The Chicago Red Stars opened their season with a rousing 1-0 win over the Western New York Flash Saturday evening at Toyota Park.
In the 58th, the Red Stars' Zakiya Bywater barrelled into the penalty area and nearly opened scoring, as her looping near-post shot was just turned over the bar by Flash keeper Lydia Williams. On the ensuing corner kick, Naperville native Vanessa DiBernardo found fellow rookie Julie Johnston near the back post, and Johnston made no mistake with the chance, heading the ball against the grain for the only marker of the contest.
The Red Stars return to action against the Washington Spirit Saturday evening at the Village of Lisle Benedictine University Sports Complex. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m., and tickets can be had at chicagoredstars.com/tickets.
Indianapolis 1, Tampa Bay 1
The Indy 11 played to its second consecutive home draw in front of another crowd of 10,000-plus people. NASL careerist Brian Shriver got the game's first tally for the Rowdies shortly after second-half kickoff, only to see Erick Norales' goal in the 81st level the match. Tampa had more of the ball, but Indy was incisive on the counter, twice hitting the woodwork.
Carolina 4, Fort Lauderdale 1
Two quickfire goals midway through the second half broke open a tight affair in Carolina's home opener, as the Railhawks crushed Fort Lauderdale, 4-1. Zach Schilawski and Enzo Martinez put up a brace of braces for the home squad, with Chris Nurse's goal shortly after the break the only marker for the Strikers.
Atlanta 1, San Antonio 2
Remember Eric Hassli? Somehow the massive former Designated Player is on the roster of the Scorpions, and it was his flick-on that set up Shaun Saiko for San Antonio's second goal shortly after break (Is this a theme for the weekend? Goals just after the half?). Greg Janicki scored the first for the visitors on a set piece in the 35th minute. In front of a sellout crowd, Atlanta dominated the second half, and their attempted comeback found some traction in the 81st when Junior Sandoval scored, but Scorpions keeper David Bingham was outstanding down the stretch to preserve the road win.
Ottawa 1, Minnesota 2
Minnesota played rude guest in Ottawa's first-ever home game, scoring just before the final whistle to take all three points with a 2-1 win. Christian Ramirez headed home the winner in stoppage time after Ottawa keeper Devala Gorrick went on walkabout, misjudging the ball completely. The result was fitting, as Minnesota dominated the run of play. Miguel Ibarra got the first goal for the Loons, and Fury striker Vini Dantas equalized early in the second half. (THEME!)
USL Pro results
Before we get too deep into the weekend that was, we should emphasize that our very own Chicago Fire reserve side is playing the Rochester Rhinos of USL Pro today at 11am CT. Come out to Toyota Park for some free football! If you can't attend the match, you can catch a live stream here:
LA Galaxy II 3, OC Blues 0
The Galaxy's use of Los Dos as a true minor-league affiliate is under some fire after this dominating win, which featured goals from Charlie Rugg, Chandler Hoffman and Laurent Courtois. Of particular concern to other USL Pro teams is the Galaxy's use of ‘one-day loans' from the mothership - Robbie Rogers started this game as a rehab assignment, and was replaced after 79 minutes by another guy on the fringes of the LA gameday 18, Courtois.
Sacramento 1, Arizona Utd 2
Sacramento hung on gamely after Micky Daly's dismissal just before halftime, but Arizona finally broke through in the 85th with a goal from former FC Dallas homegrown player Jonathon Top.
Dayton 1, Harrisburg 0
Aaron Schoenfeld's 41st minute strike was enough for the Dutch Lions to see off Harrisburg. The game saw the debut of a lad named Cruyff - Johan Cruyff's grandson Jesjua.
Pittsburgh 2, Richmond 2
The Riverhounds couldn't hold onto a two-goal lead in the final 30 minutes, succumbing to a Richmond comeback to share the points.
It's all coming up Liverpool in the Premiership - yesterday, the Reds held off Norwich to establish a five-point lead at the top of the table, while the blue half of the city celebrated doing the double over Manchester United. Everton remains one point behind Arsenal in the competition for the fourth and final Champions League slot.