San Diego Loyal defeat Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 3-0

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Credit: Cali Camera/ EVT Sports

San Diego dominates a short-handed Colorado Springs Switchbacks side featuring one substitute.

The San Diego Loyal defeated Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 3-0 on Monday, July 18.

“Really proud of our guys after difficult circumstances last week,” head coach Landon Donovan said. “Not many teams get clean sheets against that team. We limited their chances and created tons of big chances. Probably our only fault tonight was not scoring the 4th or 5th goal.”

Both sides had very opposite stories coming into this game.

On the one hand, San Diego came in with a nearly fully healthy and suspension-ridden roster. The only missing player was captain Charlie Adams in the midfield.

On the other hand, there was Colorado. 

Colorado presented the absolute bare minimum by listing a 12-man roster for this match. Yes, you heard that right. Colorado had 11 starters and only one substitute. There were rumors circling that Colorado was willing to forfeit this match due to their lack of personnel. Yet the game was forced to continue as it was previously rescheduled.

Credit: Cali Camera/EVT Sports

With Colorado shorthanded, San Diego was sure to pounce on the opportunity and gain some points, especially after being in similar circumstances as Colorado earlier this season.

“We’ve had two games like that this year, Louisville at home and the LA Galaxy Open Cup game where we really couldn’t make any subs,” Donovan said. “It’s just part of football. It sucks.”

San Diego’s first goal came after a flurry of attempts. Alejandro Guido saw his attempt bounce off the post and then fall back into the path of Jack Blake. Blake beautifully lifted the ball over the foot of the last defender and then volleyed a cross into Thomas Amang. Amang then blasted the ball into the roof of the net.

Three minutes later, San Diego was back on the scoresheet. A long ball was played in the path of Vassell, who tried all he could to reach the ball. Vassell and Colorado goalkeeper Christian Herrera, both chased and met the ball at the exact same time, leaving them both in a heap of pain on the floor. But the ball rolled perfectly into the path of Tumi Moshobane, who lofted the ball into an empty net for San Diego’s second.

Following the goal, Vassell would be substituted as he could no longer continue after the collision.

Before the halftime whistle blew, San Diego would miss a golden opportunity just a couple of yards away from the goal and also have a goal called back for offsides.

Credit: Cali Camera/ EVT Sports

Twenty minutes into the second half and things got worse for Colorado. 

As if having a total of 12 players as an option today wasn’t enough, Colorado then got a red card, making them even more short-handed. The card was given after a surging run by Nick Moon earned a freekick just outside the box. Blake then stepped up to the free kick and placed the ball beautifully in the top corner. 3-0 to San Diego, and that goal by Blake definitely was the pick of the bunch.

“Initially, when the ball was placed, Tumi said there was an angle for him to hit it round, and I think they heard him say that, and they moved slightly. So that’s why I went the other side, Blake said. “We work on free kicks and set pieces in training a lot, so I’m really happy that paid off.”

“Forget about the great assist and the fantastic goal, Donovan said. “Just all the little plays he’s making defensively, his running, his leadership. He is such a big part of this team.”

With eight minutes to go, although the result was very much decided at this point, Colorado dug themselves an even deeper hole. After a harsh challenge on Moshobane, Colorado received their second red card of the match and was now down to nine men.

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The final whistle eventually blew the match dead, and San Diego walked out with a convincing 3-0 win.

Next, San Diego will meet the Rio Grande Valley Toros at Torero Stadium on Saturday, July 23, at 7:00 pm.

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