The San Diego Loyal lose to FC Tulsa 1-0 for first loss of the season
The San Diego Loyal couldn’t connect with a goal to earn any points on the road. San Diego came into this game winners of their previous two matches. This was their first undefeated start in club history before tonight’s loss.
The Loyal fall to (2-1-0) on the season with six-point as FC Tulsa improves to (2-1-0) with six points.
Manager Landon Donovan issued a 4-2-3-1 formation with Koke Vegas remaining in goal fresh off of his Team of the Week honor. Defender Camden Riley and midfielders Evan Conway and Andrew Carleton earned their first started for the Loyal. Kyle Vassell continued to be the lone forward for the Loyal through three starts. Something I noticed in the first half was Alejandro Guido played in the defensive third alongside captain Charlie Adams.
It was an attack-heavy lineup to start out. Donovan tried something a little different than usual and tried to create chances early. Though the first 30 minutes didn’t provide much action. Both sides certainly tried to get something going, but because of the chilly weather, you could tell the players weren’t at the top of their game offensively.
Around the 23rd minute, Vassell saw an opportunity from a through-pass but couldn’t stay on his feet. He pleaded his case for a penalty, but the head official didn’t blow the whistle. He seemed to let the game flow during the first half, issuing only a total of two yellow cards.
On the other side of the field and just a few moments later, Dario Suarez lined up a driller that went just left of the post. FC Tulsa was inches away from an early advantage.
Despite not finding many chances early, San Diego continued to build from the back and find the gaps in the defense. They didn’t care how long it took, they would continue to pass back and forth until they found something like liked.
In the 35th minute, Vassell continued to push the defenders and earned a free-kick from a few yards outside the penalty box. The official issued a yellow card to Johnny Fenwick, but it wasn’t for the foul. It was because he kicked the ball away after the whistle. Vassell got the nod for the free-kick, but it was deflected out of bounds for a Loyal throw-in. That sequence seemed to be the most action for the Loyal all half long.
Charlie Adams almost connected off the free-kick right at the end of the half in stoppage time. It turned out to be a great two-handed saved form Tulsa keeper Sean Lewis.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) March 24, 2022
Despite the half ending scoreless, San Diego dominated the possession in the first half, 64% to 36%. They also earned three free kicks and four corner kicks but couldn’t convert on any of those chances. The Loyal took four shots with two on target, while Tulsa attempted two with none on target.
Elijah Martin saved the game for the Loyal early in the second half as he was in the right spot at the right time. The Tulsa attempt crossed past the diving Vegas but right to the feet on Martin to clear it out. Tulsa once again was inches away from a potential advantage.
Around the 60th minute, Thomas Amang, Collin Martin, and Nick Moon replaced Kyle Vassell, Tumi Moshobane, and Jack Metcalf in that order.
The 76th minute is where the game changed. FC Tulsa connected on a goal that stunned the Loyal. Gabriel Torres sailed a perfect cross right Suarez for the goal.
— FC Tulsa (@FCTulsa) March 24, 2022
The Loyal trailed for the first time all season long. They needed to come up with something quick to level the game again but fell short doing so.
I won’t go as far as to say that the chilly weather was the blame for tonight’s performance, but you could tell the Loyal were not on their game tonight.
The next match for the Loyal is this Saturday, March 26, against the Phoenix Rising FC on the road again.
News and Notes:
- Charlie Adams left the match late with an injury during stoppage time.
- Jack Blake suited up as a substitute but didn’t enter the match.
- CJ Fodrey came in for Andrew Carleton in the 78th minute.