]San Diego Loyal SC vs. Club Tijuana Xolos
Torero Stadium – University of San Diego
The kickoff is Saturday, July 10 at 5 p.m.
TV – Azteca 33 in Spanish
The San Diego Loyal prepare for their first friendly against Liga MX side Club Tijuana Xolos
The Loyal is finally getting the chance to host their friendly against the Xolos. Last year’s match was canceled due to COVID-19 and later rescheduled to this weekend.
This will be San Diego’s second international friendly at Torero Stadium, as they hosted Costa Del Este FC from Panama. The Loyal won 1-0 back in February 2020.
San Diego is still unbeaten at home and in their previous eight matches this season. Those points have proven to be crucial as they rose from almost last place to third in the Pacific Division with a (5-3-4) record. Their 18 points are tied for second with Orange County SC but are behind due to goal difference. San Diego face OC for their next USL Championship match on July 14.
Facts About Tijuana Xolos
In 2012, Tijuana won the Liga MX title in their second season as part of the league, the fastest by any team in Liga MX history. Tijuana earned a spot in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League but lost in the semi-finals to Cruz Azul 2-1. The Xolos defeated LA Galaxy in the match before moving to the semi-final match.
The clash of the borders finally get a chance to meet.
“We have been waiting for this day for a very long time for the chance to bring Baja and Alta California together on the soccer field,” Manager Landon Donovan said. “We’re excited to play Xolos and celebrate soccer in this region. Should be a great match and we are very much looking forward to it.”
Tijuana has played in three friendlies in San Diego back from 2011-13.
Last Time Out
The Loyal and Sacramento Republic finished in a 1-1 draw last Saturday. Forward Corey Hertzog scored his second goal of the season in 62nd minute, but the Loyal couldn’t hold on to claim the three points.
— Devon Kerr (@DevonKerr9) July 4, 2021
Sacramento’s Mitch Taintor scored in stoppage time to level the scoring, and the head referee blew the final whistle less than 30 seconds later.
“It’s frustrating, frustrating when you lose points when a game ends like that,” Donovan said. “It’s still part of the learning process. We didn’t play well today but it was a very difficult week. We played a very good team who was well rested and prepared while we played a midweek game. We knew it was going to be a challenge.”
This isn’t the first time the Loyal have given up a lead in stoppage time, as it happened against the Phoenix Rising on June 5. San Diego allowed two goals in the final seven minutes to end in a 2-2 draw.
San Diego traded defender Thomas Vancaeyeezele to the Birmingham Legion for cash considerations.
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Vancaeyezeele appeared in eight matches (seven starts) for the Loyal this season, showing out as one of the top defenders on the roster.
“My first priority as the manager of this club is to do what’s in the best interest of our team,” Donovan said. “Birmingham approached us about acquiring Thomas (Vancaeyezeele) and made us an offer that was too good to turn down. We appreciate what Thomas contributed in his time with our club and we wish him the very best.”
With Vancaeyezeele now gone, expect defenders like Sal Zizzo, Callum Montgomery, Josh Yaro, and Grant Stoneman to fill in and earn a permanent starting role.
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.