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Galaxy II romped to a 3-1 victory over the Orange County Blues in a USL Pro opener Saturday night
Walker Leads Galaxy II to Victory in USL Pro Debut
The LA Galaxy's first team is still looking for its first league win of the season. The reserves have them beat in that regard.

Kenney Walker, on a short-term loan from the first team, scored the go-ahead goal and assisted the insurance strike as Galaxy II romped to a 3-1 victory over the Orange County Blues in a USL Pro opener Saturday night in front of 1,259 at StubHub Center's Track and Field Stadium.

Charlie Rugg, one of six Galaxy players sent to the II side in a long-term loan, gave LA a 40th-minute lead from outside the box, Walker finished a rebound in the 45th, and Daniel Steres headed home Walker's corner kick in the 54th.

Stephen Okai tallied on a 43rd-minute free kick for the Blues, who opened their fourth season in the third-division league.

Defenders Oscar Sorto and Kyle Venter, midfielders Rafael Garcia and Raul Mendiola, and forward Jack McBean, all from the Galaxy first team, also started for II, and Bradford Jamieson IV and Kofi Opare came off the bench in the second half.

It was Opare's first action since suffering an abductor strain late in preseason. He and Venter also were short-term loans for the opener.

Goalkeeper Cody Laurendi made one exceptional save, pushing former UC Irvine star Enrique Cardenas' side-volley blast around his post in the 63rd minute.

“We've had a clear emphasis on how we want to build out of the back, and a lot of that stuff came out,” Galaxy II coach Curt Onalfo told media afterward. “We weren't as sharp as I wanted us to be in front of the goal. With that being said, we still scored three goals, but I feel like with a little bit more precision and more concentration we could have had two or three more.”

The Blues lineup included goalkeeper Patrick McLain, who was with Chivas USA the past two years, and former Chivas striker Chris Cortez, in his second season with the club.

The Galaxy haven't yet revealed their entire reserve roster -- they are awaiting on approval of some foreign signings -- and all 14 eligible players, plus the three short-term loaners, were in the lineup or on the bench.

Those new to the Galaxy organization are Laurendi, who was with the NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers last year; Steres, a defender who spent time with the Seattle Sounders in 2012 and last year played for the USL Pro team in Wilmington, N.C.; Logan Emory, a former Toronto FC defender; Alejandro Covarrubias, a rookie midfielder out of Cal State Dominguez Hills; Travis Bowen, the elder brother of Sounders (and former Galaxy/Chivas) forward Tristan Bowen; Joe Franco, a defender from Cal State Northridge drafted last year by Chivas; and Nicholas Shackelford, a rookie goalkeeper from Orange that played collegiately at St. Louis.

Also on the roster is former Galaxy and Chivas USA midfielder Laurent Courtois, who like Franco and Shackelford did not play Saturday.
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15 hrs. ago

M'Baye Niang put the nightmare of the Paris terror attacks firmly behind him with two goals and an assist as AC Milan crushed a sorry Sampdoria 4-1 at the San Siro on Saturday.

Niang admitted last week the events of the past fortnight had left him worried for the safety of family and friends in and around the French capital.

But the 20-year-old from the Paris suburbs produced a confident performance for the Rossoneri, first delivering for Giacomo Bonaventura's opener on 16 minutes and then beating Emiliano Viviano from the spot after the Milan winger had been hauled down in the area seven minutes before the interval.

Niang secured Milan's seventh win of the campaign when he fired under Viviano four minutes after the restart after the 'keeper's fluffed clearance.

When he was replaced by Luiz Adriano 15 minutes from the whistle it took the Brazilian just four minutes to find the net after volleying Alessio Cerci's intelligent cross past Viviano.

The only blot on Milan's copybook was Gianluigi Donnarumma's failure to stop Luis Muriel from the spot after Andrea Pioli had tugged on Eder in the area in the closing minutes.

Milan moved up to fifth place at seven points behind leaders Inter ahead of the remainder of the weekend matches, with Sampdoria's second successive defeat under new coach Vincenzo Montella leaving them 14 points adrift.

"It was an almost perfect performance," said Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who gave a special mention to Niang.

"He's a big player for us, he was doing really well in pre-season then he got injured. Now he's back in form and he's doing well, but he already showed at Genoa (loan) what he was made of."

For the fifth consecutive match Mihajlovic opted for teenage goalkeeper Donnarumma over the more experienced Diego Lopez but the 16-year-old had to dive low to parry after his messy clearance fell to Roberto 

Soriano 30 yards out in the opening minute.

From then on, it was all Milan with Niang the main protagonist before making way for Adriano on 74 minutes.

Having spent the last half of last season on loan at Genoa, the striker said he in enjoying playing in a pure 

striker's role under Mihajlovic.

"I'm really happy because I've been waiting for this for a longtime, the hard work's paying off and I hope it continues like this," said Niang.

"I played as a centre-forward, the position I prefer and I think that along with our win over Lazio this was our best display this season."

Milan broke the deadlock on 16 minutes with Alessio Cerci, whose eighth minute goal was ruled offside, involved before Niang burst down the right to fire in a weighted delivery that Bonaventura slid in to meet at the back post.

Milan built on their momentum and Niang almost doubled the lead when he collected Juraj Kucka's short delivery on the right to drag his angled shot inches wide of Viviano's far post.

Sampdoria were struggling to find any rhythm and Milan's movement in the final third of the pitch was causing huge problems for the visitors.

Niang left Edgar Barreto behind to burst down the right and fire across the bows, but Bonaventura's first-timer from the six-yard line blasted over.

Samp's only real chance came when Luis Muriel dribbled his way into the area but despite turning Milan's defence his promising strike was blocked by Alessio Romagnoli.

Niang came close twice with flicks that inched wide of Viviano's post just after the restart.

But when the 'keeper fluffed a clearance, Niang collected and strode confidently into the area to fire under his body and secure the second brace of his Serie A career, after hitting a double for Genoa against Verona last season.

A tiring Niang soon made way for Adriano and only four minutes later Cerci was given time and space to the right of the area to pick out the Brazilian with a pinpoint pass which he controlled before firing past a helpless Viviano.

Earlier, Torino moved up to seventh place with a 2-0 home win over Bologna thanks to second-half goals from Andrea Belotti and Giuseppe Vives.