CARSON, Calif. – Two goals three minutes apart left the LA Galaxy II and Orange County Blues FC all square on Friday night as the clubs played to a 1-1 draw at StubHub Center. Jose Villarreal gave Los Dos the lead before Didier Cretten and answered for the visitors.
The Galaxy II (2-0-2, 8pts) almost opened the game with a goal in the opening minute as former Blues forward Denzel Slager used his speed on the counter-attack to fashion a chance, but Orange County goalkeeper Brandon Miller smothered his shot.
The Blues (0-2-1, 1pts) had their own big chance to take the lead in the 21st minute as Trevin Caesar got in behind the Galaxy II defense with a clever run, but his finish past the advancing Dan Kennedy, but his finish slid just wide of the right post.
The game went to the break scoreless, but the Blues almost carved out a chance in the 54th minute when Pavle Popara beat his man on the left, only for Jose Villarreal to clear the ball to safety for the Galaxy II.
Slager again went close to scoring against his former club four minutes later, but his shot from a tight angle on the right went straight through the six-yard area and couldn’t find a finishing touch.
The Galaxy II took the lead midway through the second half, though, as Jack McBean won possession down the left side deep in the Blues half, and laid a pass back to Villarreal. The young Homegrown forward took a touch inside the penalty area, and rifled a finish into the opposite corner of the net.
The Blues hit back almost immediately, as Caesar was brought down just outside the left edge of the penalty area. With a crowd of players queuing up for a cross, Didier Crettenand curled a fierce shot to the far corner and found the back of the net.
The Galaxy II pressed hard late on to regain the lead, but the Blues defense was effective in holding firm as it broke up a pair of passes into dangerous areas of the penalty area and held on for the club’s first point of the season.
LA – Jose Villarreal (Assisted by Jack McBean) 68’
OC – Didier Crettenand 73’
LA Galaxy II Starting XI: Dan Kennedy; Nathan Smith, Lee Nishanian, Jeffrey Payeras, Josh Turnley; Denzel Slager (Ethan Zubak 80’) , Jeff Larentowicz (Bryam Rebellon 60’), Alejandro Covarrubias, Jaime Villarreal; Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean
Substitutions not used: Bennett Sneddon, John Neeskens, Kainoa Bailey, Ryo Fujii, Adonis Amaya
Referee: Reyna Fonseca
Referee’s Assistants: Alexander Luttman, Eduardo Mariscal
4th Official: Timothy Ford
- Galaxy recorded its second straight draw of the season in its 1-1 tie with Orange County Blues FC.
- Friday’s fixture marked the third straight match in which Galaxy II Head Coach Curt Onalfo started the same backline: Nathan Smith, Lee Nishanian, Jeffrey Payeras and Josh Turnley
- For the second game in a row and second time of the season, Galaxy II did not score in the first half. Heading into Friday’s match, Galaxy II led the league in goals scored with eight.
- LA Galaxy’s Jeff Larentowicz, Dan Kennedy and Jose Villarreal participated in Saturday’s match. It was Larentowicz’s first match in a Galaxy shirt.
- LA Galaxy Academy’s Ethan Zubak came on as a second-half substitution in his third straight appearance for Los Dos.
- Jose Villarreal scored his first goal of the season for LA Galaxy II.
The schedule doesn’t let up for Galaxy II; they’ll face new USL club San Antonio FC at StubHub Center on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. PT. For a full LA Galaxy II schedule, visit www.lagalaxy.com/2.