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Rochester and Austin Clinch Playoff Spots After Week 20 Action of the USSF D-2 Pro League


Week 20 Recap and Week 21 Preview of the USSF D-2 Pro League

Week 20 Recap  
The Rochester Rhinos and Austin Aztex clinched berths in the USSF D-2 Pro League Playoffs this week after Rochester registered six points from two games and Austin won their encounter on Sunday evening. The Rhinos continued their winning ways with a 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace Baltimore to start off Week 20, while the Carolina RailHawks posted their first come-from-behind win with two goals in the second half to defeat Miami FC 2-1. The lone match on Aug. 19 saw the Tampa Bay Rowdies draw NASL Conference leading Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-1 in Tampa. Aug. 20 also only had one league match, with the Puerto Rico Islanders visiting AC St. Louis and earning a 1-1 draw. The weekend had a full slate of games and was kicked off in high-scoring fashion with a 5-0 victory for the Montreal Impact against Crystal Palace Baltimore. Striker Ali Gerba scored a hat trick for the visiting Impact, and the win snapped a six-game road winless streak for the Canadian club. In New York, Rochester won their second game of the week with a 3-1 victory against Miami FC, while the Portland Timbers traveled to Minnesota and defeated the NSC Minnesota Stars 1-0. The last game of the week was an exciting battle in Texas that ended with a 3-2 victory for the Aztex against the Carolina RailHawks.

Week 20 Results

 Date  Match   Time (ET)  Venue
 Aug. 18   Crystal Palace Baltimore 0, Rochester Rhinos 2  7 p.m.  Ridley Athletic Complex; Baltimore, Md.
 Aug. 18  Carolina RailHawks 2, Miami FC 1  7 p.m.  WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
 Aug. 19  Tampa Bay Rowdies 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1  7:30 p.m.  George M. Steinbrenner Field; Tampa, Fla.
 Aug. 20  AC St. Louis 1, Puerto Rico Islanders 1  8:10 p.m.  Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park; St. Louis, Mo.
 Aug. 21  Crystal Palace Baltimore 0, Montreal Impact 5  5 p.m.  Paul Angelo Russo Stadium; Towson, Md.
 Aug. 21   Rochester Rhinos 3, Miami FC 1  7 p.m.  Marina Auto Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.
 Aug. 21  NSC Minnesota Stars 0, Portland Timbers 1  8 p.m.  National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.
 Aug. 22  Austin Aztex 3, Carolina RailHawks 2  7 p.m.  House Park; Austin, Texas

Week 20 Quick Hits

  • Rochester has won six consecutive games and remains at the top of the league and USL Conference.
  • Montreal scored five goals in one match for the first time in club history and the five goal margin of victory is the largest of any game this season in the USSF Division-2 Pro League.
  • Heading into the final weeks of the season, there are only four points separating the five teams in fourth through ninth place in the league table.

Week 21 Preview 
Week 21 begins in Tampa where the Rowdies and Carolina RailHawks meet at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 25. The following day, Austin will visit PGE Park to take on the Portland Timbers in a USL Conference battle on Aug. 26 at 10 p.m. ET. The surging Rochester Rhinos will be in action on Friday night when they head across the border to Quebec to face the Montreal Impact in a 7:30 p.m. ET match. The lone Saturday match features the Carolina RailHawks and Puerto Rico Islanders meeting at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. ET. Sunday, Aug. 29 features a trio of matches starting with Austin making the trip up the west coast to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps at 7 p.m. ET at Swangard Stadium. Tampa Bay will be at home for their second match of the week against AC St. Louis with kickoff slated for 6 p.m. ET, while Crystal Palace Baltimore makes the cross-country trek to Portland to take on the Timbers at 9 p.m. ET.

Week 21 Schedule

 Date  Match   Time (ET)  Venue
 Aug. 25   Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Carolina RailHawks  7:30 p.m.  George M. Steinbrenner Field; Tampa, Fla.
 Aug. 26  Portland Timbers vs. Austin Aztex  10 p.m.  PGE Park; Portland, Ore.
 Aug. 27  Montreal Impact vs. Rochester Rhinos  7:30 p.m.  Stade Saputo; Montreal, Quebec
 Aug. 28  Carolina RailHawks vs. Puerto Rico Islanders  7 p.m.  WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
 Aug. 29  Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Austin Aztex  7 p.m.  Swangard Stadium; Burnaby, British Columbia
 Aug. 29   Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. AC St. Louis  6 p.m.  George M. Steinbrenner Field; Tampa, Fla.
 Aug. 29  Portland Timbers vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore  9 p.m.  PGE Park; Portland, Ore.

Week 21 Notes

  • Tied for fewest losses on the season with three, Vancouver and Austin meet in Vancouver in a rematch of their June 12 battle in Austin which the Whitecaps won 2-1.
  • As Rochester look to push their winning streak to seven in row, they will also be vying for their fourth consecutive road win.
  • Miami FC and Minnesota are idle this week. 

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