After a two-year hiatus, the U.S. Open Cup, the longest-running American soccer competition, is back, and the LA Galaxy will enter the fray in the 3rd round on Tuesday when they host San Diego Loyal SC at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The Galaxy are unbeaten in three games in league play, most recently putting in a gritty performance in a 0-0 draw at the Chicago Fire on Saturday. Greg Vanney opted to go toe-to-toe with his Fire counterpart Ezra Hendrickson in terms of defensive approach, and it was a real lockdown stalemate. Considering the Open Cup is a single-elimination format, a draw won’t do for this game, so they’ll have to generate some offense unless they want to grind for 120 minutes and then decide it through penalty kicks.
San Diego, coached by Galaxy legend Landon Donovan, are off to a good start this season, atop the USL Championship Western Conference through their first eight games played, although their most recent result was a bizarre 5-2 home loss against Louisville City on Saturday. Northern Irish striker Kyle Vassell is their leading scorer, with five goals, and that puts him second in the league in scoring at the moment.
Given the different leagues and talent levels, LA are obviously favorites on paper but much of it will depend on which team each side puts out on the night and how they perform. I wouldn’t say that San Diego should expect to upset but it’s certainly not inconceivable if the Galaxy don’t take their opponent seriously. But it’s been a long time since LA won this competition and it sure would be nice if they went for a real run this year, right? We’ll see what happens.
- Jorge Villafaña (knee) — OUT
- Adam Saldaña (ankle) — OUT
How to Watch:
Tuesday’s match between LA and San Diego Loyal will be streamed in the United States on ESPN+. The TV broadcast is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm PT with kickoff to follow minutes later.