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Portland and Vancouver Earn Playoff Berths in USSF D-2 Pro League


Week 23 Recap and Week 24 Preview of the USSF D-2 Pro League

Week 23 Recap  
The Montreal Impact and the Puerto Rico Islanders got Week 22 underway in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday, Sept. 8 as the Impact claimed a 2-1 road win in the only weekday match before a full league schedule on Saturday. Opening play on Sept. 11 was Vancouver Whitecaps FC, who scored three unanswered goals against Crystal Palace Baltimore and secured a spot in the D-2 Pro League postseason. The Rochester Rhinos also registered a 3-0 win at home against the Tampa Bay Rowdies to guarantee a top four seed in the playoffs. In Cary, N.C., the Carolina RailHawks and Portland Timbers battled to a 0-0 draw, despite both teams needing a win to keep pace with their conference rivals ahead of them in the standings. Montreal was not able to take full points from both of their games this week as they fell 2-1 to Miami FC in Ft. Lauderdale, while Puerto Rico rebounded from their midweek loss to defeat the Austin Aztex 3-1 at home. In another 3-0 result, the NSC Minnesota Stars kept themselves in playoff contention with a big win on the road against AC St. Louis.

Week 23 Results

 Date  Match   Time (ET)  Venue
 Sept. 8  Puerto Rico Islanders 1, Montreal Impact 2  8:05 p.m.  Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel; Bayamon, Puerto Rico
 Sept. 11  Crystal Palace Baltimore 0, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3  5 p.m.  Paul Angelo Russo Field; Towson, Md.
 Sept. 11  Rochester Rhinos 3, Tampa Bay Rowdies 0  7 p.m.  Marina Auto Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.
 Sept. 11  Carolina RailHawks 0, Portland Timbers 0  7 p.m.  WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
 Sept. 11   AC St. Louis 0, NSC Minnesota Stars 3  8:10 p.m.  Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park; St. Louis, Mo.
 Sept. 11   Miami FC 2, Montreal Impact 1  7:30 p.m.  Lockhart Stadium; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
 Sept. 11   Puerto Rico Islanders 3, Austin Aztex 1  8:05 p.m.  Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel; Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Week 23 Quick Hits

  • Portland and Vancouver have joined Austin and Rochester with guaranteed spots in the postseason.
  • With 51 points after the win against Tampa, Rochester secured a top four seed in the playoffs and reclaimed first place in the league.
  • Just six points separate the ninth-place Tampa Bay Rowdies and seventh-place Montreal Impact as the race for the final playoff spot tightens at the end of the season.

Week 24 Preview 
Week 24 of the D-2 Pro League will get underway on Sept. 15 in Blaine, Minn., as the Carolina RailHawks visit the NSC Minnesota Stars at 8 p.m. ET in Minnesota's first home game of the week. On Sept. 16, the Austin Aztex will be in Tampa, Fla., to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m. ET in a USL Conference matchup. The Rochester Rhinos will play host to Miami FC on Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET as the first-place Rhinos looks to keep pace at the top of the table. Carolina and Crystal Palace Baltimore will play the first of four matches on Sept. 18 as they get underway at 5 p.m. ET in Towson, Md. Minnesota welcomes Vancouver Whitecaps FC to the National Sports Center at 8 p.m. ET, while the Puerto Rico Islanders and Portland Timbers kickoff at 8:05 p.m. ET in Bayamon. Austin will be at AC St. Louis at 8:10 p.m. ET for their second road game of the week. The week will draw to a close in Montreal as Tampa visits the Impact at 2 p.m. ET at Stade Saputo on Sept. 19.

Week 24 Schedule

 Date  Match   Time (ET)  Venue
 Sept. 15  NSC Minnesota Stars vs. Carolina RailHawks  8 p.m.  National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.
 Sept. 16  Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Austin Aztex  7:30 p.m.  George M. Steinbrenner Field; Tampa, Fla.
 Sept. 17  Rochester Rhinos vs. Miami FC  7:30 p.m.  Marina Auto Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.
 Sept. 18  Crystal Palace Baltimmore vs. Carolina RailHawks   5 p.m.  Paul Angelo Russo Field; Towson, Md.
 Sept. 18   NSC Minnesota Stars vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC  8 p.m.  National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.
 Sept. 18   AC St. Louis vs. Austin Aztex  8:10 p.m.  Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park; St. Louis, Mo.
 Sept. 18   Puerto Rico Islanders vs. Portland Timbers  8:05 p.m.  Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel; Bayamon, Puerto Rico
 Sept. 19  Montreal Impact vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies  2 p.m.  Stade Saputo; Montreal, Quebec

Week 24 Notes

  • Austin can guarantee a top four seed in the playoffs with a win or two draws this week.
  • Minnesota will be wrapping up their home schedule with two matches at the National Sports Center this week.
  • There are no idle teams in Week 24.

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