San Diego Loyal SC cruise past Charleston Battery 4-1


Credit: Josh Jimenez

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Credit: Josh Jimenez/EVT Sportts

San Diego continues their hot run with a blowout win against the Charleston Battery

Another match in San Diego, another win. This time it was a thriller as the Loyal couldn’t stop scoring. Kyle Vassell notched two goals in the win as he earned Man of the Match.

The Loyal improved to (5-1-0) with 15 points and a +7 goal difference. That puts them in first place in the Western Conference.

Charleston fell to (1-4-0) with three points and a -7 goal difference on the season. They are currently 11th in the Eastern Conference.

Manager Landon Donovan issued what looked to be a 4-3-3 formation with Koke Vegas returning to goal. Thomas Amang, Evan Conway, and Vassell all started at forward as this seemed to be a change in tactics tonight. Elijah Martin, Kyle Adams, and Grant Stoneman continue to anchor the defense as Nick Moon filled in for injured Jack Metcalf.

Credit: Josh Jimenez/ EVT Sports

A familiar name started for the opponent tonight. Augustine Williams started at forward for the Battery after spending the final part of last season down here in San Diego. Williams was a huge part of the Loyal’s run to the 2021 playoffs.

First Half

San Diego connected early with a goal in the 11th minute from Tumi Moshobane. Apparently, it’s Tumi Time all the time because Moshobane continues to make an impact for the Loyal each match.

Moshobane read the deflection and drilled it into the right side of the net. There was nothing keeper Joe Kuzminsky could do.

Just about 12 minutes later, right at the turn to the 23rd minute, Amang snuck one in past Kuzminsky to add on to the advantage. San Diego was firing on all cylinders early on in this match.

After the goal, the officials ruled that it was an own goal from the Charleston keeper. Either way, Amang, and Conway forced that goal to happen.

Just minutes after the two-goal lead for SD, Charleston found a way to get one past Vegas to shorten the lead. Charleston did seem to control most of the possession through the first 30 minutes, but SD rounded out the half by taking control of possession per usual.

Right before the halftime whistle, Vassell added another goal off of a free-kick to put the Loyal back up by two.

That was one of the better first halves from San Diego not only this season but in their three-year existence.

“We are ruthless in front of goal,” Donovan said. “We can play well and break their pressure but if we don’t score the goal it doesn’t matter. If you allow teams to play that way and you don’t punish them then they will stay in the game. Right now teams are playing 2 vs. 2 and 3 vs. 3 against us in the back and that is dangerous. If that’s what they give us then we need to punish them and tonight we did.”

Second Half

The first 15 minutes of the second half was very intense. Both sides were eager to put another one in the back of the net. Donovan issued some changes in the formation and lineup to start the half as Nikko Boxall subbed in for Conway, who was issued a yellow card in the 41st minute.

Nick Moon switched sides and moved up to midfielder as Boxall and Martin controlled the fullback positions.

The pace of the game continued, and what do you know… Vassell found the back of the net once again! Saturday night turned into a goal-scoring frenzy as the Loyal added to their previous +4 goal difference on the season.

Here is what Vassell had to say about the brace and how he is feeling right now in the season.

“I feel fresh the season just started,” Vassell said. “I had a good preseason and I should have more (about his four goals on the year). I’m in a good place and I feel strong and the gaffer is looking after me because I have already played half a season in England. I feel good and we will keep going.”

Vassell is a major part of the early success for the Loyal this season.

Charleston tried to do whatever they could to get back in the match, but it was too late. The Loyal earned another home victory as they continue to be one of the tougher teams in the entire USL Championship.

The next match for the Loyal is this Wednesday, April 13, against the Oakland Roots. San Diego will travel up north to take on their division rivals from last season.

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News and Notes:

  • Charleston was issued seven yellow cards to Loyal’s two
  • Charlie Adams and Metcalf are making progress and should return to the lineup soon.

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