LA Galaxy II and Orange County SC played to a stalemate on Saturday in the first edition of the 405 Derby of the season, a 1-1 draw at StubHub Center.
LA actually notched both goals on the night, as defender Jean Engola redirected Roy Meeus’ cross into his own net just after halftime to give Orange County a 1-0 lead, only for Adrian Vera to tie up the game in the 66th minute, following an Ariel Lassiter free kick save by Charlie Lyon.
Both teams had shots bounce off the goal after tallying goals, but neither side could find another one on the night and the game ended with points shared.
The game, while not of the overly chippy variety we’ve seen in the past in the rivalry vein, featured the run of play swinging back and forth between the sides. Orange County generally looked stronger in the build-up until the introduction of Lassiter, on loan to the side where he made his name the last couple years as he’s not really found playing time in MLS yet.
Lassiter’s entrance in the game off the bench provided a tangible spark for Galaxy II, and in addition to indirectly setting up Vera’s equalizer, he had the shot that clanged off the post late which would have been the go-ahead goal for the hosts. As color commentator Ralph Perez said during the broadcast, the Temecula native was the shot in the arm his team needed, and if LA are to get back into the win column, he will likely play a major role.
Orange County, meanwhile, featured the first real squad rotation of the season from Logan Pause, who started youngster Amirgy Pineda for the first time and brought in the experienced Belgian Meeus for his first start of the season. OCSC have shown glimpses of absolute brilliance in each of their games this season, but they haven’t quite figured out how to dominate games for 90 minutes. While their goal on the night was an own goal, it was deserved, but they’ll likely be rueing the inability to hold onto a lead and grab a win.
These teams will meet again May 6 in Orange County’s long-awaited home opener. Both of them have a bye in the meantime, and will certainly be working hard to grab three points in the next edition of the 405 Derby.