Carson, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2021) –Corey Hertzog casually jogged up field after he looked up and watched the soccer ball leave his foot. The SD Loyal forward was looking at his shot bounce into the net for a goal.
He then looked at his teammates with a smile as they celebrated the opening goal of Sunday's match. It was the first score of SD Loyal’s 2-0 win against host LA Galaxy II at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Hertzog also got a chance to watch LA Galaxy II goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg look at the ball go over his head as he tried to make it back to his line. flicked a shot over the goalkeeper from about 25 yards out in the ninth minute. Vom Steeg instead saw the ball bounce in just inside the left post. It was Hertzog’s third goal of the season and his 70th of his career, setting him third all-time in USL Championship, a pair behind second place Jorge Herrera.
“I don’t think I’ve ever done that from that far out,” Hertzog said about his goal. “It was a lucky pass I got before sending it and the keeper was out and I was able to take advantage of that.”
Hertzog, was also celebrating his 31st birthday, took advantage and helped set the tone for an SD Loyal team that was coming off a pair of losses that came off mistakes on the defense and the goalkeeper position. Coach Landon Donovan’s team needed points to finish a two-match road trip. It was able to secure the three points against its Pacific Division rival. The win helps SD Loyal (7-5-3, 24 points) stay in third place behind Orange County SC and remain on track to chase division leader Phoenix Rising FC.
“It was a big game and we wanted the three points and get early goals,” Hertzog said. “We did it and got the shut out. We couldn’t ask for more than that.”
The win comes at an opportune moment as SD Loyal returns to Torero Stadium at USD for a four-game homestand, with three against Pacific Division teams. SD Loyal is looking to take the momentum off this match against LA Galaxy II that also saw Tumi Moshobane score his third goal of the season in four games.
Moshobane found the net in the 23rd minute for the 2-0 lead. He sent in a left-footed shot into the top-left corner of the net. He blasted a shot off a ball set up by Hertzog who took down a Miguel Ibarra pass with his chest to set up Moshobane. The scoring play was a testament to SD Loyal’s ability to control the rhythm of the match and keeping LA Galaxy II from being a threat on offense. SD Loyal goalkeeper Austin Guerrero, in his second start of the season, went on to his second shutout of the season.
SD Loyal was able to move the ball fluidly. That was the case for most of the match until Preston Judd sent a low-rolling shot after he took a pass in the six-yard box after beating his mark. But he hit his shot to softly and defender Josh Yaro sprinted back to slide and clear the ball from the goal line in the 40th minute.
Hertzog, who scored the first goal of the match, nearly had a second score. Hertzog had tapped in a Jack Blake long-range shot and sent it in. But the goal was disallowed as Hertzog was whistled offsides on the play. The damage had already been done.
Donovan’s team will now focus on the start of the upcoming home stand that begins with an Aug. 7 match against Real Monarchs at Torero Stadium.
LA Galaxy II: Coach: 18. Justin Vom Steeg, 46. Isaac Bawa, 35. Jesus Vazquez, 27. Carlos Harvey, 47. Owen Lamb, 37. Daniel Aguirre, 36. Jorge Hernandez, 51. Alex Essengue, 30. Joshua Drack, 38. Axel Picazo, 31. Preston Judd. Junior Gonzalez