After a perfect opening week, reality came in Week 2 for the Southern California USL teams, as both LA Galaxy II and Orange County SC lost their respective games on Saturday.
LA dropped their first road game of the season 3-0 to San Antonio FC. While they had a couple close looks, including a Jaime Villarreal free kick that clanged off the corner of the post, San Antonio dominated the chances on the night, and after opening the scoring in the 12th minute courtesy of Rafa Castillo, the hosts played on the front foot and subsequent goals came from Michael Reed (29th minute) and Billy Forbes (77th minute).
The issue for Galaxy II was that they had difficulty tracking multiple bodies in their box, something SAFC capitalized on with the first two goals, and lacking the connection between the midfield and attack, struggled to keep up on both ends of the field on the night. Adding insult to injury, Villarreal was sent off late, so he’ll have to sit out next week’s game.
Meanwhile, Orange County SC fared the same, as they fell 4-0 to Sacramento Republic on the road. While they had looks and featured sequences of good technical soccer, the end product wasn’t there and the defense showed frailties in the match. Sammy Ochoa scored two goals, one in each half, Wilson Kneeshaw added another tally midway through the second half and Harry Williams piled on another in second-half stoppage time to gain a measure of revenge for Orange County’s upset playoff win in Sacramento last season.
Duke Lacroix had another audacious effort early in the match for Orange County, but his shot was saved by Evan Newton. It was arguably a turning point in the game, as Orange County didn’t have another look as good on the night, instead stifled by Republic’s defense as they tried to break the last line with a nifty pass or sent wayward crosses that found no success on the night.
So it was a frustrating night all around for the SoCal teams, but it’s early in the season and both LA and OC are still finding their chemistry. They’ll be back in action next Saturday, once again on the road, as Orange County will take on Portland Timbers 2 and Galaxy II will play Phoenix Rising FC.
(Image courtesy of LA Galaxy II)