It was another week of mixed results for the two local USL teams, as LA Galaxy II dropped points for the first time this season but still got a pretty impressive result, and the Orange County Blues lost again.
For Los Dos, the game on the road against Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday looked done and dusted 80 minutes in, with Monarchs leading 3-0. Then something remarkable happened; LA scored three unanswered goals, including a last-minute penalty to tie the game, leaving Real Monarchs dazed and Galaxy II with a share of the points. So Galaxy II failed to keep their winning streak to open the season alive, but they managed a draw in a game that in most cases would have been a lopsided loss, so I imagine they’re pretty happy about the outcome.
Meantime, the Blues dropped their second consecutive home game of the young season, losing 3-1 in their first ever meeting with Saint Louis FC. The game was kind of a photo negative to Galaxy II’s game, as OC took a first-half lead, and maintained a 1-1 scoreline until the final minute of regulation, but a brace from Saint Louis rookie Vince Ciccarelli gave the visitors all three points (he also won USL Player of the Week honors for his exploits). Pavle Popara’s saved penalty attempt in the middle of the second half didn’t help the Blues’ case, either.
Now, the unbeaten Galaxy II and winless Blues will face off on Friday night in the first edition of the 405 Derby in 2016, to be played at the StubHub Center complex in Carson (7:30 pm PT). Based on form and history, LA are firm favorites in this game, no question, but that’s why they play the games, as they say. Orange County have very much seemed like a remade roster still getting to know each other in game situations through two weeks, but once they are on the same page, they could be a very formidable opponent to the Galaxy II.
That said, the Galaxy II have two players, winger Denzel Slager and defender Jefrey Payeras, added this season from last year’s Blues’ squad, and their youthful squad is surprisingly stable for an MLS2 side. It should be a good rivalry match, and if you need something to do on Friday evening, head on down to the StubHub Center and check out some local soccer (find tickets here, match stream here).