USL PRO Game Report
Saturday, March 22, 2014
CARSON, Calif. – Kenney Walker scored a goal and recorded an assist as LA Galaxy II defeated the Orange County Blues 3-1 in their inaugural match at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium.
Head coach Curt Onalfo’s side looked assured in their home opener against their cross-town rival as they controlled the run of play throughout their 90 minutes. All nine players loaned to the USL PRO side from the parent club made appearances in the victory.
“The atmosphere was excellent,” said Onalfo after the team’s first win. “The LA Galaxy organization did an excellent job putting resources into this and making this first class.”
Rugg opened the scoring for Los Dos after 40 minutes when he collected the ball from 22 yards from goal and ripped a curling shot that settled neatly into the corner of the net.
“It was a good chance in the box and it just came out to me,” said Rugg. “I tried to take my time and keep focused on my technique and it worked out.”
But Galaxy II’s lead was short-lived as Orange County midfielder Stephen Okai leveled the match with a perfectly placed free kick just three minutes later. A topsy-turvy end to the first half reached a crescendo when Walker swept home the rebound from a chance by Rugg to give Los Dos a 2-1 lead heading into the break.
The Galaxy II picked up where they left off in the second half when defender Daniel Steres headed home a Walker corner kick to double their lead. With Galaxy II ahead, Onalfo inserted Bradford Jamieson IV, who was lively in his 30-minute cameo that saw him make his professional debut.
Largely untested, Galaxy II goalkeeper Cody Laurendi made the best save of the evening when he dove dramatically to palm Enrique Cardenas’ effort around the post. Still up by two goals, the Galaxy nearly added their fourth of the night when Rugg launched a long-range chip in the 75th minute that was the final chance of the match.
“We’ve had a clear emphasis on how we want to build out of the back and a lot of that stuff came out,” said Onalfo. “We weren’t as sharp as I wanted us to be in front of the goal with that being said we still scored three goals but I feel like with a little bit more precision and more concentration we could have had two or three more.”
Galaxy II return to action next weekend when they host intra-state rival Sacramento Republic FC on March 29 at 7:30 p.m. PT. The Blues next host their home opener at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC-Irvine on Saturday, April 5 at 7 p.m. PT.