It's a busy week for the Southern California USL teams, as they played each other midweek and then have another game this weekend. Jon Kempin led t
It’s a busy week for the Southern California USL teams, as they played each other midweek and then have another game this weekend.
Jon Kempin led the way in Wednesday’s match between LA Galaxy II and Orange County SC, which LA won 1-0 at StubHub Center. Kempin, the Galaxy II goalkeeper, made eight saves, including a late penalty stop on Roy Meeus, to preserve the win for the hosts, who evened up the season series at 1-1-1 with the victory. While both teams began the game rather timidly, OC had more quality looks on goal throughout the contest, but Kempin and LA’s defense held firm.
Galaxy II took the lead just before the hour mark courtesy of Ryo Fujii. Alejandro Covarrubias picked up a turnover deep in Orange County’s half and sent a pass onto Fujii, whose run towards goal led to an unstoppable shot for OC goalkeeper Charlie Lyon.
And Orange County, who entered the match on a seven-game unbeaten run, let another result slip away. After Joe Franco earned a penalty in the final minutes of regulation, Meeus’ penalty attempt was tame and Kempin blocked it to keep the score at 1-0.
— USL (@USL) August 3, 2017
Don’t look now, but LA are now on a four-game unbeaten run themselves, and maybe, just maybe, have turned a corner in their season. Their next game is also at home, Saturday against Phoenix Rising FC. While Didier Drogba has shown a gravitational pull since joining Phoenix during the season, one capable of changing games, the Arizona team remains in inconsistent form, and have lost their last two contests. If LA can beat them Saturday, they’ll be level on points with Phoenix, and a once-dead quest to reach the playoffs this year may be fully revived.
OC, on the other hand, have little time to shrug off their first league loss in two months, as they’ll go to Texas for a game Saturday against one of the Western Conference’s top teams, San Antonio FC. SAFC have fallen a bit off the pace that saw them as Shield front-runners through the first couple months of the season, but they have still only lost one game in league play this year. That means it’s most likely not going to be easy for Orange County, but bear in mind these teams haven’t met this season — you never know in USL how two teams will match up, and that’s especially true when they’re first meeting so late into the season.
San Antonio FC vs. Orange County SC will kick off at 5:30 pm PT at Toyota Field in San Antonio. You can watch the game on USL’s matchcenter.