CARSON, Calif. – Josh Drack and Jorge Hernandez each recorded a goal and assist as the LA Galaxy II pulled away late for a 3-0 victory against Oakland Roots SC on Sunday evening at Dignity Health Sports Park to snap a seven-game winless streak and move back into the playoff positions in the USL Championship’s Pacific Division.
Both teams had half-chances in the opening 20 minutes, including a bouncing shot from distance by Roots SC’s Akeem Ward that forced a save by LA goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg. As the half progressed, though, Los Dos began to create clearer chances. Just before the half-hour mark Axel Picazo got into space on the right that saw him set up a first-time shot that Preston Judd fired over the crossbar, while soon after Judd had a flicked header off a free kick saved by Oakland goalkeeper Paul Blanchette.
The Galaxy II took the lead in the 33rd minute, however, as Picazo drove down the right flank and centered into the middle of the penalty area where Hernandez didn’t make clean contact with his attempt to shoot but still redirected the ball on to Drack, who fired a left-footed shot into the bottom-right corner of the net.
Oakland came close to answering off a set piece three minutes later as Danny Flores curled a shot from just outside the top-left edge of the penalty area over the wall toward the near post only for Vom Steeg to palm the effort behind for a corner. Hernandez was then denied a second for the hosts in first-half stoppage time as after received a clever backheeled pass by Judd he curled a shot toward the top-left corner of the net that Blanchette kept out with a fine diving save.
Roots SC threatened again early in the second half as a good passing move by Ariel Mbumba and Yohanes Harish resulted in a low cross from the right for Brandon Allen near the top-left edge of the six-yard area, but LA’s Carlos Harvey made a good tackle to deny the chance before the hosts were able to clear.
The hosts began to reassert themselves in attack as the hour-mark approached, and after Hernandez wove into the left side of the penalty area, he pulled back a pass for Judd, whose close-range shot was parried by Blanchette. The rebound came straight to Drack in the left side of the box, but Blanchette was equal to his first-time effort as well to keep it a one-goal game.
Judd also had a chance with 12 minutes to go as he battled past his marker into the left side of the penalty area but had his shot tipped over the crossbar. From the ensuing corner kick, though, Los Dos found their second as Carlos Harvey headed into the left corner of the net after a good delivery by Owen Lambe from the left side.
Los Dos wrapped up all three points with five minutes to go on maybe their most fluid move of the match as Judd pushed forward into the left side of the penalty area before pausing for a moment to create an overlap for Drack, who sent a first-time cross for Hernandez to finish at the back post for a simple tap-in. While Oakland had a late chance to pull a goal back soon after through Tyler Blackwood that was saved by Vom Steeg, there wasn’t a way back for the visitors this time around as the Galaxy II took a comprehensive victory.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Josh Drack, LA Galaxy II – Drack recorded the opening goal and a late assist and additionally had three shots and four key passes while winning a game-high four tackles and completing 27 of 29 passes in an outstanding display.
LA – Josh Drack (Jorge Hernandez) 33’
LA – Carlos Harvey (Owen Lambe) 78’
LA – Jorge Hernandez (Josh Drack) 85’