Sporting Kansas City II (0-2-2, 2 points) earned a well-deserved point on the road following a 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy II (2-1-2, 8 points) at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Wednesday night. Sporting II defended resolutely throughout and were unfortunate not to have seen Dominik Resetar’s opener stand as the game-winner, only conceding a deflected strike.
Sporting II head coach Paulo Nagamura handed a debut to newcomer Aljaz Dzankic at center back and a season debut to Sporting KC Academy midfielder Bailey Sparks, as he joined three other SKC Academy products in the starting lineup.
Galaxy II controlled possession for the opening half of the game, but Sporting II’s defensive effort limited the hosts to efforts from distance and hopeful crosses into the area. SKC II had a few moments to counter attack themselves, notably with Enoch Mushagalusa forcing a save out of Justin Vom Steeg in the 10th minute.
Just before halftime, Galaxy II found a groove and goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh was called upon twice in quick succession to deny Preston Judd. Initially, McIntosh tipped Judd’s header over the bar in the 37th minute before he smothered Judd’s next attempt in the 41st minute. Cameron Dunbar almost found the breakthrough for the home side in the 42nd minute, but he dragged his shot wide with only McIntosh to beat.
Sporting II came out of the halftime interval on the front foot, taking the game to LA for the entirety of the second half. The pressure eventually told in the 60th minute when Resetar fired the visitors into the lead. Mushagalusa slipped a slicing through ball into the path of Ropapa Mensah whose clipped attempt went over Vom Steeg but struck the post. Rather than let the ball roll out, Mensah recovered possession and cut the ball back to Resetar in front of goal who slammed home his first of the season.
Galaxy II started enjoying some more of the play as the half wore on and almost equalized when Daniel Aguirre was clean through on goal, but he sliced his effort wide under pressure from SKC II substitute Jayvin Van Deventer.
In the 73rd minute, LA found their equalizer in fortuitous circumstances. Jorge Hernandez picked up Joshua Drack’s cut-back on the edge of the area and saw his shot deflect past the helpless McIntosh for his third goal of the season.
SKC II were immediately back on the front foot as substitute Jahon Rad twice threatened from distance, first volleying narrowly over the bar before forcing Vom Steeg into a diving save in the 75th and 79th minutes.
With the game getting stretched in the closing stages, Sporting II had one final chance to win it as Mensah dribbled at the Galaxy II backline in stoppage time and was brought down in the area, but referee Brad Jensen waved away the appeals as the two sides split the points.
Sporting II are right back in action on Saturday, May 22 with another road trip to face Indy Eleven at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
2021 USL Championship | Match 4
Dignity Health Sports Park | Carson, California
Weather: 68 degrees and Clear
|Sporting Kansas City II (0-2-2, 2 points)||0||1||1|
|LA Galaxy II (2-1-2, 8 points)||0||1||1|
Sporting Kansas City II: Kendall McIntosh; Kayden Pierre, Aljaz Dzankic, Danny Barbir, Christian Duke (C); Petar Cuic, Bailey Sparks (Jahon Rad 71’), Jake Davis (Jayvin Van Deventer 63’); Dominik Resetar (Rojay Smith 71’), Ropapa Mensah, Enoch Mushagalusa
Subs Not Used: Gavin Krenecki, Michael Lenis, Ozzie Cisneros, Tyler Freeman
LA Galaxy II: Justin Vom Steeg; Owen Lamb, Marcus Ferkranus, Jesús Vázquez, Joshua Drack; Adrian Gonzalez (Taylor Davila 78’), Daniel Aguirre; Cameron Dunbar (Axel Picazo 62’), Jorge Hernandez, Kai Koreniuk (Isaac Bawa 66’); Preston Judd (Augustine Williams 46’)
Subs Not Used: Sebastian Hernandez, Eric Lopez, Victor Valdez
SKC – Dominik Resetar 1 (Ropapa Mensah 1) 60’
LA – Jorge Hernandez 3 (Joshua Drack 2) 73’
SKC – Petar Cuic (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 23’
LA – Jesus Vazquez (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 42’
SKC – Enoch Mushagalusa (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 82’
|Shots on Goal||3||3|
Referee: Brad Jensen
Assistant Referee: Truman Berghall
Assistant Referee: Eduardo Jeff
Fourth Official: Joseph Salinas