Photo: Courtesy of USL PRO
Drama abounded in the semifinal round of the USL playoff, thanks in no small part to a pair of Philadelphia-area natives.
On Friday night, Reading-native Corey Hertzog and the Wilmington Hammerheads squared off against league-leading and defending champions Orlando City SC. With MLS hopefuls Orlando’s reputation on the line, it would be Wilmington who would draw first blood early in the game. Successfully converting a 4th minute penalty, Hertzog would give the Hammerheads the early lead.
Ahead 3-1 at the half, it would be Hertzog who would seemingly put the nail in the coffin for Orlando. Thanks to a flubbed pass from an Orlando defender, Hertzog would score his second of the night in the 59th minute to put Wilmington up 4-1. The Hammerheads would manage to hold onto the lead despite going down a man in the 64th minute and conceding two stoppage time goals, punching their ticket for the USL Championship game.
Meanwhile in Rochester, another local would bring salvation to his team. After a scoreless first half, followed by a 55th minute tally by Rochester, it seemed do or die for Tony Donatelli, Ryan Richter, and the rest of the Charleston Battery. The Rhinos held onto their slim lead all the way to the last waning moments of stoppage time, but it would be Glenside lad Tony Donatelli, thanks to some chaotic play within the Rochester box, who would head home the equalizer against his former team and restore Charleston’s hopes. With the score level again after extra time, Charleston would prevail in penalty kicks to reach the championships.
When the Hammerheads and Battery square off this Saturday in Charleston, one thing will be assured: One of our boys will come home a champion.
Major League Soccer
Antoine Hoppenot, M/F, Philadelphia — Started and played 67 minutes in Saturday’s scoreless draw with New England. Played 29 minutes in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Columbus. Season: 16 games, 2 starts, 2 goals for Philadelphia. 4 games, 1 goal for Harrisburg.
Cristhian Hernandez, M, Philadelphia — Did not play. Season: 2 games.
Chris Albright, D, Philadelphia — Did not play. Season: 4 games, 2 starts.
Zach Pfeffer, M, Philadelphia — Did not play. Season: 0 games.
Jimmy McLaughlin, M, Harrisburg — Did not play. Season: 0 games for Philadelphia, 8 games, 3 starts, 1 goal for Harrisburg.
Stephen King, M, D.C. United — In the 18, but did not play on Saturday. Season: 7 games, 1 start, 1 assist.
Andrew Wenger, F, Montreal — Played 9 minutes in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Columbus. Season: 18 games, 4 starts, 4 goals.
Zarek Valentin, D, Montreal — Did not play due to left ankle strain. Season: 14 games, 14 starts, 1 goal.
Jeff Parke, D, Seattle — Started and played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Dallas. Season: 23 games, 22 starts, 1 assist.
Mike Seamon, M, Seattle — Did not play. Season: 0 games.
Bobby Convey, M, Kansas City — Did not play due to right hamstring strain. Season: 15 games, 14 starts, 1 goal, 2 assists.
Jeff Larentowicz, M, Colorado — Started and played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Portland. Season: 25 games, 25 starts, 3 goals.
Bobby Warshaw, D, Dallas — Did not play. Season: 6 games, 2 starts.
Jeremiah White, M, New England — Waived by New England on June 27, 2012. Season: 2 games.
Bill Gaudette, GK, New York — Started and played 90 minutes in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with D.C., recording four saves and allowing two goals. Season: 9 games, 9 starts, 23 saves, 12 goals allowed, and 3 clean sheets for New York. 3 games, 3 starts, 7 saves, 4 goals allowed for Los Angeles.
Jeremy Vuolo, GK, New York — Did not play. Season: 0 games.
Dan Gargan, D, Chicago — In the 18, but did not play. Season: 19 games, 17 starts.
Corey Hertzog, F, Wilmington — On loan fron New York, started and played 90 minutes in Friday’s 4-3 win over Orlando, scoring a goal off of a penalty kick in the 4th minute and a second goal in the 59th minute. Season: 0 games for New York. 19 games, 18 starts, 11 goals, 5 assists for Wilmington.
Tony Donatelli, M, Charleston — Started and played 120 minutes in Friday’s 1-1 (4-3 p.k.) win over Rochester, scoring a goal in the 90th minute. Season: 20 games, 17 starts, 4 goals, 3 assists.
Ryan Richter, M, Charleston — Started and played 71 minutes in Friday’s 1-1 (4-3 p.k.) win over Rochester. Season: 24 games, 15 starts, 2 goals, 4 assists.
Tyler Bellamy, D, Rochester — In the 18, but did not play. Season: 8 games, 5 starts.
Drew Cost, M, Rochester — Started and played 87 minutes in Friday’s 1-1 (4-3 p.k.) loss to Charleston. Season: 17 games, 3 starts, 1 assist.
Pat Hannigan, GK, San Antonio — Did not play. Season: 3 games, 6 goals allowed, 9 saves.