CARSON, Ca. – Saint Louis FC fell 6-3 away to LA Galaxy II in front of 858 fans at StubHub Center in Match 9 of the USL regular season.
LA Galaxy opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Ethan Zubak with Efrain Alvarez doubling the advantage in the 18th minute. STLFC halved the deficit with a goal from Albert Dikwa in the 39th minute but LA extended their lead through another Alvarez goal in the 47th minute. STLFC substitute Kyle Greig would claim two goals back for the away side in the 67th and 87th minutes but Zubak and Alvarez completed their hat-tricks late in the game to earn a first win of the season for LA Galaxy II.
The first half started with Saint Louis FC controlling possession and Lewis Hilton had a free kick effort well-saved by LA goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg in the 8th minute. LA looked to absorb the pressure and counter which they did for Zubak’s goal as he was played behind the defense and slotted the ball underneath the onrushing Jake Fenlason. LA would then double their advantage in the 18th minute with a clinical finish from Alvarez in the middle of the box. STLFC responded with a long ball from Fenlason that was headed by Kadeem Dacres into space for Dikwa to unleash a shot from the top of the box into the far corner in the 39th minute to be down 2-1 going into halftime.
The second half started with Alvarez turning inside his defender and finding the far corner of the goal with a left-footed shot in the 49th minute. STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis would make all three substitutions in the 60th minute which included Greig who made an immediate impact with his fourth and fifth goals of the season in the 67th and 87th minutes, respectively. However, Zubak would complete his hat-trick with goals in the 70th minute and stoppage time while Alvarez also earned his hat-trick in the 75th minute to see the comeback effort from Saint Louis FC come up short.
“You can’t defend the way we defended tonight and expect to win games,” said Pulis. “I’ve said it before and I’ll stick by it, the foundation of successful teams is a solid defensive base. I have every confidence in this group that they will score goals but we need to get back to defending properly. The challenge now is to show some character and bounce back in a positive manner on Saturday at OC.”
Saint Louis FC at Orange County SC – Saturday, May 12th at 9:00 p.m. CT at Champion Stadium
LA Galaxy II at Portland Timbers 2 – Friday, May 18th at 1:00 p.m. CT at Providence Park