Vassell, Amang score in first half before Conway puts away match in second
EL PASO, Texas (Aug. 20, 2022) – Kyle Vassell, Thomas Amang and Evan Conway scored for San Diego Loyal SC in a 3-1 win against host El Paso Locomotive FC Saturday night at Southwest University Park.
Vassell and Amang scored in the first half while Conway found the back of the net in the second to help SD Loyal continue its climb in the Western Conference standings. The win helped coach Landon Donovan’s team remain in second place with a 16W-6L-4D record and 52 points as it will now return home from its second-straight road match to host Oakland Roots SC on Wednesday Aug., 24.
Against El Paso Locomotive (10W-11L-7D, 34 points), Vassell opened the scoring for SD Loyal in the 17th minute, finding the net for a team-leading 12th time this season. He sent in a left-footed shot, beating El Paso goalkeeper Evan Newton. Vassell brought down a pin-point long ball from Jack Blake and beat his defender right before sending in his score. Vassell’s goal topped his personal best for goals in a single season for his professional career. The striker scored 11 for English side Blackpool in 2016-17 and again in 2017-18.
Amang extended the SD Loyal lead to 2-0 in the 43rd minute when he sent a shot past Newton. The Cameroon native took a Charlie Adams pass and used his strength and speed to beat his mark and charge into the six-yard box to connect on Adams’ low rolling pass. It was Amang’s ninth goal of the season and Adams’ sixth assist of the year.
El Paso eventually found the net when Dylan Mares bent a corner kick over the SD Loyal defense and goalkeeper Koke Vegas to cut the visitors’ lead in half. It was an “Olimpico” goal that left most players wondering if the play counted.
In the second half, SD Loyal sealed its Western Conference best sixth win in its last seven matches with Conway’s score in the 76th minute. The Wisconsin native found the net off a header on a set piece by Adams. It was Conway’s seventh goal and Adams’ team-leading seventh assist of the season.
Tickets to SD Loyal’s upcoming home match Wednesday against Oakland Roots SC (7 p.m.) are available now at sdloyal.com/tickets.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
SD – Kyle Vassell (Jack Blake), 18th minute: Vassell beat his defender on the left side of the penalty box after taking a Blake pass and buried it past Newton for the 1-0 lead. ELP 0, SD 1
SD – Thomas Amang (Charlie Adams), 43rd minute: Amang charged into the six-yard box to connect with Adams’ low rolling cross and sent it past Newton. ELP 0, SD 2
ELP – Dylan Mares, 70th minute: Mares bent his corner kick into the net to score via an “Olimpico”. ELP 1, SD 2
SD – Evan Conway (Charlie Adams), 76th minute: Conway connected to send in an Adams set piece for the visitors’ third goal of the night. ELP 1, SD 3
- Scoring his 12th goal of the season, Kyle Vassell has now had his best-ever season in professional soccer, beating 11 goals for English side Blackpool in 2016-17 and again in 2017-18.
- Thomas Amang scored his ninth goal of the season.
- Evan Conway scored his seventh goal of the season.
- Jack Blake recorded his third assist of the season.
- Charlie Adams recorded his sixth and seventh assists of the season, most on the team.
- SD Loyal scored its 28th first-half goal in 26 games, tied with Memphis 901 FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies for most in the USL Championship.
- SD Loyal won its first-ever match in the state of Texas.
- SD Loyal have now won six of its last seven matches, the best run of any team in the Western Conference.
- SD Loyal has scored in 23 of its 26 games, more than any other team this season.
- Thomas Amang attempted seven shots in the match, the most for a SD Loyal player this season.
Chosen Foods Man of the Match: Kyle Vassell