CARSON, Calif. -- It was a night of firsts for the LA Galaxy II.
The LA Galaxy’s USL PRO affiliate scored their first victory with a 3-1 win over their crosstown rival Orange County Blues. The first goal went to on-loan striker Charlie Rugg who helped fuel the victory while also aiding in the build-up of Kenny Walker’s eventual winner just before halftime.
Following the victory in front of a raucous crowd at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium, Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo gushed over what he described as an “excellent” evening.
“For the inaugural game, it was a special night,” Onalfo said. “The players are buzzing. I thought we played really good soccer. We could have scored a lot more goals than three but we did what it took to win the game convincingly, so I’m pleased.”
Onalfo wasn’t the only one with a smile on his face at the final whistle, however, as Rugg was overjoyed to write his name on the first page of the Galaxy II record book.
“It’s pretty cool actually. It’s like being a part of history,” Rugg said. “The first Galaxy II win in the first Galaxy II game, it’s exciting. To have scored the first goal in Galaxy II history is pretty cool. We had a bunch of chances [against Orange County]. With all of the chances we had, we got three goals and I think that’s pretty telling of what we can do as a team.”
But it wasn’t just an impressive offensive performance for Galaxy II as LA was able to silence the Blues attack forcing Los Dos goalkeeper Cody Laurendi to make just one important stop to keep the Blues at bay. After a successful opening night that featured a strong performance against a side that qualified for the USL PRO playoffs last year, Walker admitted that there may be a rivalry brewing between Galaxy II and their counterparts from Orange County.
“There’s always been an inner-city rivalry,” said Walker referencing his battles against the Blues with LA’s reserve teams over the last year. “It was a good battle and they always come out hard every game but it’ll be like that for every [USL] game for us because we’re new to the league and we have the [Galaxy] crest on our chest.”
There will be little time to rest after the historic evening for Galaxy II who will continue their USL PRO slate against fellow first-year club Sacramento Republic FC next Saturday in Carson. But before they begin those preparations, it doesn’t hurt to soak up the emotions created by the team’s first step.
“It was huge for us as a program and the fans,” said Walker. “It’s good that we had the performance and showed people that this wasn’t for nothing and we’re ready to move on and win the league. It’s a good start, but we’ve got a long way to go. This is just the beginning.”