Jose Villareal scored an impressive first-half goal and the Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) did the defensive dirty work necessary to move on in the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Jack McBean and Ariel Lassiter added goals, and Galaxy defenders twice cleared shots off the goal line in a 3-1 victory over Orange County SC (USL) on Wednesday, June 14, in a fourth-round game at L.A.’s StubHub Center.
“These are important games for our club, and you have to utilize your roster,” Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo said. “Guys stepped up and we got goals out of young, attacking players.”
It was a successful US Open Cup debut for the first-year Galaxy coach, who praised the effort of his young starting lineup.
“It was important for the young guys to do well tonight because it gives them confidence, and it gives the coaching staff confidence,” Onalfo said.
Nine of the 11 players on Onalfo’s lineup card previously played for the coach with L.A. Galaxy II.
“Jack (McBean) and (Ari) Lassiter getting goals, that’s big for them,” Onalfo said. “It’s good for our group.”
Jose Villareal struck a curving ball into the upper right for a goal in the 17th minute, getting a good bounce off the turf surface at the StubHub’s track and field stadium.
“It’s a thick grass field and the ball pops up so we talked about it before the game,” Onalfo said. “He got a good window, he hit it and it was a world-class goal.”
Orange County SC’s Roy Meeus got his second goal in as many US Open Cup games, equalizing on a creatively-designed corner kick to the top of the penalty area.
Meeus, who scored the only goal on Orange County’s 1-0 victory over L.A. Wolves FC (USASA) in a third-round game on May 31, used a pick from teammate to shake a defender, shoot and bury the ball past Galaxy keeper Joe Kempin.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 15, 2017
“We knew the talk, we knew the chatter but we try try not to read too much into it,” Orange County head coach Logan Pause said. “Our players knew it and we came in to this game prepared, understanding the stage and that the margins are smaller.” Galaxy quickly retook took the lead in the 35th minute after Jack McBean was awarded a penalty. Despite an attempt to be dissuaded by teammates from taking the kick, McBean insisted, faking out OCSC’s keeper Charles Lyon before placing it easily in the back of the net. Lassiter notched his first US Open Cup goal in the 73rd minute, cleaning up a rebound in the goal area for a 3-1 lead.
Galaxy defenders cleared two shots off the goal line in the second half, first by Van Damme in the 60th minute and then by Dave Romney in the 89th.