San Diego Loyal defeat Albion 2-0 in U.S. Open Cup second round

Charlie Adams 2023 Loyal vs Albion

Credit: SD Loyal

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Charlie Adams Conway 2023 San Diego Loyal
Credit: SD Loyal

This Wednesday, April 5, the San Diego Loyal played Albion San Diego at SDSU Sports Deck for a game in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.

The Loyal were the heavy favorites heading into the match and did come away with a 2-0 victory on the SDSU campus.

Coach Nate Miller did use an alternate lineup against Albion but did still start some key players like Charlie Adams, Adrien Perez, Evan Conway, and Elliot Collier. A pair of notable players that were given an opportunity to play in this match include 18-year-old midfielder Xavi Gnaulti and 16-year-old goalkeeper Duran Ferree. Ferree had previously made history by becoming the first San Diego native to come out of the SD Loyal farm system.

Some notable players like Joe Corona and Alejandro Guido were given a rest by Nate Miller for the match as they were not included in the game-day roster.

There was clearly a quality gap in this match, but it did take the Loyal 25 minutes to score the first goal in this match. Charlie Adams scored from the penalty spot to give Nate Miller’s team the 1-0 lead as the first half ended with just one goal in it. Xavi Gnaulti earned the penalty as the 18-year-old made the most out of his opportunity to aid his team in this knockout match.

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In the 52nd minute, SD Loyal extended its lead as Evan Conway tapped the ball into the back of the net off a cross by Adrien Perez. Xavi Gnaulti provided the pass to Perez, which was key to the scoring play on Conway’s goal. Duran Ferree had a few key saves in this match as the 16-year-old also made the most of his opportunity against Albion.

The match ended 2-0 in San Diego Loyal’s favor, as a favorable result was expected for Nate Miller’s team. The Loyal now advances to the third round of the U.S. Open Cup and could potentially face a tough matchup with Portland Timbers and Seatle Siunders as possible opponents.

In league play, the Loyal will host FC Tulsa at Torero Stadium this Saturday, April 8, as they will look to stay undefeated at home. Nate Miller’s squad has defeated Detroit and Phoenix at home and has been a force in front of the home crowd in 2023.

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