Carson, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2020) – Miguel Berry was determined. If he was getting a chance to score, he didn’t want to waste it. He didn’t. The San Diego Loyal SC (SD Loyal) striker scored twice in a 3-0 win against host LA Galaxy II Wednesday night at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Berry, who signed with the team late last month, finished quick plays to help his team to three points in the USL Championship Group B standings. Rubio Rubin added to the scoring with his goal in the 20th minute to help SD Loyal (4-4-4, 16 points) to its first win since beating Las Vegas Lights 2-1 July 25 at USD Torero Stadium.
But that was before coach Landon Donovan made some changes to his roster and added a trio of players. Berry, Rubin and Alejandro Guido were signed to help boost the attack. They did just that against LA Galaxy II (6-5-0, 18 points).
Donovan’s team opened the game with a quick score in the first minute. Berry set himself in the club’s record books, scoring seconds into the game. Guido found Berry in the penalty box and Berry didn’t waste his chance, fired and buried a shot past “Los Dos” goalkeeper Abraham Romero inside the right post.
Berry’s score was not only the fastest in team history but also the first for the striker in his professional career.
Rubin extended the lead scoring in his debut. He took a cross from Jack Metcalf from right to left and tapped it in past Romero near the left post. Metcalf’s cross was pin-point. All a wide-open Rubio had to do is tap it in as he charged the goal. Berry helped create the play as he fed Metcalf wide from just outside the penalty box.
Berry scored his second of the night in the 38th minute. He took filtered pass from near midfield and dribbled through the right side and charged into the six-yard box and fired a shot in between the goalkeeper’s legs for the 3-0 lead.
All scoring plays were a result of an SD Loyal squad who held possession and played a fluid brand of soccer from the start. Donovan was looking for more scoring chances. They came often against LA Galaxy II on the field where Donovan became a Major League Soccer icon with the LA Galaxy. Guido nearly scored from a spot Donovan had scored as a player. Guido tried a volley from about 30 yards out that forced Romero to dive back and slap the ball away, a minute after Berry’s second score.
SD Loyal caused most of its damage in the first half against a LA Galaxy II team that beat Donovan’s squad the first time they met July 19 in San Diego. Both teams were supposed to meet again in late July but a group of LA Galaxy II players tested positive, forcing a postponement.
Wednesday night, SD Loyal continued to dominate the ball in the second half limiting LA Galaxy’s attempts. The home side finished the match with 10-men after Alejandro Alvarado was sent off in the 65th minute for a second yellow card.
SD Loyal now returns home to host Orange County SC Sunday Sep. 13 (7 p.m.) at Torero Stadium in another Group B match.