Curt Onalfo’s LA Galaxy II can take solace in one thing: unlike the senior side, they took their match seriously against their opponent and didn’t get smashed. Of course, for Los Dos, that opponent was Preki’s Sacramento Republic, who took the season series with a simple 1-0 victory at StubHub Center’s Track and Field Stadium on Sunday. Here are six things we learned from Sunday’s contest between the LA Galaxy II and Sacramento Republic.
1. Ball possession battle to start
Early on in the first half, Sacramento were intent on establishing the tempo early and with the series already won, they didn’t really need to expend too much energy but as the defending league champions, Republic FC knew what they needed to do. The first several minutes of the first half was a lengthy ball possession battle in which neither side really threatened.
2. LA Galaxy II queue up
Kainoa Bailey was foiled on a through ball from Jack McBean coming his way in the 15th minute. The ensuing cross was collected by Patrick McLain, who most likely wouldn’t have to do too much work, although it was early. David Estrada queued up in the 17th minute but Brian Rowe would lay a stop to that. Ariel Lassiter has a shot in the 18th minute parried away by McLain, and it did look like the View would stand corrected.
McBean had a massive chance on goal in the 22nd minute but it just went over the bar. That shot put the defending league champs on notice. In this first half, the Galaxy were a bit more organized. The objective for Sacramento was to reduce this to a gloried game of chess on the pitch, or a style that suited the visitors while at the same time adjusted to LA’s organization.
3. A scoreless first half
Rodrigo Lopez, the Galaxy-killer of record, was offsides in the 31st minute but was threatening. Justin Braun was offsides one minute later, and now the offsides calls were piling up as Los Dos established the trap. Braun’s next chance on goal in the 35th minute missed wide right. Clement Diop was earning a start after a long layoff.
On a Galaxy II counter in the 38th minute, Lassiter’s next attempt on goal was high and over the bar, but he won a corner. McBean was unfortunate to not score in the 40th minute of play, hitting the left post. Bradley Diallo had to clear a final surge in the 45th minute and the first half ended scoreless.
4. Sacramento queue up in second half
Early on in the second half, both teams elected to slow down the pace before going back to a ball possession battle. Republic FC elected to first stick to organized defense, a facet to their game that was strong. Ariel Lassiter was shaken up in the 50th minute after losing his footing but would recover. Diop made a routine collection in the 52nd minute off a threating Sacramento free.
Mickey Daly is a defender for the Republic that has also worn Los Dos like a glove and he won another McLain goal kick in the 53rd minute. Galaxy II defender Joe Franco forced a corner as Sacramento got back to playing its trademark direct style. With the visitors queueing up on Diop, patience was going to be a virtue. McBean had a shot in the 59th minute miss wide right of the mark.
5. Rodrigo Lopez gets Sacramento going once again
Edson Buddle was assigned to LA Galaxy II for this match and was an option off the bench. Estrada had a chance in the 63rd minute collected by Diop, although Jason Bli, who also came off the bench, had something to do with it. It took him a while, but Lopez finally got on the scoresheet in the 65th minute with a good touch and finish, but at the expense of Bli getting shaken up.
Bli did receive a caution after taking his frustrations out one minute later. In the 70th minute, Lopez fancied his chances at a brace but could have done better.
6. Patrick McLain stands on his head
The last 15 and stoppage of the match started out as a ball possession battle. However, the Republic were intent on putting a spirited contest away. Adonis Amaya had a good look on goal in the 84th minute but missed the mark. In the 87th minute,
As for McLain, he did more work in the 89th minute with another good aerial punchout on Lassiter. An even more impressive save from the Republic netminder took place in the 90th minute. Off the ensuing corner, McLain made another save followed by a collection that came from solid on-field awareness.
Fortunately for LA, there was no late goals from Sacramento. So this was a much improved performance from Los Dos, albeit with the same outcome and a different scoreline. The next match for the LA Galaxy II is an Open Cup match with the Ventura County Fusion. A preview of that match will come later this week.