LA Galaxy II vs. San Diego Loyal SC
Saturday, March 12 at 7 p.m.
Torero Stadium – University of San Diego
TV: ESPN+, YurView (Cox channel 4), Azteca America 33 (Spanish)
Fútbol is back in San Diego! The San Diego Loyal host “Los Dos” LA Galaxy II for their 2022 season opener.
The 2021 season didn’t end how the Loyal wanted, but they managed to earn a trip to the playoffs for the first time in two years as a club.
The Loyal finished third in the Pacific Division but lost to San Antonio FC in the first round of the playoffs. The season was a success as a whole, and because of that, SD brought back a ton of players who were all vital to their success last season.
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Returning To The Loyal
Captain Charlie Adams, Alejandro Guido, Elijah Martin, Collin Martin, Jack Metcalf, Grant Stoneman, Tumi Moshobane, Jack Blake, and Austin Guerrero are the main core returning to Landon Donovan’s squad. Adams, both Martins, Metcalf, Stoneman, and Guerrero all played major roles last season on the defensive.
Before Metcalf injured his shoulder, he and Elijah Martin played well on the outside, keeping defenders from putting up successful crosses. SD went out and brought in Oliver Larraz to fill in for Metcalf, but now that he is back, the job is his to lose. Charlie Adams will lead the defense as usual as he was one of the best defensive midfielders in the entire USL last season.
Grant Stoneman played alongside Josh Yaro for the majority of last season as the anchors of the defense. Yaro didn’t re-sign with the Loyal, but SD could be in this future once again. Stoneman will once again be the at center back and will likely form a duo with Kyle Adams, who came in this offseason. You should have no trouble spotting Adams on the pitch as he has a beautiful flow of hair that is perfect for the San Diego breeze.
There is one issue you will have to worry about, though. As fans, there will be two Adams, two Martins, and two Jacks on the field all at the same time … and for a majority of that time. If Donovan’s lineup remains the same from this preseason, then it could get a little confusing for a while.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) March 11, 2022
In the attack, Guido, Blake, and Moshobane return to expand on their goal-scoring attack. Donovan and the Loyal brought in some extra offense this offseason that will take some of the load off of those three. Expect those three to start a majority of the matches and even Moshobane and Guido switching off at times, keeping at least one of them on the pitch at all times. The fans of San Diego want to see Guido be more involved this season. Guido did score six goals and assisted on four last season, but it seemed like he could have seen more action.
What To Expect Against LA Galaxy II
This is a start of a brand new season, so it’s going to be difficult to read Donovan’s plan without seeing them in action. It seemed like he issued a similar formation this preseason. SD faced the Vancouver Whitecaps and Tijuana Xolos this preseason and lost to Vancouver, but defeated the Xolos both at Torero Stadium.
What made SD successful last year was their ability to control most of the matches they played in. They would slow down, find the gaps in the defense, and use their strengths to score goals. SD won a majority of their matches with their elite defense, holding opponents to low-scoring outings. SD was 14th in the USL in goals allowed at 45. LA allowed 57, so SD will look to keep that advantage over LA.
I expect Kyle Adams to start alongside Stoneman as the center backs and Martin and Metcalf on the outside. Newly added striker Kyle Vassell should start as well, as he will be getting a lot of action Saturday night. Charlie Adams and Collin Martin will try and control the midfield while Moshobane, Blake, and Guido will be on the attack.
Last week, San Diego showcased a kit reveal with their new Charly sponsor and will likely be wearing their new Torrey Green kits. Rocket League is the sponsor as well, and the kits look very cool.
Saturday night will be a fun atmosphere!
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.