Orange County SC are on a bye this week, so that leaves one local team in action in USL this week, as LA Galaxy II host Seattle Sounders 2 at StubHub Center Saturday evening.
LA have lost two in a row on the road after opening the season with a home win, so the team is likely happy to be back in familiar confines this week. While the first loss was comprehensive, a 3-0 loss to San Antonio FC, last week’s 2-1 loss to Phoenix Rising FC was more like death by a thousand cuts.
“Obviously, [we’re] a very, very young team,” Galaxy II head coach Mike Munoz said after the loss in Arizona. “I’ve been a broken record in terms of: this is a new cycle for Galaxy II. The majority of the players have graduated to the first team, which is the whole point. So now it’s the whole second group, second process for these young guys.
“Three games into the season, we’ve already played against two much more experienced teams than us, and you know, we’re going to take our lumps, take our growing pains.”
With team captain Jaime Villarreal still serving his suspension for verbal abuse of a match official, the youngsters will have another week of figuring out the USL game on the field. They’ll be matching up against a Seattle side that is in a very similar situation, with a young squad full of prospects and on a 1-2-0 record so far this season, after losing 3-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on the road last week.
Given Munoz’s comments and the inexperience of most of the players on the team, it’s hard to project what will happen against S2. Munoz may opt to play some more of the first-teamers who didn’t make the trip to Orlando for the Galaxy’s MLS game this weekend. But he might also use the baptism by fire approach of giving the kids plenty of competitive minutes to play, learn and figure things out. It is only four games into the season, after all, and the point of the team is to develop players.
We’ll find out on Saturday, when Galaxy II host S2 at StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium. Kick off is scheduled for 7:30 pm PT. If you can’t make it out to the game, you can also watch it on YouTube.
Kyle Kepner contributed reporting to this article.