Local USL teams, Orange County Blues and LA Galaxy II, took to the road and were undaunted, both taking wins on Saturday. OC went up to Sacramento and defeated Sacramento Republic 1-0, while LA helped Rio Grande Valley FC play their first-ever home game, but sent the Texas crowd away unhappy after recording a 2-0 win.
The Blues went to Bonney Field to take on Sac Republic and Pavle Popara’s first-half goal was the difference as Orange County recorded their third consecutive win of the season. In truth, while Sacramento had a stretch near the end of the game where they had a couple close calls and goalkeeper Brandon Miller stepped up to make the necessary stops, the scoreline was misleading, as Republic struggled to match OC’s crisp passing and tactical plan. The Blues are not a free-scoring team at this point, as all of their wins have been 1-0, but that may in part be their style of play. And if it’s working, there’s no need to become overly concerned with the margins. The win vaults OC into third place in the Western Conference, and spirits are certainly riding high. Their next game is Sunday at home against Colorado Springs Switchbacks.
Not to be outdone, LA Galaxy II not only picked up the win over the weekend but remain unbeaten this season and are back atop the Western Conference standings. The goals against new USL club RGVFC came in the second half via in-form strikers Jack McBean and Ariel Lassiter, and the win was entirely comfortable, as LA controlled the run of play throughout and basically took their foot off the gas pedal after grabbing their goals and cruising to victory. For all the concerns that Galaxy II were taking too many draws and not enough wins, this game showed why they are in the driver’s seat out west, and for good reason.
Once again, the Southern California USL teams share an opponent this week, as Los Dos will welcome Colorado Springs Switchbacks to the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium on Wednesday evening (7:30 pm PT kick off, you can watch the game stream here), and then play their second match of the week on Saturday at home against Sacramento Republic.
All in all, it was a successful week for OC and LA, but the next round of games is coming quick and fast, and we’ll see if they can keep their status atop the Western Conference pecking order in the third month of the long USL season.