LA Galaxy II capped off the USL Championship Week 1 slate on Sunday with a commanding 5-1 win on the road over Rio Grande Valley FC.
Kai Koreniuk scored a brace, teenager Cameron Dunbar had a goal and an assist and Mauricio Cuevas tallied a goal and an assist himself as Los Dos had the second-largest winning margin of the weekend around the entire league.
Junior Gonzalez opted to start a group of players largely experienced in the USL Championship, if still youthful, in the season opener.
RGVFC were active in the opening minutes, with Robert Coronado tagging the bottom of the far post in the 6th minute, nearly bouncing off LA goalkeeper Eric Lopez and into the net, but the GK got a handle on the ball in time to keep it out. Two minutes later, Lopez was tested again but he made the stop to keep RGVFC off the board.
But Los Dos weathered the flurry at the other end, and on their first foray in attack, Koreniuk opened the scoring in the 13th minute off a diagonal feed from Carlos Harvey on the counter to take the visitors ahead against the run of play.
Dunbar doubled Galaxy II’s lead in the 30th minute, with the homegrown player taking the ball near the center circle, dribbling downfield and crushing a shot from distance to make it 2-0.
Augustine Williams thought he put LA up 3-0 in the 42nd minute, but he strayed offside on the entry pass and the goal was called back.
Coming out of the halftime break, Lopez was judged to have saved a goal in the 48th minute with a last-gasp clearance on the goal, with the referee ruling no goal, the ball did not completely cross the line. The video footage was grainy, but Lopez did his part to prevent a trickler own goal from crossing the line and LA got away with the close call.
LA got yet another goal in the 53rd minute, with Dunbar’s cross evading RGV goalkeeper Paul Blanchette and Williams’ good footwork resulting in the third goal on the day for LA, before Koreniuk got his second goal in the game in the 67th minute, off a nice throughball on the counter by Jonathan Lopez, to make it a 4-0 romp for the visitors.
The only negative on the night, really, for Los Dos was they conceded a consolation goal in the 85th minute, as RGVFC’s Luka Prpa put his body on the line to get the ball over the line off a free kick. But LA once again put the hurt on the home team, as Cuevas buried a direct free kick in the 88th minute to put an exclamation point on the day, cruising to a 5-1 win.
The match was impressive for Gonzalez’s team, as they didn’t always hold a ton of the ball but were absolutely clinical in their chances, scoring five of their six shots on target. Is that sustainable? Not really, but you take the great games when you get them and go from there, and this was a good performance and result for LA.
Los Dos are back in action on Friday, as they’ll host Austin Bold FC in their opening home game of the 2020 campaign at Dignity Health Sport Park. can they make it two-for-two to open the season?
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