After three and a half weeks off from USL Championship play due to a team coronavirus outbreak, LA Galaxy II returned to action Wednesday, and once again suffered a heavy defeat upon their return to Phoenix Rising FC, this time by a 4-1 scoreline at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Los Dos played Phoenix in the teams’ return to action from the USL shutdown back in July and Galaxy II lost that one 4-0. The (un)luck of the draw again left Los Dos, who have otherwise been unbeaten this season, having to play Group B favorites Phoenix once again after a long layoff.
Junior Gonzalez went with a familiar group in the XI for the re-restart:
Abraham Romero was forced into action in the 17th minute after Jack Barmby’s sharp shot in the box for Phoenix was saved to keep the game scoreless.
But the visitors found the breakthrough in the 24th minute, as on-fire Junior Flemmings beat Galaxy II captain Jesus Vazquez and Romero with a turn and cut to make it 1-0.
Phoenix nearly doubled their lead at the half-hour mark, as Santi Moar’s trivela shot with the outside of his foot clanged off the far post. But from the other flank, Moar scored six minutes later, his deft chip on a counterattack easily beating Romero to make it 2-0 to Phoenix Rising.
Gonzalez made a triple-sub at halftime, bringing in Jorge Hernandez, Sebastian Hernandez and Adrian Vera. While Kevon Lambert sent a wide-open chance sky-high a few minutes after the restart for Phoenix, Los Dos did find more time down in Phoenix’s end in the second half and tried to find a lifeline back into the game.
But Phoenix got their third goal in the 63rd minute, as Jordan Schweitzer beat Los Dos defenders to a low cross from Solomon Asante and tapped it in.
LA found a lifeline in the 70th minute when Augustine Williams found a foot of space on a run forward off Jorge Hernandez’s throughball and beat Phoenix goalkeeper Zac Lubin in goal, to make it 3-1.
Galaxy president Chris Klein’s son Carson made his Los Dos debut in the 78th minute.
Asante finished the scoring with a goal deep in second-half stoppage time to make it 4-1.
So it was a tough match, but again, with nearly a month off and against possibly the toughest team in the West, LA were a bit unfortunate not to face Phoenix when they were in some rhythm. I think Phoenix would be a tough matchup at any time, but Gonzalez’s group reduced the margin of defeat this time and will work to get themselves back into match fitness and see if they can get back on track again in short order.
Los Dos are back in action Saturday, when they’ll face Orange County SC for the first time this season at Dignity Health Sports Park. OCSC are unbeaten so far this season, so it will be another tough test for Galaxy II, but hey, they usually do well against non-Phoenix opponents. We’ll see.
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