CARSON, Calif. (Saturday, October 3, 2015) – LA Galaxy II defeated OC Blues FC 2-0 Saturday evening at StubHub Center’s Track and Field Stadium behind goals from forward Ariel Lassiter and a clean sheet from goalkeeper Clement Diop. With the win, Los Dos advanced to USL’s Western Conference Final.
“I thought our guys competed extremely hard,” said LA Galaxy II Head Coach Curt Onalfo. “We knew that we had to out compete them, position ourselves to win and that’s what we did. We fought hard and we worked all week on how to exploit their high line and with a little bit of luck we could have scored five goals on them. We were the better team. OC Blues fought until the end and I never felt comfortable until that final whistle blew.”
Lassiter provided two goals for Galaxy II with a shutout led by French goalkeeper Clement Diop and a backline of Oscar Sorto, Daniel Steres, Bradley Diallo and Joe Franco. Diop put in a dominant performance in goal for Los Dos, recording three saves during the match and stopping a penalty kick in the 73rd minute of the game.
Lassiter opened the scoring in just the 14th minute of the game. LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Raul Mendiola played a through ball to Ariel Lassiter, who calmly placed the ball past OC Blues goalkeeper Pepe Miranda.
As the second half kicked off, Los Dos kept the pressure up top looking to add to their 1-0 lead. It was in the 54th minute when Los Dos found the game winner courtesy of Lassiter. Mendiola and Jack McBean connected a quick give-and-go play in the midfield leaving Mendiola space to play a through ball to Lassiter, who again found himself behind the OC Blues defense to score the winner.
Following the goal, the Galaxy defense stood firm for the entire match to keep the shutout as the hosts increased pressure on offense. Diop helped maintain the clean sheet with three big saves to break up an OC Blues attack that pressed for the comeback.
Diop’s best save came in the 73rd minute of play, when he stopped a penalty kick from OC Blues’ Didier Crettenand to give Galaxy II the home win.
Los Dos faced their Southern California rivals for the fifth time this season, with LA Galaxy II going 3-1-1 in the five matchups. Orange County, the top seed in the Western Conference, finished the USL Regular Season 14-9-5 with 47 points.
With the victory, LA Galaxy II will now travel to face either Colorado Switchbacks FC or OKC Energy FC in the Western Conference Final.
“Nine wins on the road this season,” said Onalfo. “Wherever we go we know it’s going to be tough. If it’s in Colorado it’s the altitude and they have a very good team. And then OKC has been almost unbeatable at home so we’ll watch the game tomorrow and scout them.”
LA Galaxy II 2, OC Blues FC 0
Saturday, Oct. 3 – 7:30 p.m. PT
USL Playoffs – Western Conference Semifinals
StubHub Center – Carson, Calif.
LA – Ariel Lassiter (Assisted by Raul Mendiola) 14’
LA – Ariel Lassiter (Assisted by Raul Mendiola, Jack McBean) 54’
OC – Beto Navarro (caution) 18’
LA – Jack McBean (caution) 48’
LA – Kenney Walker (caution) 79’
OC – Milton Blanco (caution) 87’
LA – Alejandro Covarrubias (caution) 89’
OC – Luka Petrovic (caution) 90’
LA Galaxy II: Clement Diop; Joe Franco, Daniel Steres ©, Bradley Diallo, Oscar Sorto (Tommy Meyer 86’); Raul Mendiola, Andre Auras (Alejandro Covarrubias 84’), Kenney Walker, Bryan Olivera; Ariel Lassiter; Jack McBean (Travis Bowen 78’).
Substitutions not used: Bennett Sneddon, Ignacio Maganto, Kainoa Bailey, Lee Nishanian.
- LA Galaxy II earned a 2-0 victory over OC Blues FC Saturday evening at StubHub Center’s Track & Field Stadium in the Western Conference Semifinals.
- LA Galaxy II are now 2-0-0 during their 2015 USL Playoff run.
- Los Dos have now won three-straight matches, earning victories over OC Blues FC, Sacramento Republic FC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
- After scoring a team-high 11 goals during the 2015 USL regular season for Galaxy II, forward Ariel Lassiter tallied his first two goals in the 2015 USL Playoffs for Los Dos this year.
- Lassiter’s two goals now lead Galaxy II on the year during USL Playoffs.
- LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Raul Mendiola recorded his first two assists in the Playoffs after setting up both of Lassiter’s goal. Mendiola ended the regular season with eight assists in 19 matches, leading the league in assists per game (.42).
- Forward Jack McBean was also credited with an assist in Lassiter’s second goal. McBean finished off the regular season with six goals and five assists.
- Curt Onalfo made three changes to the starting XI from last week at Sacramento as Ariel Lassiter, Raul Mendiola and Kenney Walker started the match in place of Tristan Bowen, Jaime Villarreal and Alejandro Covarrubias.
- Galaxy II were without the services of forward Bradford Jamieson IV, who was held out due to injury.
- Over the course of the match, the LA Galaxy II lineup featured five different LA Galaxy Academy products who recorded minutes.
- Head Coach Curt Onalfo trotted out a starting lineup featuring four LA Galaxy Academy products: Raul Mendiola, Joe Franco, Jack McBean and Oscar Sorto. Fellow Academy product Alejandro Covarrubias also appeared as a substitute on the night.
- Acquired prior to the 2015 USL season, French goalkeeper Clement Diop is the Galaxy II player with the most games and minutes during Los Dos’ 2015 campaign with 26 games played including Playoffs and regular season.
- Diop recorded his 10th shutout this year for Galaxy II.
- The 18-man gameday roster featured five LA Galaxy loanees: midfielder Raul Mendiola, midfielder Ignacio Maganto, midfielder Kenney Walker, defender Oscar Sorto and defender Tommy Meyer.
- LA Galaxy II finished the USL Regular Season in fifth place in Western Conference standings with a 14-11-3 record to qualify for the USL Playoffs for the second-straight year.
- For more information, please visit www.lagalaxy.com.