‘IT FEELS GREAT!’
TAMPA BAY, United States (CMC) — Jamaica forward Romario Williams scored his fifth goal of the season, a second-half item that helped Colorado Springs Switchbacks break out of their slump with a 4-0 win against Orange County SC in the United Soccer League Championship on Saturday.
Williams scored on the hour in front of a vocal capacity home crowd at Weidner Field in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the Switchbacks grabbed their first win after five successive losses with an enterprising display of attacking play to move into seventh in the Western Conference standings with 19 points from 14 matches.
“It feels great,” Williams said. “It feels really great. You know the fans are always here supporting us and here behind us. We just wanted to come out and have a solid team performance, and I think we did that from back to front.
“As a team, we were solid defensively and we attacked as a group, and we were rewarded with four goals and that’s just a testament of all the hard work and the dedication we’ve put in to this despite the adversity of losing five games in a row. We know what we’re capable of as a group and that talent was on full display.”
Williams also assisted with two goals, the first of which led to opening strike of the match, when he sent the ball to the right side of the box, where it landed on the foot of Drew Skundrich, who pitched it in for his second goal of the season in the 28th minute.
The Switchbacks made six more shots in the first half, but the scoreline remained 1-0 at half-time before Williams stood in front of the net and finished off a one-time pass from Jairo Henriquez to extend the lead.
Henriquez earned the third goal in classic fashion with a textbook penalty kick that landed centre mass in the back of the net, and Marco Rios earned his first career goal to wrap up the rout when he fluidly popped the ball past SC goalkeeper Colin Shutler after Williams high footed the ball across the box.
“It feels great,” Williams said about his performance. “It always feels good as an attacking player to come out and impact winning, and I was able to do that, so it certainly feels good, but the job’s not finished.
“We have a long way to go, we have a lot of work to do. We’re going to enjoy this one, but we’re going to keep going.”
Switchbacks will be back at home for their third week in a row for a Father’s Day weekend special when they face Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday.
Elsewhere, St Vincent & the Grenadines forward Kyle Edwards also found the nets to give strugglers Hartford Athletic an early lead, but they could not hold onto it, and drew 1-1 against Indy Eleven in a chippy contest that featured three red cards at Michael A Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The result left Hartford rooted at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with 10 points from 13 matches.
The first of the reds came in the sixth minute when Adrian Diz Pe of Indy was shown the door after he got entangled with Niall Logue following a corner kick.
Edwards used the reduction of the Indy line-up to craft his fourth goal of the season when he tipped a pass between two defenders, leading to him running down the pitch alone, and putting the ball into the lower left corner in a one-on-one with the keeper in the 12th minute.
Neither side got the better of the other during the rest of the first half, and Hartford lost their one-man advantage four minutes into the second half when defender Triston Hodge received his second yellow card.
Both side tried to wear the other down with a succession of shots, and Indy enjoyed a slice of good fortune when Jack Blake equalised in the 85th minute off a pass at the top of the box from Sebastián Guenzatti following a throw-in.
In stoppage time, Indy defender Gustavo Rissi got a red card after he tripped Harford defender Antoine Hoppenot a few yards outside of the box.
Hartford Athletic return home to host Detroit City FC on Wednesday and Charleston Battery on Saturday. Both matches kick off at 7 pm at Trinity Health Stadium in Hartford, Connecticut.
Canada-born Trinidad & Tobago forward Ryan Telfer scored late in the second half to give Miami FC the edge, but they failed to hold on and had to settle for a 3-3 draw against Rio Grande Valley FC at HEB Park in Edinburg, Texas.
Telfer scored a right-footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the centre of the goal to put Miami ahead 3-2 in the 78th minute of the contest, but defender Wahab Ackwei responded in stoppage time with left-footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal to earn the host a share of the points.
Kyle Murphy put Miami ahead in the fourth minute before RGV scored twice before half-time thanks to Wilmer Cabrera in the 38th minute and Frank Lopez in the 41st minute to take the lead.
After the break, second-half substitute Claudio Repetto found the top-left corner to equalise for Miami in the 62nd minute, before Telfer and Ackwei settled the issue in the last 15 minutes.