San Diego misses out on second place in the division, settles for just one point against rival OC.
The San Diego Loyal hosted Orange County SC for the second time this season, in what is considered a top 10 matchup of the entire USL Championship season.
Despite the loss, the overall performance from the Loyal earned approval from manager Landon Donovan.
“I am actually really proud of our team,” Donovan said. “They refuse to be every other USL team. Teams we watch, teams we play in the league are just every other USL team and we don’t ever want to be that. I am proud of my team and obviously the two moments that they had were the difference in the game but I thought the performance was excellent and we’re getting guys back healthy. I am looking forward to the last 12 games.”
Donovan issued a 4-2-3-1 formation to begin, which seems to be his go-to formation lately. Austin Guerrero started in goal with Chula Vista native Jordan Chavez, earning his first career start at center back.
The Loyal sure like to play their homegrown talent, don’t they?
Corey Hertzog started as the lone striker, and Charlie Adam’s once again wore the captain’s armband. Newly signed loanee, Augustine Williams, started the night on the bench but did sub in late to make his Loyal debut.
Before Saturday night’s matchup, the Loyal led the entire USL in passes with 9,706 and second in passing percentage at 83%. The only team with a higher passing percentage was El Paso Locomotive FC at 85%. Donovan’s focus on keeping possession and playing their style of soccer is working out very well in only the second season as a club.
The first half didn’t provide much action at all, besides the head official issuing three yellow cards. The Loyal controlled possession as they usually do at 64%. San Diego managed to get off seven shot attempts, with three on target. Chavez almost scored one late in the half, but it was denied by the OC keeper, Patrick Rakovsky. OC had four shots with only one on target.
The Loyal got the scoring started in the 56th minute to take a short 1-0 lead. Tumi Moshobane stays hot with his third goal in the last two matches and seven on the season.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) August 22, 2021
The level Moshobane is playing at, in this point of the season, is phenomenal. He’s making an impact every match he appears in and leads the team in scoring.
“I feel confident,” Moshobane said. “I’m comfortable. I just keep working on my craft every day and I hope that it pays off on the field. It’s shown in a couple of games where I have scored goals I will keep working.”
The lead Moshobane gave San Diego did not last long. In the 64th minute, Haitian National Team player Ronaldo Damus leveled the match with his elite speed.
— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) August 22, 2021
Then, less than three minutes later, OC scored again off an own-goal from Chavez. That goal proved to be an unlucky one as Chavez was making a play on the ball but couldn’t deny it.
Orange County controlled the last third of the match. The Loyal continued to play their style but couldn’t get any of their shots to connect. It seemed like the Loyal played like the better team for the most part of the match, but a short stunner put OC on top for good.
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The next match for the Loyal is Saturday, August 28, on the road against Sacramento Republic FC. The kickoff is at 8:00 p.m.
- Collin Martin, Callum Montgomery, Grant Stoneman, and Trey Muse all missed tonight’s match due to injuries.
- The Loyal is expected to bring in additional players within the next few weeks, according to Donovan.
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.