San Diego, CA (Sept. 5, 2021) – They use a short phrase to summarize him. “Great teammate.”
Those are the words San Diego Loyal players and coaches use to identify Corey Hertzog. The USL Championship veteran is one of the most liked players on the squad. They say he is much of a contributor off the field as he is on it.
The 31-year-old proved to be that distinguished teammate and a key component in SD Loyal’s 4-2 win against visiting LA Galaxy Sunday afternoon at Torero Stadium at USD. The versatile forward scored a pair of goals to help his team to back-to-back wins.
Hertzog scored in the 41st and 65th minute of the Week 20 Pacific Division match. His goals helped give SD Loyal (10-9-3, 33 points) two goal leads on both occasions, and they also were part of league history. The Reading, Penn. native now has five goals with the club this season but is also tied for second all-time in scoring in the USL Championship with 72 goals. He ties retired player Jorge Herrera. Dane Kelly is the league’s all-time leading scorer with 94.
“I want to get that number one spot but as long as we get those three points every weekend I am happy. It was good,” Hertzog said about his goals and the way he is playing with new teammates. “I felt that we played really well in the first half and scored the goals that we needed. Those type of goals really propel our team. You have Augie (Augustine Williams) scoring goals, you have Dougie (Douglas Martinez) on the right and Miggy (Miguel Ibarra) on the left it makes my job easy because I know where I need to be. It opens up my game with what they do. It’s good to have that freedom.”
Hertzog wasn’t in the scoring action early in the game but one of his newest teammates was. Williams opened up the scoring in the 11th minute when he headed in a cross by Elijah Martin, who drove his defender up the left flank and sent a pin-point pass into just above the six-yard-box.
That’s where Williams didn’t have to do a lot. Martin’s pass was on target. The 6-foot-2 forward had to only get his head on it uncontested. He sent it past LA Galaxy II goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg for his third goal in two matches. Williams, who signed on loan from MLS’ LA Galaxy last month, has scored three of the last four SD Loyal goals.
And then it was time for Hertzog to get some goals of his own. He sent in a shot with his left-foot as he beat his defender to a ball that Williams brought down with one foot in the 41st minute. Hertzog charged the ball without hesitation and fired it past Vom Steeg for the 2-0 lead.
Hertzog’s scoring play began with defender Oliver Larraz dribbling the ball up the right flanks. He fed Douglas Martinez the ball just outside the penalty box and the Honduran sent a cross to Williams near the far post. Williams then set Hertzog up with the assist off a beautiful touch with the outside of his right foot.
LA Galaxy II cut the SD Loyal lead when Kai Korneiuk scored off a cross by Owen Lambe as they caught the SD Loyal defense off guard in the 63rd minute. The “Los Dos” celebration didn’t last long as Hertzog added his second goal of the night in the 65th for a 3-1 SD Loyal lead. Tumi Moshobane added to that lead in the 79th minute when he scored off a give-and-goal with Collin Martin. Remi Cabral closed out the scoring with an 87th minute goal on a cross by Taylor Davila.
The four-goal performance by SD Loyal is the second best margin of victory this season. It beat Las Vegas 5-1 last month. Hertzog said he expects more goals in the future.
“It brings more confidence and scoring goals and getting assists also brings confidence,” Hertzog said about the team’s dynamic with new players. “It’s all working together right now. This is a great way to start September so we need to go on a little run here.”
SD Loyal moves into second place in the standings as it next heads into a road match at Oakland Roots Saturday Sept. 11 in a Week 21 match at Laney College Field.
LA Galaxy II: 18. Justin Vom Steeg, 30. Josh Drack, 46. Isaac Bawa, 74. Markus Ferkranus, 47. Owen Lambe, 37. Daniel Aguirre, 43. Adam Saldana, 36. Jorge Hernandez, 56. Jonny Perez, 31. Preston Judd, 25. Cameron Dunbar. Coach: Junior Gonzalez