San Diego fight for a point on the road
San Diego comes away with a point after a 0-0 draw in Orange County.
San Diego Loyal traveled to Orange County looking to end their 3 game losing streak. The team standing in their way was looking to avenge their first loss of the season. Orange County Soccer Club is coming off of their mid week shocking loss to Las Vegas last Tuesday. This game was a very important one in Group B as well as Orange County is looking to maintain pace with Phoenix, and San Diego is looking to catch Los Angeles Galaxy II.
On an exciting note, San Diego just announced a new loanee that ended up getting his first professional start. That loanee is familiar to San Diego as Miguel Berry had quite a season last year with University of San Diego. Loyal were hoping his magic would translate to much needed goal output.
The other important moment in this match happened at the 7th minute mark. Players in this game joined players across the league to bring awareness to racial injustice. The newly formed Black Players Alliance of the USL put out a statement that was read out over the national broadcast. Players stood together at the center circle from the 7:00 mark until 8:46 when play was resumed. The Beautiful Game Network had a great article about it. You can read that by clicking here.
The rest of the first half was a physical affair with neither team really getting a good look at goal. San Diego did have a couple of good individual plays, but every time the pass was just a little too strong. Orange County did find themselves in good positions, but both Emrah Klimenta and Jack Metcalf came up huge to stop the attack. Neither team even registered a shot on goal in the half and both teams seemed to be content to enter half time 0-0.
The second half had some more opportunities for San Diego. OC got the closest early with Darwin Jones hitting the post in the 52nd minute. After San Diego survived a flurry of Orange County attacks, it was newcomer Miguel Berry that had the best look. Collin Martin put a great ball into his path and he just took a slight heavy touch that allowed OC keeper Frederik Due to step up and corral the ball.
In the 80th minute, San Diego had a great attack stopped by an obvious foul by Daniel Crisotomo, but for some mysterious reason was not given a yellow, and that came back big late in the match.
Elijah Martin, who came on at half time, had quite a match. He was great on both sides of the ball and came up with huge defensive plays to keep Orange County off the scoreboard.
The best look for San Diego came very late when Charlie Adams put a great cross in, but Ben Spencer couldn’t come up with any contact and the ball skipped by everyone. Late in stoppage time, Crisotomo fouled another San Diego player to stop their build up and it should’ve been his second yellow. The very last play of the game looked to be a handball by Rob Keirnan in the box, but again, the referee swallowed the whistle and it could have cost San Diego 2 points and might have playoff implications later in the season. Jon Kempin also kept a clean sheet for back to back shut outs.
San Diego is right back at it again on Wednesday. They travel back to Las Vegas, but this time they hope to play. Las Vegas is playing quite a bit better as they gave Orange County their first loss of the season. San Diego has 6 remaining games left to try and fight for that 2nd playoff spot. The game will be at 7:30 pm at Cashman Field.