The San Diego Loyal hosted Monterey Bay Union F.C. for the first-ever matchup between the two clubs. This was a well fought victory on a short week as the team is still enjoying a win against the top seed San Antonio FC.
This match was a special night for manager Landon Donovan. Monterey Bay F.C. Sporting Director and Head Coach Frank Yallop coached against Landon Donovan. Yallop signed Donovan an 18-year-old to Major League Soccer side San Jose Earthquakes in 2001. Yallop coached Donovan for three seasons in San Jose, before re-uniting for two seasons at Los Angeles Galaxy in 2006-07.
Former Loyal goalkeeper Antony Siaha started in goal for Monterey and had five straight clean sheets on the season prior to Wednesday night.
The first half didn’t provide much action at all besides a Kyle Adams bloody nose. SD led with eight shot attempts with three on target at the half and Monterey just three with two on target. Who controlled possession? You called it, the Loyal led 67.5% to 32.5% in that category.
The first 45+ ended scoreless in what seemed to be a controlling half for SD.
Captain Charlie Adams converted on the penalty kick in the 59th minute to give the Loyal the first lead of the match. The penalty was issued after Evan Conway attempted a pass leading to a handball.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) August 11, 2022
Adams converted his second penalty kick in three seasons and it happened to be the winner. This one was against his former teammate.
The defense played strong tonight. With possession controlled, the backline had an easier task to keep the Union away from chances. Elijah Martin, Nick Moon, and really all of the backs played well throughout the entire match.
It didn’t seem like the Union had much of a chance to score tonight.
The Loyal improved to (15-5-4) with on the year with 49 points and a (+17) goal difference on the season. They remain in second place in the Western Conference. Monterey Bay fell to (8-12-2) with 26 points on the season which keeps them 12th in the conference.
The next match for the Loyal is this Saturday, August 13 against Birmingham Legion. This will be the first of two straight away matches for the Loyal.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.