Kyle Adams, Charlie Adams score in first half of 2-0 win vs. Sacramento Republic FC
SAN DIEGO (March 19, 2022) – Carlos Saldaña adjusted his gloves after he stood up and stared at his net Saturday night. The Sacramento Republic FC goalkeeper perhaps was trying to decipher what had just happened.
Seconds before, Saldaña was beat by a blazing ball off the foot of San Diego Loyal Captain Charlie Adams. The shot was the second to strike the Sacramento net and would help seal a 2-0 win for SD Loyal at Torero Stadium, giving the club its first 2-0 start in club history.
Adams’ goal left Saldaña and his team looking for answers on how to neutralize coach Landon Donovan’s squad in the Week 2 USL Championship match. SD Loyal continued to try and implement its brand of soccer, pressuring and controlling possession but it didn’t always do that Saturday. Donovan’s team had to find other ways against Sacramento (1-1-0, 3 points) but it did find ways to convert its scoring chances.
Defender Kyle Adams opened the scoring in the 35th minute when he headed in a ball past Saldaña to help give SD Loyal (2-0-0, 6 points) an early 1-0 lead. The scoring play came off a set piece. The ball went to Nick Moon who got a piece of it and volleyed it to where Adams was charging the box. The defender got his head on the ball and sent it past Saldaña in his first start with SD Loyal.
“Honestly, I was a little bit in shock. I don’t know if you saw my celebration, but I didn’t really know what to do and I kind of just grabbed someone,” Adams said. “I was more shocked than anything. I kind of thought it could happen. We worked a lot on set pieces during preseason and this week I got on a few in training so as long as you commit to your runs, the ball will find you. You just have to be ready to put it in.”
Adams also helped his team earn its first shutout of the season. He even cleared a dangerous ball out with his head earlier in the match. It was a homecoming of sorts for the 25-year-old who played his college soccer at San Diego State University from 2015 to 2017. He signed with SD Loyal this offseason after spending time at Real Monarchs and Rio Grande Valley FC.
“It’s a pretty proud moment. I love San Diego. I call it home now. I have a lot of fond memories of San Diego,” Adams said. “It feels great to be back home and playing in front of those fans, you can’t ask for anything better.”
Adams’ goal sent the crowd into a roar, but it was Charlie Adams who sent them into frenzy with the second goal of the night. Charlie Adams extended the SD Loyal lead when he blasted a shot from 20-yards out. The team captain raced up towards the Sacramento penalty box, sent in a zooming left-footed shot that bent to the lower left corner of the visitor’s net. Saldaña had no chance.
SD Loyal had a handful of chances to score again in the second half. Alejandro Guido sent in a low shot that was deflected by Saldaña after he dribbled in and across the penalty box in the 59th minute. Then there was Thomas Amang, a second half sub, who tried his luck from the left side of the penalty box but Saldaña was there to save it at the center of the goal.
“I am proud that we keep competing and finding ways to win,” Donovan said. “You have to find ways to win, and our guys did that. I am very proud of them. We are about how we do. Tonight was a different version of us that I am really proud of because we grinded out a result.”
Koke Vegas, the newly acquired SD Loyal goalkeeper, helped with the result. He had a standout save of his own at his line in the 38th minute. He punched away a one-timer by Sacramento’s Jack Gurr from outside the 18-yard box. Gurr sent his blast straight to Vegas who stood at the center of his goal and made the save. Vegas went on to secure the shutout, a first in USL Championship for the Spanish goalkeeper.
With the win, Donovan’s team earns three more points in the Western Conference standings and now prepares for its first road trip of the 2022 season.
SD Loyal travels to Oklahoma to face FC Tulsa for the first time in club history on Wednesday, March 23 at ONEOK Field (5:30 p.m.). Fans can watch the game on The CW San Diego and Azteca America 33. It will then visit Phoenix Rising on Saturday, March 26, a match that can be seen on YurView and Azteca America 33. SD Loyal’s next home match on Sunday, April 3 against El Paso Locomotive at 2 p.m will be nationally televised on ESPN Deportes. Tickets are available now starting at just $15.
2022 Season Ticket Memberships, Half Season Ticket Memberships, Quarter Season Ticket Memberships, Flex Plans, Group Tickets and Single Match Tickets are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling (858) 465-GOAL and by visiting sdloyal.com/tickets.