Chula Vista. (April 3, 2021) -The regular season is one step closer. San Diego Loyal Soccer Club got its first taste of 2021 USL Championship competition as it played to a 2-1 loss against New Mexico United in a preseason match Saturday.
It was the first full run of play for coach Landon Donovan’s team as it had previously played sets of multiple scrimmages each weekend last month. This time, it was a USL Championship opponent it will see in the regular season.
Saturday’s match at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center saw Charile Adams and Grant Stoneman connect for SD Loyal’s goal in the 64th minute of the exhibition match. Adams floated a pass from left to right, finding Stoneman at the six-yard box. That’s where the 6-foot-2 defender connected via a header as he went to the ground, sending his shot into the net inside the far post.
It was a collective scoring play for SD Loyal but New Mexico got scores from Amando Moreno (27th minute) and the game-winner by Devon Sandoval in the 86th minute. Moreno scored on a shot from the top of the box. Sandoval put back a shot off a deflection. Sandoval’s goal came after SD Loyal continued to attack and create chances in the second half. Tumi Moshobane, Corey Hertzog and Alejandro Guido threatened the New Mexico United goal. Moshobane sent a shot on frame while Guido and Hertzog had back-to-back shots before Stoneman finally scored for Donovan’s team.
Goalkeeper Trey Muse kept the game tied with a handful of saves, including a standout one in the 70th minute. But New Mexico United finished off the scoring with Sandoval’s goal.
This was SD Loyal’s fourth preseason affair. It will now prepare for another preparation match at Major League Soccer side Seattle Sounders April 10. It will then finish the preseason with a game against Cal State Fullerton April 17. The USL Championship season opener is at Phoenix Rising April 30.
SD Loyal -16. Trey Muse, 3. Elijah Martin (45th-Miguel Ibarra), 4. Jack Metcalf, 5. Grant Stoneman, 6. Charlie Adams, 10. Alejandro Guido, 11. Tumi Moshobane, 12. Niki Jackson (45th- Sal Zizzo), 17. Collin Martin, 21. Corey Hertzog, 29. Thomas Vancaeyezeele. Coach: Landon Donovan.