SD Loyal SC defeat Albion San Diego 2-1 in U.S. Open Cup

Loyal vs Albion

Credit: Josh Jimenez

Loyal vs Albion
Credit: Josh Jimenez/ EVT Sports 

The Loyal escape with a win in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup

What a tale of two halves tonight was. The San Diego Loyal looked very good early on in this match. They controlled possession and found chances early on. However, the second half showed a complete change in momentum as Albion SC evened the score and seemed like they found the Loyal weakness.

If it weren’t for the clutch play from Chula Vista native Alejandro Guido, the Loyal could have been forced to play in extra time. The Loyal have yet to play in extra time as a club.

Guido placed a perfect pass off of the corner kick to lead to the winning goal in he 89th minute. Guido has now been a part of two winning goals in the last three matches for the Loyal.

First Half

Manager Landon Donovan issued a completely different lineup than usual. San Diego native Austin Guerrero started as the keeper as a bunch of the normal substitutes also started tonight. It looked like a 3-5-2 formation to start out. Something we haven’t seen much of from Donovan.

The decision didn’t seem to hurt the Loyal early in the match. SD seemed like they were the better team and eventually scored the first goal of the match in the 45th minute.

Evan Conway is playing very well in his short stint with San Diego. His presence is known and Donovan will likely continue to make him a factor.

He scored the first goal of the match right before the half.

That goal proved to be very crucial as the second half turned a bit difficult for San Diego.

Second Half

This is where things got interesting. In the 63rd minute, Tumi Moshobane entered the match for Jack Blake and Davi Santos made his Loyal debut subbing in for Conway.

Right after that sub, Albion scored the equalizer after what seemed to be a poor defensive effort from the Loyal on that play.

Midfielder Mayele Malango scored the goal to even the score and force the Loyal to change things up.

The next 25 minutes didn’t look great for San Diego either. They struggled to constantly control possession and allowed Albion to create chances to take the lead. Luckily, the experience paid off for the Loyal as they shut down their attack and forced a corner kick late in the match.

This corner kick proved to be crucial for San Diego. They had lost momentum but regained it after the brilliant play from the San Diego native.

Guido stepped up and placed beauty right to Taylor Crull, who banged in a header to take the lead.

Crull started for San Diego tonight, and his impact paid dividends in the end.

A few minutes into stoppage time (which was a total of seven minutes), Albion was issued a red card that put them down a man. That forced their comeback a lot tougher and the Loyal took advantage of that.

Albion is known for their late game heroics, but they couldn’t get the job done against the tougher opponent.

Loyal vs Albion
Credit: Josh Jimenez

This was a match that the Loyal will learn from. They certainly can’t be too happy after the way they played in the second half. But they won the match and moved on to the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. They will find out who they face within the next few weeks.


The next match for the Loyal is at home this Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the Charleston Battery. San Diego is (4-1) on the season with 12 points and a +4 goal difference. That currently has them placed second in the Western Conference.

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Chris Spiering
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.

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