Photo courtesy LA Galaxy II
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy II’s Jon Kempin notched an eight-save shutout as Los Dos took a 1-0 victory against Orange County SC in the third and final 405 Derby of the season on Wednesday night at StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium. The win saw the Galaxy II extend their undefeated streak to four games. Orange County’s Jerry van Ewijk had the first real look at goal in the 26th minute, but his shot from outside the penalty area went wide of the left post. OCSC (7-5-4, 25pts) saw Wuilito Fernandes force a save from LA goalkeeper Jon Kempin six minutes later from the left side of the penalty area, and Kempin had to tip wide from Frank Olijve 25 yards out a few minutes later on a low shot to the left corner. The Galaxy II (5-11-4, 19pts) came close to creating a chance late in the first half, but didn’t register a shot on goal before the break. Los Dos took the lead in the 57th minute, however, as high pressure created a chance for Ryo Fujii, and his low shot picked out the left corner of the net. OCSC tried to level in the 68th minute, only for Kempin to save from Van Ewijk, and five minutes later Fernandes was also denied. For a second consecutive game, LA gave up a penalty kick, but Orange County was unable to take advantage with five minutes to go as Roy Meeus’ shot to the left side was comfortably saved by Kempin. OCSC’s last chance came in stoppage time when Van Ewijk was left in space near the penalty spot, but his shot found Kempin in the center of the goal, allowing Los Dos to claim victory.
57’ – LA – Ryo Fujii (Ethan Zubak)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Galaxy II didn’t force much attacking pressure in Wednesday’s contest, but the moment they decided to do so proved a key moment in the match. Alejandro Covarrubias sensed the opportunity, and while he didn’t win possession directly, he forced a loose pass that Ryo Fujii stepped in to intercept 40 yards from goal. A quick pass to Ethan Zubak, and return ball to Fujii as he continued his run allowed the midfielder to split the Orange County defense, and his finish was perfectly placed to beat Charlie Lyon low to the left corner.
2. LA likely had a sinking feeling with five minutes to go when for a second consecutive game the side conceded a penalty while holding the lead. Unlike OKC Energy FC on Sunday, however, Orange County was unable to take advantage as Roy Meeus’ hesitation in his run-up seemed to outfox himself instead of Los Dos goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who saved low to his right. The shot encapsulated the night for Orange County, which was much better than in its victory against Vancouver on Saturday, but ended up with nothing to show for it. The side’s trip to San Antonio on Saturday will now take on added importance in its push for the playoffs.
3. Galaxy II forward Ethan Zubak was isolated for much of the night as his teammates were forced to absorb pressure, but the No. 3 selection in the 2017 USL 20 Under 20 always felt like he was on the verge of something special in addition to the role he played in the Galaxy II’s goal. Zubak won 5 of 8 duels in the contest, holding up play well, and was regularly active as he was forced to wait for support to arrive from the likes of Raul Mendiola and Adrian Vera. Zubak’s work helped keep Orange County’s defense honest, in addition to showing good touches and awareness on the ball.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jon Kempin, LA Galaxy II – Kempin recorded an eight-save shutout, including a late penalty-kick save to preserve the win, as Los Dos extended its undefeated streak to four games.
LA Galaxy II vs. Phoenix Rising FC – August 5, 10:30 p.m. ET, StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium
Orange County SC at San Antonio FC – August 5, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field