Photo courtesy LA Galaxy II
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy II scored in either half to earn a 2-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Saturday afternoon on the opening weekend of the 2017 USL regular season at StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium. The Galaxy II grabbed the lead early as a long pass upfield by Baggio Husidic deflected off WFC2 defender Sem de Wit under pressure by Ethan Zubak and eluded goalkeeper Spencer Richey in the sixth minute. Vancouver gradually gained the upper hand in possession as the half went on, and early in the second half started putting more pressure on the Galaxy II goal. LA’s passing in the final third was more incisive, though, and Adrian Vera forced a good save from Richey just before the hour-mark. The Galaxy II doubled their lead in the 67th minute as Bradford Jamieson IV’s low cross from the let set up Zubak for a close-range finish. WFC2’s Kyle Greig almost pulled a goal back immediately, only to be denied by LA goalkeeper Jon Kempin, and the Galaxy II goalkeeper had to make two saves in stoppage time as Vancouver pressed to get back in the game, but Los Dos Head Coach Mike Munoz saw his charges come through to earn his first win.
6’ – LA – Own Goal (Sem de Wit)
67’ – LA – Ethan Zubak (Bradford Jamieson IV)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The opening goal came off a remarkably uncharacteristic moment between WFC2 defender Sem de Wit and goalkeeper Spencer Richey, both of whom had a key role in the club’s run to the Western Conference Final of the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs. A lack of communication seemed the difference, and while Los Dos’ Ethan Zubak was on hand to apply pressure, Richey in particular will be disappointed he allowed the redirection just inside the penalty area to slip through.
2. The Galaxy II entered the game with only two members in its starting lineup from the starting lineup that fell in its final game of the 2016 season, but the new additions and returning faces didn’t seem to miss a beat in picking up where they left off. Defender Tyler Turner had a positive debut for the club, while returnees Ethan Zubak and Bradford Jamieson IV combined for a goal that highlighted the talent that made Jamieson a 2016 USL 20 Under 20 selection. Los Dos may have entered a new era under Head Coach Mike Munoz, but they appear to still mean business.
3. Vancouver carried good portions of the game, especially as it tried to get back into the game in the second half, but the side didn’t seem quite dangerous enough in the final third as LA goalkeeper Jon Kempin was forced into only one sharp save before the closing stages to deny Kyle Greig. Los Dos’ Kempin almost gifted a goal to WFC2 late as a bad misjudgment saw a looping effort coming back off the crossbar, and made two saves in stoppage time to preserve the shutout, but Vancouver will want to be more assertive sooner when it visits Reno 1868 FC next Saturday.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Ethan Zubak, LA Galaxy II – Zubak scored his first goal of the season, and played a role in the own goal, to get his second full season with Los Dos off to a good start.
LA Galaxy II at San Antonio FC – April 1, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at Reno 1868 FC – April 1, 10 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field