The first edition of the 405 Derby in 2016 kicks off Friday night, as the LA Galaxy II host the Orange County Blues (7:30 pm PT). The season is young, but already the teams enter the contest in contrasting form.
The Galaxy II have played three games so far, racking up a 2-0-1 record. They haven't conceded a goal at home yet, and their previous result was a draw, but a pretty impressive one at that, it must be said, as they were down 3-0 to Real Monarchs SLC on the road last week in the 80th minute, before managing to score three goals in the final 10 minutes to end the game in a 3-3 tie. It's unclear if Ariel Lassiter, who torched the Blues last season, will be available to Galaxy II for this game, but Jack McBean scored three goals in two games last week, so I would expect the hosts to be up for this game.
Meanwhile, the Blues enter this game with an 0-2-0 record, and are venturing out on the road for the first time this season. They narrowly lost their first game, against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, but still had a lot of kinks to work out as a group. Last week, they played better and appeared destined for their first point of the season, but a late collapse left Saint Louis with all three points.
Put simply, the Blues are underdogs in this game. Yes, the sample sizes are small, but the Blues haven't gotten a result yet and LA is unbeaten. There's also the historical record, which while not entirely relevant for the current squads does indicate the trend in this series, with the Blues only winning once in nine meetings to date. The Galaxy II look like the class of the USL Western Conference at this point, so OC will need a very good effort to spring a surprise and start working their way up the conference standings.
Tale of the Tape:
OC Blues: 0 points (0-2-0), 14th in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -3 (1/4); Last two games: L-L
LA Galaxy II: 7 points (2-0-1), 1st in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 5 (8/3): Last three games: D-W-W
How to watch LA Galaxy II vs. OC Blues: Kick off is at 7:30 pm PT on Friday at the StubHub Center complex in Carson. If you can't attend the game in person, you can also watch the stream, live and on demand.
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