MLS side LA Galaxy relied heavily on its youngsters to help the team advance from the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Wednesday night.
Ariel Lassiter and Bradford Jamieson found the back of the net as the Galaxy defeated Sacramento Republic FC (USL), 2-0, at the StubHub Center’s Track & Field Stadium.
“We’ve talked about getting production out of our younger players and they stepped up,” Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo said. “Guys need an opportunity to see if they can do it, and it’s encouraging what we’re seeing right now.”
It was Lassiter’s second goal in as many US Open Cup games for the Galaxy, which advances to play at San Jose Earthquakes in the USOC Quarterfinal Round on July 10.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 29, 2017
“Getting a goal tonight was a plus, and a confidence booster for sure. We just need to keep it up,” Lassiter said. “I’m always looking to get minutes with the first team and get better.” Onalfo was forced to again stretch his roster as the team completed its fifth game in just two weeks across all competitions. “It’s good to use the entire roster because it is busy right now,” Onalfo said. Sacramento Republic FC forward Tyler Blackwood had two shots on goal, both of which were turned away by Galaxy goalkeeper Jon Kempin during a scoreless first half. Galaxy captain Jelle Van Damme entered to begin the second half and quickly put his team in motion, attacking up the middle before earning a foul and a free kick about 22 yards from goal. Lassiter, who scored in a 3-1 win over Orange County SC (USL) in the 4th Round, stepped up and laced a left-footed free kick into the upper right corner out of the reach of Republic FC keeper Evan Newton for the game’s first goal. “I knew (Newton) couldn’t see the ball if I hit it right over the wall, and I just focused on connecting well, keeping it on target and it went into the back of the net,” Lassiter said. Not settling for a one-goal lead, Bradford Jamieson unleashed a shot from the right side that took a deflection and beat Newton for a 2-0 lead.
“It was all instinct pretty much,” Jamieson said. “The defender hesitated and I just took the hit.”
Galaxy continued to produce attacking moments late into the game, with Lassiter beating a Republic FC defender to the goal line before crossing to the middle for Jose Villareal to fire just over the bar.
“We put in a good performance. I thought it should’ve been more than 2-0 but we were really aggressive in our approach,” Onalfo said.
With the win, the Galaxy earned the club’s 30th Open Cup game (30-14-1, 1-0 PK), the 7th most wins in the Modern Era. The Galaxy’s home record improves to an impressive 21-3-0 all-time.
It was the end of the line for Sacramento Republic FC, which had earned a historic victory over Real Salt Lake (MLS) in the Fourth Round en route to the club’s deepest tournament run.