SD Loyal finishes third match in eight days with 2-1 record
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Aug. 13, 2022) – San Diego Loyal allowed a first half goal in its first trip to Alabama that resulted in a 1-0 loss against host Birmingham Legion FC. Juan Agudelo scored for the homeside at Protector Stadium in the Week 23 USL Championship match.
The loss snapped SD Loyal’s five-match winning streak as it played in its third match in eight days. Coach Landon Donovan’s team will return home to prepare for another road match next week against El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday, Aug. 20 (6:30 p.m.).
Against Birmingham Saturday night, it was Agudelo with an early goal. The forward headed in a corner kick from Prosper Kasim after beating his mark to the ball and sending it just inside SD Loyal goalkeeper Koke Vegas’ right post. Vegas could only stand and watch as the ball fell in for the homeside’s only score.
Birmingham (13W-6L-5D, 44 points) was able to pressure SD Loyal a handful of times in the first half. It nearly scored twice more after Agudelo’s goal, including a dangerous shot by Marlon Santos. Vegas had to slide and get in front of the charging forward to block the shot right before halftime. In the second half, Santos nearly had a goal of his own as he sent a right-footed shot off the crossbar in the 66th minute.
SD Loyal (15W-6L-4D, 46 points) tried to maintain its style of play as it continued to push for the equalizer in the second half. One of those chances came when second half substitute Tumi Moshobane nearly tied the match in the 85th minute when he slid for a ball in the six-yard box and tried to get a shot off. But Birmingham Legion FC goalkeeper Matt Vanoekel slid to get in the way.
SD Loyal rallied late but a stingy Birmingham defense bunkered down on its side of the pitch to maintain the shutout win. It was Donovan’s squad’s third road loss this season. SD Loyal has gone 9W-3L-0D in its last 12 matches, earning 27 of 36 possible points.
The club will now try to get back on the winning side next Saturday when it travels to Texas to face El Paso Locomotive FC.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
BHM – Juan Agudelo (Prosper Kasim), 20th minute: Agudelo headed in a corner kick by Kasim inside the far post on the scoring play. BHM 1, SD 0.
- SD Loyal midfielder Jack Metcalf surpassed 10,000 regular season minutes in USL Championship play.
- Coming on as a substitute in the 86th minute, SD Loyal defender Jackson Kasanzu made his professional debut.