UPDATED - November 6, 2010

A-League Archives Home

USL First Division

2009 Season

Austin Aztex - Charleston Battery - Carolina RailHawks - Cleveland City Stars

Miami FC Blues - Minnesota Thunder - Montreal Impact - Portland Timbers

Puerto Rico Islanders - Rochester Rhinos - Vancouver Whitecaps


2009 Home - 2009 Results - 2009 Stats



Before the season, Austin & Cleveland were added

                            GP   W   T   L   GF  GA  Pts

Portland Timbers            30  16  10   4   45  19   58

Carolina RailHawks          30  16   7   7   43  19   55

Puerto Rico Islanders       30  15   8   7   44  31   53

Charleston Battery          30  14  10   6   33  21   53

Montreal Impact             30  12   8  10   32  31   44

Rochester Rhinos            30  11  10   9   34  32   43

Vancouver Whitecaps         30  11   9  10   42  36   42

Minnesota Thunder           30   7  10  13   39  44   31

Miami FC Blues              30   8   5  17   26  52   29

 Austin Aztex                30   5   8  17   28  51   21*

Cleveland City Stars        30   4   7  19   22  52   19

*Austin was deducted two points for fielding an ineligible

player during a match against Montreal Impact on July 25, 2009


After the season, Cleveland and Minnesota folded


Carolina, Miami, Montreal, Rochester, 
and Vancouver left the USL to form the NASL. 


*-after extra time

Quarterfinals (Two-leg aggregate series)

Portland receive a bye

Sept. 24 Rochester   2-1  Puerto Rico

Sept. 27 Puerto Rico 4-1  Rochester

Puerto Rico advance on 5-3 aggregate


Sept. 24 Montreal    2-0  Charleston

Sept. 27 Charleston  1-2  Montreal

Montreal advance on 4-1 aggregate


Sept. 24 Vancouver   1-0  Carolina

Sept. 27 Carolina    0-0  Vancouver

Vancouver advance on 1-0 aggregate



Oct. 1   Montreal    2-1  Puerto Rico

Oct. 4   Puerto Rico 1-2  Montreal

Montreal advance on 4-2 aggregate


Oct. 1   Vancouver   2-1  Portland

Oct. 4   Portland    3-3  Vancouver

Vancouver advance on 5-3 aggregate



Oct. 10  Vancouver   2-3  Montreal

Oct. 17  Montreal    3-1  Vancouver

Montreal win 2009 USL First Division Championship on 6-3 aggregate


2009 Leading Goalscorers

Charles Gbeke, Vancouver           12

Johnny Menyongar, Rochester        11

Mandjou Keita, Portland            11

Ryan Pore, Portland                10

Cristian Arrieta, Puerto Rico      10

Marlon James, Vancouver             9

Nicholas Addlery, Puerto Rico       8

Melvin Tarley, Minnesota            8

Marcus Haber, Vancovuer             8

Roberto Brown, Montreal             7


Goalkeeping Leaders                GAA

Dusty Hudock, Charleston           0.29

Caleb Patterson, Carolina          0.53

Steve Cronin, Portland             0.68

Eric Reed, Carolina                0.73

Bill Gaudette, Puerto Rico         0.74

Scott Vallow, Rochester            1.12

Jay Nolly, Vancouver               1.20

Matt Jordan, Montreal              1.20

Nicolas Platter, Minnesota         1.54

Miguel Gallardo, Austin            1.56



2009 USL First Division Award Winners

Most Valuable Player: Cristian Arrieta, Puerto Rico
Goalkeeper of the Year: Steve Cronin, Portland
Defender of the Year: Cristian Arrieta, Puerto Rico
Rookie of the Year: Marcus Haber, Vancouver
Coach of the Year: Gavin Wilkinson, Portland


2009 USL First Division First XI

GK Steve Cronin, Portland

D - Nelson Akwari, Charleston

D - Cristian Arrieta, Puerto Rico

D - Matt Bobo, Charleston

D - David Hayes, Portland

M - Daniel Paladini, Carolina

M - Ryan Pore, Portland

M - Ricardo Sanchez, Minnesota

F - Charles Gbeke, Vancouver

F - Keita Mandjou, Portland

F-  Johnny Menyongar, Rochester

Home Attendance     G    Total    Avg.

Montreal           15  180,494 12,180

Portland           15  146,008  9,157

Rochester          15   96,425  6,381

Vancouver          15   79,678  5,312

Charleston         15   53,013  3,534

Puerto Rico        15   49,391  3,293

Minnesota          15   48,135  3,209

Austin             15   44,611  2,974

Carolina           15   40,953  2,730

Cleveland          15   22,362  1,491

Miami              15   15,952  1,063

LEAGUE            165  777,022  4,709

Attendance figures courtesy Kenn.com


Overview of the 2009 A-League Season - From the American Soccer History Archives

USL First Division grew to eleven teams with the promotion of Cleveland from USL Second Division, and the addition of Austin, but lost Seattle to MLS and would do so again in 2011 with Portland and Vancouver. But the teams remaining were the strongest ever and gaining respect, especially after Montreal and Puerto Rico advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2008 CONCACAF Champions Cup. Teams fortified their rosters with a number of MLS castoffs as well as an increasing stream of foreign players. Fan support was astounding for USL Second Division clubs in their Champions league play - Puerto Rico filled the 19,000 seat stadium to capacity for their home semifinal leg, and Montreal drew 55,000 to the Olympic Stadium, setting a CONCACAF Champions League record.

For 2009, Puerto Rico added Nicholas Adderly from Vancouver former LA Galaxy defender Kyle Veris and Dominic Mediate from DC United. Montreal kept most of their core players, adding Cuban forward Eduardo Sebrango and all-league pick Stephen deRoux from Montreal. The Whitecaps traded Adderly and Sebrango and added Marcus Haber, a youth international from Groningen in the Netherlands. Charleston, the 2008 Open Cup finalist, lost Alonso, but added a battery of players, including Cuban defector Yeniel Bermudez, a defender, Tyler Hemming from Toronto, Kenji Treschuk from Seattle and Japanese midfielder Tsuyoshi Yoshitake.

Carolina did a major housecleaning, both on the roster and in the front office; replacing their entire starting line. Portland underwent a similar process, with major player changes, including the acquisition of Steve Cronin, the starting goalkeeper for the Galaxy in '08. Cleveland had the task of restocking their roster while preparing for the rigors of USL First Division, as several players were picked up by MLS squads. Rochester, which anticipated greeting its 2 millionth fan this season was sold after an extended period of financial difficulty, and cut its operating budget. Austin, which had fielded a U-23 team last year, made their debut, bringing along Miguel Gallardo and Kieron Bernard from the PDL squad. After losing league top goalscorer Alex Afonso back to Brazil, Miami F. C. restocked adding Argentine defender Facundo Erpen and former Miami Fusion star Diego Serna.

Portland Timbers won the regular season after pulling ahead of a four-way scrum that left the league season up for grabs until the final matches. Carolina finished 3 points behind with Puerto Rico and Charleston tied for third. Minnesota finished well down the chart, and Austin struggled in their first season, finishing only ahead of last place Cleveland, who learned the hard way they may not be quite up to snuff for the First Division. In the playoffs, US teams were all eliminated as Vancouver, Puerto Rico and Montreal advanced to the semi-finals. There, Vancouver won the first leg against Portland, drawing 3-3 in the rejoinder, and Montreal was victorious over Puerto Rico with a pair of 2-1 victories. The final was all Montreal, as they won the first match 3-2 before 5,886 at Swangard, and cruised onto an easy 3-1 win before 13,034 at Saputo Stadium, delighting the hometown crowd.

League average attendance fell to 744,106 for 4,680 per game, primarily due to declining attendance at Rochester and Minnesota. Montreal and Portland continued to lead at the gate and Puerto Rico continued to show healthy numbers. Mandjou Keita of Portland was the league's top scorer, with 11 goals and 29 points in 29 games. Christian Arrieta of Puerto was named the league's Most Valuable Player, as well as Defender of the Year. Overall, it was a fairly successful season, albeit one with some concern about the health of a few teams. The year ended on a foreboding note as the disputed sale of the league and withdrawal of several major teams put USL First Division's future for 2010 in a state of uncertainty.

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