It was a busy weekend for the Albion Pros as they played two preseason exhibition matches against Chula Vista FC and LA Galaxy II.
In the first match, Albion Pros defeated San Diego rival Chula Vista FC, 3-1, in front of more than 1,000 fans on Saturday. The following day, Albion Pros traveled to play against LA Galaxy II at the Stub Hub center complex. In a much-anticipated contest, the Albion Pros prevailed 2-0 despite playing the night before. The LA Galaxy II squad also had many of their high profile players, like local Albion SC youth product Ariel Lassiter, traveling with the first team or out with preseason injuries. Although neither team was at full strength, it was still a scintillating match between two high-profile Southern California soccer clubs.
Early in the first half, LA Galaxy II heavily pressured the Albion Pros into a few mistakes. The slow start by Albion Pros saw them concede three early corners which forced goalkeeper Jean Antoine to make two sharp saves. While the Galaxy II kept possession and created a handful of chances, the Pros defense remained un-breached. However, the tired legs of right-sided players Jose Merlo and Felipe Liborio soon proved problematic. They both had to be replaced prior to halftime by Cristian Najera and Richard Cervantes. The fresh legs helped the Pros settle into the game and get their bearings against a the Los Dos who were clamoring for an opening goal. Forward Douglas Andrade came closest to opening the score with a volley that fizzed just over the crossbar following a hopeful through-ball by strike partner Marquis Brooks. The half ended 0-0 with LA Galaxy II having the majority of possession and shots.
The second half saw both teams bring on some fresh legs to bring more energy to the game. Again, Los Dos started strong in the half and forced Albion Pros’ goalkeeper Antoine into some smart saves. Albion Pros looked to counter quickly after these saves and eventually earned a corner on the left side on the hour mark. Midfielder Luis Cardona, who put in a Man-of-the-Match performance, delivered a high cross into the box and defender Kuba Waligorsky headed the ball into the bottom corner from close range for the opening goal. Los Dos pressed continually down the left flank for an equalizer with a dozen crosses and half shots. But the Pros defense remained steadfast and countered in the 80th minute through 6’5” substitute forward Tre Hayes. The big forward battled for a long ball from defender Ricky McKenzie and muscled his way past the Galaxy II defender to fire a shot into the bottom corner for the second goal. LA Galaxy II persisted to find a goal, but could not find a way through. The game ended 2-0 with Albion Pros handing the LA Galaxy II their first loss of their preseason schedule.
Both teams are now firmly focused on the impending regular season games. To follow the Albion Pros upcoming schedule of games you can find the schedule HERE or follow them on Social Media @AlbionSCPros. To follow the LA Galaxy II’s upcoming schedule of games you can find the schedule HERE or follow them on Social Media @LAGalaxyII.