Jackson Simba scores first goal of Nate Miller era at sold out Torero Stadium
SAN DIEGO (March 11, 2023) – San Diego Loyal SC kicked off its fourth campaign in The USL Championship with a 1-0 win against visiting Detroit City FC in the season opener Saturday.
A loud and attentive sold out crowd of 5,671 at Torero Stadium witnessed its team earn its first three points of the new season thanks in part to defender Jackson Simba.
Simba, 19, sent in the first goal of the 2023 season and the first in the Nate Miller era. The defender took a deflection and sent in a floating ball past Detroit goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher for a 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute. The skillful shot left the visiting defense standing still. Simba, who was added to the roster late last season, was able to send in his attempt from near the penalty box after a Detroit defender got a piece of a pass by fellow SD Loyal defender Kyle Adams. It was Simba’s second career goal with SD Loyal.
As the ball hit the net, the sellout crowd erupted into cheers for the first time since SD Loyal’s playoff match in October.
SD Loyal (1-0, 3 points), which returned 15 players from 2022 and added hometown favorite Joe Corona, Blake Bodily, Adrien Perez and Elliot Collier, began to use open space to push its lines up field with quick plays, using its speed on the flanks. Detroit was also able to move quickly and create a pair of dangerous plays that resulted in a diving save by SD Loyal goalkeeper Koke Vegas in the 53rd minute of the first ever match between the clubs. Detroit City (0-1, 0 points) nearly scored when Rhys Williams sent a ball across the six-yard box, catching Vegas at the near post, but there was no one to send in the ball on the other end.
SD Loyal would hold on to secure its first win under Head Coach Miller, who took over now Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Landon Donovan this offseason.
SD Loyal continues with another home match next Sunday, March 19 (3 p.m.), when it hosts Western Conference rival Phoenix Rising FC. Tickets start at just $15 and are available now at sdloyal.com/tickets.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
SD – Jackson Simba, 42nd minute: Simba sent in a right-footed shot from near the penalty box off a deflection. SD 1, DET 0
- With the win, SD Loyal moves to 2W-1L-1D in season opening matches and 3W-0L-1D in home openers.
- Jackson Simba scored his first goal of the season and second career goal with SD Loyal.
Palomar Health Man of the Match: Jackson Simba