PEORIA, Ariz. (Friday, April 25, 2014) – Raul Mendiola scored his first professional goal as LA Galaxy II drew 1-1 with Arizona United Soccer Club at the Peoria Sports Complex in front of 2,818 fans.
LA Galaxy II emerged as the stronger side in the first half as they outshot Arizona United SC 5-2, and maintained the majority of possession. Chandler Hoffman had shots in the 4th and 9th minutes that narrolwy missed their mark, and an unmarked Charlie Rugg headed his shot wide right in 28th minute.
As Arizona United SC’s defense continued to bend, it finally broke in the 34th minute when a turnover by the home side sprung an LA Galaxy II counterattack. Oscar Soto dribbled into space down the left-wing and rifled a low cross to Raul Mendiola on the back post. He took a touch and chipped a shot over Arizona goalkeeper Evan Newton for the opening goal.
United’s Jon Okafor had the first half’s final shot in the 45th minute that missed the mark by inches.
After a slow first half, Arizona United SC’s attack awoke in the second half, which led to the equalizer from DelPiccolo in the 68th minute. A clever turn from Jon Okafor on the halfway line from a Joseph Toby pass, allowed Okafor to attack space down the left-wing. He played a ball to Brandon Swartzendruber, who passed to a streaking DelPiccolo just inside the box. DelPiccolo cut a defender and lofted a shot with his left foot into the right-side netting.
After finding their goal, Arizona looked the more-likely to find grab the winner. Sustained pressure from the hosts resulted in a rough tackle from Los Dos defender Bradley Diallo on Jose Ramos. After initially showing the yellow card, the referee turned the yellow into a red and gave Diallo his marching orders.
With the man advantage, Arizona United SC attacked with numbers, and a shot from Okafor on the right side went just wide in the 90th minute. Arizona United SC had one final chance three minutes in stoppage time when a cross from Matt Kassel found Bradlee Baladez, who headed the call just over the crossbar.
The draw against LA Galaxy II is Arizona United SC’s third match in their four-match homestand to start the 2014 USL PRO season.
Arizona United SC will close out the homestand against the Charlotte Eagles on May 3 at the Peoria Sports Complex.
The draw moves LA Galaxy II to 3-1-2 for the season. The team will return to Southern California on Sunday, April 27 at 4:00 p.m. PT to face the Orange County Blues FC.