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.