Sacramento Republic FC took victory in a seven-goal thriller to secure promotion from Division B, while Union Omaha upset Saint Louis FC in the Division A Quarterfinals in Wednesday night’s action in the USL eCup: FIFA20 Edition.
1. After the almost uniform predictability of Tuesday’s action in Group A and Group B, we got another dose on Wednesday. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t some high entertainment while the teams lying in wait for Tuesday’s winners took victories of their own to advance to their respective Semifinals in both divisions. At the top of the list was Sacramento Republic FC’s Justin Sterk, who ended up leading Mexico to a thrilling 4-3 win against Indy Eleven’s Colton Vincent and Cote D’Ivoire on a late winner to send Republic FC back up to Division A again next week. The result might have been expected, but the game was exceptionally good.
2. As on Tuesday, though, there was a lone exception to the rule. This time it was Union Omaha, which earned a place in the Division A Semifinals as Damia Viader and Norway took a 3-1 victory against Saint Louis FC’s Phillip Fox to advance. We asked on Tuesday whether this was Los Buhos’ chance to make a move up the standings, and now it appears that’s the case. With only 200 points in the bank so far, though, reaching the final and pushing into four figures by the end of Friday night is going to be essential because of results elsewhere.
3. We’ve already had some games that can be summed up by the phrase, “well, that’s FIFA,” and the Charleston Battery’s victory – also in Division B’s Quarterfinals – certainly seemed to fit that category. After a five-goal performance on Tuesday night, you’d have thought Miami FC’s Austin Robillard and England would have had better fortune against the Battery’s Rennico Clarke and Greece, but despite posting more shots (9) and shots on goal (6), Miami was held without a goal as Charleston walked away with a 1-0 victory.
- Saint Louis FC’s loss was a major boost for the top two teams in the overall standings, with both Rio Grande Valley FC and the New York Red Bulls II advancing to the points and the division Semifinals with victories on Wednesday. It might have been an unfamiliar name in Juan Chavez on the sticks for the Toros, but in charge of Brazil, Chavez still walked away with a 3-1 win against Greenville Triumph SC’s Giovanny Casas and Poland.
- The Red Bulls II, meanwhile, looked as solid as ever with Mike LaBelle and Chile cruising to a 4-1 win against Hartford Athletic’s Kamer Nujiu and Scotland. With the Red Bulls II and Toros sitting on other sides of the bracket, a rematch of Week 2’s Division A Final is still in play.
- A rematch between the two would be a chance for the Toros to take revenge, but also mean the gap to the field with two weeks to go would be a tricky one to bridge for those in pursuit with both teams guaranteed a minimum of 750 points for finishing as runner-up for the week.
- The Philadelphia Union II’s Brian Hatfield is starting to look like an ideal fit to take the sticks with Spain for the club. The Union II have now notched back-to-back victories after a 5-1 win against the LA Galaxy II’s Bruce Martin and Sweden on Wednesday, securing a place in Friday’s Division C Final to go along with promotion.
- Two of the games in Division B were close. The other two were not, with Las Vegas Lights FC’s Jose Carreras and Uruguay in particular taking a tough beat from El Paso Locomotive FC’s Alexy Bosetti and Argentina. Going from a 5-1 win one day to a defeat by the same score the next? Oof.
Rio Grande Valley FC (Brazil) 3, Greenville Triumph SC (Poland) 1
Austin Bold FC (Italy) 4, FC Tucson (Czech Republic) 2
New York Red Bulls II (Chile) 4, Hartford Athletic (Scotland) 1
Union Omaha (Norway) 3, Saint Louis FC (France) 1
El Paso Locomotive FC (Argentina) 5, Las Vegas Lights FC (Uruguay) 1
Sacramento Republic FC (Mexico) 4, Indy Eleven (Cote D’Ivoire) 3
Charleston Battery (Greece) 1, Miami FC (England) 0
New England Revolution II (Russia) 4, Charlotte Independence (Germany) 1
Orange County SC (Cameroon) 3, Real Monarchs SLC (Switzerland) 0
Philadelphia Union II (Spain) 5, LA Galaxy II (Sweden) 1