San Diego Loyal vs. Albion San Diego
Wednesday, April 5 at 7 PM
SDSU Sports Deck
For the second consecutive season, San Diego Loyal will face Albion San Diego at a neutral site for the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
It’s been a solid start for the Loyal to start the 2023 campaign, as they are third in the Western Conference with seven points. Nate Miller’s squad started out hot with two straight victories against Detroit City FC and Phoenix Rising FC and came off an impressive 2-2 draw against Phoenix in their second and final matchup of the season.
As for Albion, they have yet to play a match for the NISA. This will be their first test of the season, and it won’t be an easy one. The Loyal won the first matchup 2-1 last season thanks to an early goal from Evan Conway. Fast forward to 2023, Conway is a major part of this team’s success and may be a major factor in this one again.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) April 5, 2023
It will be unknown if Miller goes with his usual starting lineup. However, he can’t get too cute out there, as Albion almost forced extra time last year if it weren’t for a late goal from the Loyal. San Diego Loyal knows they can go far in this tournament if they are able to play their style. They lost 1-0 to MLS’s LA Galaxy in Round 3 and will be aiming to advance through this time around.
Nick Moon (72′) and Ronaldo Damus (80′) each scored second-half goals for the Loyal in their draw against the Rising. Manuel Arteaga put Phoenix up 2-0 early in the second half, but the Loyal kept knocking on the door.
It was only a matter of time until they scored a goal, as Moon was at the right place at the right time. It shows how frustrated teams get when SD plays the way they want to because Phoenix ended that match with 23 fouls to the Loyal 10. The comeback was complete, and even though the Loyal didn’t win, they earned a point on the road, and you can’t go wrong with that.
Expect the Loyal to try and make a statement tonight as they fight their way back to the Third Round.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.