The USL playoffs get underway on Friday night as the LA Galaxy II side travel to take on the Swope Park Rangers, who is the Sporting Kansas City affiliate.
Regular season results
Los Dos have had an up and down season and find themselves as the fifth seed in the Western Conference. In their first 19 matches of the campaign, LAGII lost twice in their opening 19 matches. That stellar form, unfortunately, could not be maintained throughout the rest of the season.
Then, the losses came. Four of the next five were defeats with a 0-0 draw sandwiched in the middle. The toughest loss in the stretch came against Portland Timbers 2. In the opening 45 minutes of that game, Los Dos scored three goals and took a commanding lead. But in the closing stanza, partially due to a red card, the young G's fell apart, giving up four unanswered goals to lose 4-3.
After that, the rest of the results were mixed: the definition of inconsistent. Two draws came, both against rivals Sacramento Republic FC from winning positions. But LA Galaxy II ended the season on a high note, defeating Real Monarchs SLC by a final score of 3-1 in front of their home fans.
Know the opposition
Swope Park Rangers ended the season in impressive form, winning six of their last seven matches, including four in a row. In those last four matches, they let in one goal -- on the road against Tulsa Roughnecks -- and scored 11 of their own.
The thing to watch against Swope Park is that they have plenty of different goal scorers to choose from. Mark Gonzalez is the clubs leading goal scorer with nine, followed closely by Jamaican-born Dane Kelly.
Their defense is also one of the better ones in the Western Conference. Swope Park have only given up 36 goals in 30 matches, compared to LAGII's 42 allowed.
Last match up
LA Galaxy II lost their only regular season match at Swope Park a couple of weeks ago. Los Dos opened up the scoring early with Bradford Jamieson IV finding the back of the net two minutes into the proceedings.
Two goals, from Christian Duke and former LA Galaxy man Tommy Meyer, scored nine minutes apart gave Swope Park all three points on the night.
Los Dos key player
Jose Villarreal is going to be the man to watch for Los Dos on Friday night. He brings the most amount of experience to the pitch and provides loads of leadership to boot. Whenever his side are given a free kick in a dangerous area, it's always the elder Villarreal standing over the ball looking to send in a dangerous delivery. If Jose Villarreal is on his game, expect the offense to be in sync as well.
This match is scheduled to kickoff at 5:30 PM PST at Children's Mercy Victory Field on Friday, September 30th. The game will be streamed online at LAGalaxy.com.