Jamaicans Williams, Brown keep sides in the title hunt

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TAMPA, Florida, Sep 10, CMC — Jamaicans Devon “Speedy” Williams and Brian Brown found the back of the nets to keep their respective sides in the top echelons of the United Soccer Leagues on Saturday.
Williams struck a second-half penalty — his first goal of the regular season — to cap a comfortable 3-0 victory for Louisville City FC over Pittsburgh Riverhounds on the road in Pittsburgh in the state of Pennsylvania, and Brown tallied late in the first half to earn Reno 1868 FC a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders 2 also on the road in Tukwila in the western state of Washington.
At the Highmark Stadium: Williams had promised his teammates that he would take the next penalty kick they secured in match-play and he made well sure that it counted, as Louisville City gave their hopes of finishing top of the Eastern Conference a big boost.
The penalty strike was the icing on a memorable performance from Williams, as he defended strongly, recording four interceptions and winning two tackles, along with his distribution that shone the most as he completed 81 of 95 passes and won all eight of his regular and aerial duels.
“Speedy’s done so well,” said Louisville forward Luke Spencer. “He’s been another guy who’s been in and out of the team, and had to sacrifice for the team.
“He earned the Jamaican call-up for his hard work and was brilliant in this game. We wanted to reward our teammate for working hard on the pitch. We know he doesn’t always necessarily get the reward.”
Louisville collected their opener in the 33rd minute, when Mark-Anthony Kaye played a perfect through-ball for Spencer, whose impeccable control with his first touch gave him time and space to poke the ball past the goalkeeper to score his ninth of the season.
The visitors doubled the lead just before half-time, when Kyle Smith managed to intercept a clearance, made a run on goal and buried his shot into the far corner for a 2-0 lead at the break.
On resumption, Jamal Jack ran over Spencer in the 54th minute which saw City awarded a penalty kick and Williams was clinical from the spot, as Louisville sealed a victory that put them three points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference, piling the pressure on Charlotte Battery heading in to the final weeks of the season.
At the Starfire Sports Complex: Brown allowed Reno to finish a seventh straight game unbeaten, after they were under pressure from the first minute of the match.
Sounders midfielder Zach Mathers sent a cross into the box and Reno goalkeeper Matt Bersano failed to collect to give the home team an early lead.
But Brown netted the equalizer in the 38th minute, when he finished from close range following a corner kick to put Reno on the brink of breaking the single-season, goals-scored record, currently held by New York Red Bulls II.
Brown’s goal was the club’s 60th of the season, which is one behind the current record. On top of that, the club has also scored a goal in seven consecutive games in its inaugural season in the Leagues.
As the season draws to a close, Reno continues to maintain pace with the best in the Western Conference, now second in the standings and just shy of earning a berth to the playoffs.

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