Photo courtesy LA Galaxy II
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy II and OKC Energy FC played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday evening at StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium as Andy Craven’s penalty kick earned Energy FC a point. Los Dos threatened early as a shot by Raul Mendiola saw OKC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi get a hand to it before it was cleared off the line by Sam Fink. Energy FC forced a pair of comfortable saves from LA’s Jon Kempin through Jose Angulo on a turning effort, and a curling shot by Miguel Gonzalez, while Justin Dhillon went close for the hosts, only to be unable to control a sliding finish off a low cross from the left by Ariel Lassiter. Kempin came up with his first big save of the night just past the half-hour mark as he smothered Alex Dixon’s chance near the penalty spot, while Galaxy II defender Hugo Arellano blocked another chance a few minutes later to deny Gonzalez. Los Dos took the lead four minutes before halftime on a counterattack from an OKC corner, as Raul Mendiola found Lassiter in space, and Lassiter fired home from 20 yards in off the right post. Energy FC almost answered in similar fashion seven minutes after the break, only for Jose Barril’s curling effort to hit the inside of the right post and come out. The visitors leveled with 15 minutes to go, however, as Craven converted from the penalty spot after being brought down in the area moments after coming on as a substitute. Both teams looked for a winner late, but the game ended level as OKC edged closer to the Western Conference top eight.
41’ – LA – Ariel Lassier (Raul Mendiola)
75’ – OKC – Andy Craven (penalty)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Galaxy II have been a team in flux this season, but on Sunday had a lot of experience on the field as it looked to extend its undefeated streak. It managed to do so, and there were some real flashes of quality as the side attacked, most notably on Ariel Lassiter’s opening goal of the game. If Los Dos can put out a consistent lineup with this group the rest of the season, some of the other missed connections that brought other opportunities to a halt, and kept the hosts from claiming their first win on home turf since the opening day of the season, could certainly be sharpened.
2. Energy FC also had chances to take more than just one point from Sunday’s game, but will probably be happy enough with a point as it heads home for a massive midweek contest at Taft Stadium against Reno 1868 FC. Andy Craven’s goal after coming on as a substitute was a reward for a solid overall road display. While Energy FC would have liked to pull level on points with both Tulsa Roughnecks FC and Orange County SC with a win, Energy FC remains solidly in the hunt in the race for the playoffs.
3. As a general rule of thumb, a team’s chances of making the playoffs can be figured with the ratio of how many points out of the final playoff place they are, and how many games they have remaining. Once the number of games remaining becomes fewer than the points needed to bridge the gap, it’s then a longshot for the side to reach the postseason. For the Galaxy II, who have reached the playoffs each of their first three seasons, that ratio is starting to come into play, with the side nine points out of eighth place and down to 13 games remaining. That makes Wednesday night’s game against eighth-place Orange County SC a crucial one when it comes to Los Dos’ playoff hopes.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jose Barril, OKC Energy FC – Barril was central to much that Energy FC did well in attack, hitting the post with a fine shot and creating four scoring chances on the night as OKC rallied to earn a point.
LA Galaxy II vs. Orange County SC – August 2, 10:30 p.m. ET, StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium
OKC Energy FC vs. Reno 1868 FC – August 2, 8:30 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium