The San Diego Loyal managed to get a 2-0 clean sheet against the Sacramento Republic, making it their second consecutive win of the season at Torero Stadium.
Two first-half goals from defender Kyle Adams and midfielder captain Charlie Adams along with saves from goalkeeper Koke Vegas is what brought victory to the San Diego Loyal soccer club. Although the Loyal did get a win and three more points in their conference, head coach Landon Donovan didn’t like the way the team performed tonight.
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“We weren’t great tonight, to be honest. Games like that last year we were losing,” Donovan said after the game. “The part I am proud of is the pure completing and doing whatever it takes to win a game.”
Donovan said that there will be times during the season when the team doesn’t play great, but the main goal is to grind out till the end of a match and get a good result. Donovan kept his same 4-2-3-1 formation but made one change on the starting 11, and that was for center-back Kyle Adams over last week’s starter Nikko Boxall.
Donovan also had some words to say during the post-game interview about the San Diego State University alum, Kyle Adams.
“Kylie is doing everything right. He just rewarded himself with a goal,” he said. “He did a lot of things for the team tonight to help us win in the end. I was really proud of him.”
Kylie Admas was the player who scored the opening goal of the match in the 35th minute. The goal came off a left side set piece for the Loyal, which was crossed by Alejandro Guido and ricocheted inside a crowded box that ended with a header by Kyle Adams that went right through Sacramento’s goalkeeper Carlos Saldana.
“I was honestly a little bit in shock. I don’t know if you saw my celebration, but I really didn’t know what to do,” Kyle Adams said in a post-game interview regarding his goal. “I kind of just grabbed someone, but I was more shocked than anything.”
New Zealand defender got his first start of the season tonight and put more minutes on his resume with the Loyal as he also played last weekend against the LA Galaxy II but came in as a sub.
Captain Charlie Adams made his presence felt again right before the end of the first half with a left-footed volley from 25 yards out of goal that went to the lower bottom corner of Sacramentos goalkeeper.
The Sacramento Republic had a few decisive moment opportunities but weren’t able to finish as Koke Vegas maintained the goal at zero for the Loyal.
“Koke is growing. This is the first time he’s been a real starter in his career, so there are going to be ups and downs moments, but I thought he did very good tonight. He made every play we needed him to make, and more than that, he was just a calming presence,” Donavan said. “Any dicey play that came, he just made the play and calmed everyone down.”
Despite having three keepers on the roaster, Vegas, the Spaniard goalkeeper, has now had two starts for the team. He’s confident in his work and is leaving the choice for the coaches to decide who will get to start the next game.
Vegas collected seven saves to claim his first shutout for the Loyal and communicated with his defense throughout the game to push their way towards victory.
The San Diego Loyal have two away games before they return home.
Their first stop is on Wednesday, March 23, against FC Tulsa, and then they go to Arizona to play Phoenix Rising FC on March 26.
For now, the Loyal stand in second place in the USL Championship Western Conference and will be back home at Torero Stadium on April 3 to play El Paso Locomotive.
Juan Daniel Avila is a senior journalism student at San Diego State University. He’s been writing for 3 years and working in the broadcasting sector as a commentator for 4 years. Started at EVT in January 2022.