Chula Vista, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2021) – San Diego Loyal Select earned its second win of the 2021 season in as many matches with a 2-0 victory against El Paso Locomotive Academy Saturday.
CJ Fodrey and Xavi Gnaulati scored for coach Matt Hall’s team in the second match of the 2021 season for the SD Loyal Academy team. Fodrey scored in the 60th minute while Gnaulati found the net in the 90th minute of the match played on the fields of the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
“I am really happy. I don’t’ think we played amazingly but it’s good to have a team that cannot play up to their ability but still get a result, so that was nice,” said SD Loyal Select Academy head coach Matt Hall. “It was a hot day. El Paso was good. The guys are really tough, they grinded and we got a result.”
The result was thanks in part to the performance by Fodrey and Gnaulati who are SD Loyal Academy contract players with the SD Loyal first team, where they train full time and are eligible to play in USL Championship contests. Both have been active with the SD Loyal first team, but of the two players, only Fodrey has logged minutes while scoring a goal. They both created scoring chances earlier in the match when Gnaulati fired a shot that was cleared by the El Paso defense in the 53rd minute. Fodrey also helped set up a near score when he fed a ball to Wes Hastings but the forward sent his shot over the crossbar.
“It’s a full circle and this is what this is all about their ability to come down and really push for this team over the edge I am really happy with their contributions,” Hall said about Fodrey and Gnaulati. “I think overall when you look at the model it gives all these kids an extra bit of motivation to just push and all these guys want to be where the academy kids are. They want to be training with the first team. It is very positive for them to have a relationship with those players so that it keeps pushing them to get better.”
SD Loyal Select is now 2-0 and it heads into a pair of matches in two weeks. It is slated to face El Paso Locomotive Academy again Sept. 18 and New Mexico United Academy the next day, both matches to be played in Tucson, Ariz. The next home match is scheduled for Oct. 19 against FC Tucson Academy at 11 a.m.
Hall hopes his team to be improved and prepared by that time.
“You go back and look at the film and figure out what the issues are,” Hall said. “I wasn’t in love how we performed today. There are a few things we have to look at and fix the issues.”
LINEUP: 1. Dran Ferree, 24. Oscar Trujillo, 5. Marvin Gonzalez, 3. Nick Lorr, 26. Eli Zelkind, 25. Jonny Gomez, 19. Parker Gamboa, 10. Xavi Gnaulati, 16. Stefano Brunetto, 7. CJ Fodrey, 9. Wes Hastings. Coach: Matt Hall