-seed Charlotte Eagles at City Stadium in the semifinals as they look to add a second piece of silverware to their trophy cabinet, while No. 2-seed Orlando City will host the No. 3-seed and defending USL PRO champion Charleston Battery in the other semifinal.
The Kickers had to overcome a stern challenge from first-time playoff participant the Dayton Dutch Lions in their quarterfinal as a finish by Joseph Ngwenya provided the only goal in a 1-0 victory at City Stadium. Andrew Dysktra and the Kickers defense were able to withstand a strong Dutch Lions’ attack, with the game remaining in the balance until the final whistle.
Orlando City had no such difficulties with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at the Florida Citrus Bowl, with goals in the opening five minutes from Long Tan and Renan Boufleur giving the Lions a quick lead on their way to a 5-0 victory. Tan finished with two goals and an assist, his second goal coming three minutes into the second half before he set up Dennis Chin for a fourth in the 68th minute. Anthony Pulis capped the victory from the penalty spot with 10 minutes to play.
Defending champion Charleston was made to battle for its 2-1 victory against the Los Angeles Blues, with the visitors going close to opening the scoring as Matt Fondy hit the post in the 21st minute. Goals on either side of the break by Dane Kelly and Mike Azira, both on counter-attacks, proved to be enough for the Battery, however, as a late deflected goal by Mohammed Roknipour was just a consolation for the Blues.
Charlotte recorded the only upset of the opening round as the Eagles took a 3-1 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders at Skyline Sports Complex, with their leading scorers from the regular-season leading the way. Both Christian Ramirez and Jorge Herrera found the back of the net for the Eagles to give their side a 2-0 lead with just less than 10 minutes to go, and while Lucky Mkosana was able to pull a goal back for the City Islanders in the 85th minute, Samuel Asante’s finish late in stoppage time wrapped up the win for Charlotte.
The 2013 USL PRO Playoffs continue Friday night as Orlando City hosts the Charleston Battery at the Florida Citrus Bowl at 7:30 p.m. ET. On Saturday night, the Richmond Kickers host the Charlotte Eagles at City Stadium at 7 p.m. ET for a place in the 2013 USL PRO Championship game.
Stay up to date with all of the action in the 2013 USL PRO Playoffs through the league’s free online streaming service, USLNation.com, and also follow the race for the playoffs via Twitter (@USLPRO), Facebook and Google+ for live updates from every game, plus news, previews and recaps of all the action.
2013 USL PRO PLAYOFFS
Saturday, August 24
No. 1 Richmond 1, No. 8 Dayton 0
No. 2 Orlando 5, No. 7 Pittsburgh 0
No. 3 Charleston 2, No. 6 Los Angeles 1
No. 5 Charlotte 3, No. 4 Harrisburg 1
Friday, August 30
No. 2 Orlando vs. No. 3 Charleston, 7:30 p.m. ET, Florida Citrus Bowl
Saturday, August 31
No. 1 Richmond vs. No. 5 Charlotte, 7 p.m. ET, City Stadium