Three Things: SoCal natives Vazquez, Johnson and Hamilton come up big

Three Things: SoCal natives Vazquez, Johnson and Hamilton come up big

Young talent make a case for more playing time.

It was another breakneck weekend of soccer in North America, and we’ve got another set of three things to keep you updated in what’s happening. This week, we focus on three young Southern California natives who performed for their teams.

Brandon Vazquez makes instant impression in MLS debut

Atlanta United were up 2-1 on Real Salt Lake in Utah on Saturday, pushing for an insurance goal against the resurgent hosts, when Chula Vista native Brandon Vazquez, signed from Club Tijuana, stepped onto the field for his MLS debut and did this:

The striker officially has one goal in one minute of MLS play. Not a bad start to his MLS career!

Katie Johnson adds to Reign onslaught

Monrovia native and USC product Katie Johnson also had a professional debut to remember on Saturday, as she came off the bench for the Seattle Reign and scored the capper in a 5-1 blowout win over the Houston Dash.

Johnson, a Mexican international, is sure to see playing time for the Reign moving forward, but in addition to opening her account, she’ll be looking to become a regular for Laura Harvey. More goals like that, and she’s sure to get just that.

Wade Hamilton helps T2 get first win of 2017

And then there’s Wade Hamilton’s weekend. The Portland Timbers 2 goalkeeper, a regular starter in 2016, his rookie season, was beat out as the USL team starter and Timbers’ first team third-string goalkeeper this year by Kendall McIntosh. But with McIntosh backing up Jeff Attinella in the MLS game on Saturday, Hamilton got a chance for T2 Saturday, making four saves in an impressive 2-0 road win over Sacramento Republic.

Prior to the game, few had given Portland much of a chance in Sacramento, given their winless status through five games and Sacramento’s impressive home form. But Murrieta native Hamilton stepped up when given an opportunity, and perhaps his night will force Portland’s hand in giving him more playing time moving forward.