LA Galaxy II got back to action Saturday night, heading to Arizona to play a closed-door match against Phoenix Rising FC, and falling 4-0 in the teams’ restart to the USL Championship season.
Solomon Asante scored a brace to ice the result for the home side, who did most of the work in the first half and while LA came into the game in the second half, they weren’t able to get the ball over the goal line and have to lick their wounds before the next match.
Considering the options, Junior Gonzalez went with the lineup he had for what’s a very young group, the likes of Augustine Williams and Jorge Hernandez leading the way for the group against a stacked and experienced Phoenix side.
The scoring opened in the 9th minute, as Junior Flemmings tipped in a swerving cross by Solomon Asante that was just beyond Los Dos goalkeeper Abraham Romero’s reach.
In the 39th minute, LA defender Isaac Bawa brought down Flemmings in the Los Dos box, and a penalty was called. Phoenix midfielder Jon Bakero converted the penalty to make it 2-0 to the home side.
The hurt increased with Asante scoring a goal with an absolute blast out side of the box in first-half injury time, effectively sealing the result for Phoenix Rising with another half to go.
Jalen Neal and Victor Valdez entered the game for LA at halftime, both 16-year-olds making their USL Championship debuts in the process.
Williams appeared to start the scoring for LA right after the restart, but after bundling the ball over the line, the goal was waived off as he was judged offside on the play, keeping it 3-0. A few minutes later, LA built up some more attacks and a shot or cross from Ivan Gutierrez appeared to result in a Phoenix handball, but with no call made for a Los Dos penalty.
Andre Ochoa entered to make his Los Dos debut in the 77th minute for Gutierrez, who came on strong in the second half and had several dangerous looks.
In the 81st minute, Asante scored his second goal of the night, his shot taking a huge deflection on its way past Romero, to make it 4-0 for Phoenix Rising. Moments later, Marcus Ferkranus replaced Jesus Vazquez in the Los Dos lineup.
The second half was much better for LA, but by that point, Phoenix were cruising and were in no danger of losing the points. Valdez was a bright spot in coming off the bench, able to link up with teammates and setting up shop in Zone 14 and hanging with a vastly more experienced Phoenix side during his time on the field. And Gutierrez had some bright spots in the second half, but maybe another week or two will help the players find some cohesion moving forward.
Galaxy II are next in action next Sunday at San Diego Loyal. San Diego are an expansion team but are unbeaten in their first three games and have a pretty experienced squad. So time to watch video and keep working ahead of the next one.
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