It was another solid performance, but LA Galaxy II lost their second game of the week, as they fell 2-1 in the 405 Derby against Orange County SC Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Once more, Los Dos played their opponent well, and had a much better performance overall than their midweek loss to Phoenix Rising FC. But a rocket by Orange County SC in the second half handed LA their third loss of the season, even with a better showing in this game.
Junior Gonzalez’s lineup was familiar, as he’s gone with a regular group of players thus far this season.
In the opening 10 minutes, Los Dos goalkeeper Abraham Romero, who’s been playing well this season, had an injury scare, as former Galaxy II defender Nathan Smith attempted a bicycle kick and smashed into Romero as both went for the ball. Both players hit the deck and were attended by the training staffs, but both players continued on.
Orange County got the opening goal in the 14th minute, as a slow buildup went quick in a snap, Cammy Palmer getting on the end of a throughball and setting up Ugo Okoli with a tap-in courtesy of a looping cross.
But LA found an answer in the 20th minute, as Mauricio Cuevas’ peach of a free kick beat Aaron Cervantes in Orange County’s goal to make it 1-1.
Sensational goal from Mauricio Cuevas for the equalizer pic.twitter.com/DjAejH0WBB— LA Galaxy II (@LAGalaxyII) August 23, 2020
Augustine Williams had a chance to give LA the lead in the 27th minute, but his breakaway was snuffed out by Cervantes. The score remained 1-1 for the half, with the teams pretty even through 45 minutes played.
Even with Los Dos playing Orange County evenly, the visitors took another lead just before the hour mark, as Palmer unleashed a rocket from distance that Romero had no chance to stop, making it 2-1.
Coming out of the hydration break in the second half, LA nearly found an equalizer, as they pushed the tempo quickly and nearly beat Cervantes, but the goalkeeper recovered twice to prevent the goal.
Again, it wasn’t the result they were looking for, but Los Dos continue to be a tough opponent every single game. They had a few close calls that could have resulted in an equalizer or even more, but two defensive breakdowns showed how narrow the margins are, especially against an independent USL Championship team like Orange County SC with ambitions to win the league title this season. There’s room for improvement, but this Los Dos side has a lot to like on their squad and they shouldn’t put their heads down.
LA are scheduled to be back in action Wednesday against Portland Timbers 2 in Portland. T2 have struggled mightily so far this season, but showed signs of life against Sacramento Republic Saturday, so don’t pencil in the win until they hit the field.
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