By SDCN Editor
Tukwila, WA–San Diego Loyal SC continues to add milestones as it moves through its 2023 competition schedule.
The club added another one this month as it played in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This time, Head Coach Nate Miller’s team’s run ended with a 5-4 loss in extra time at Major League Soccer side Seattle Sounders FC Wednesday night.
SD Loyal overcame a deficit four times in a dramatic match that ended with Seattle’s Fredy Montero sending in his second goal of the night from the penalty spot three minutes into stoppage time of the second extra time period to seal the win for the hosts at Starfire Sports Stadium.
SD Loyal finished the national tournament that pairs teams from all levels of competition into a single elimination format having beaten Albion San Diego in the Second Round on April 5. Miller’s team will now shift its focus back to league play as it resumes its USL Championship schedule on Saturday, April 29 when it hosts El Paso Locomotive FC at Torero Stadium.
The dramatic U.S. Open Cup match against Seattle appeared to be heading into a penalty kick shootout when Jackson Simba tied the match 4-4 in the 116th minute via a header off a Joe Corona free kick. Simba’s score came moments prior to Montero’s decisive goal that would seal the victory for the MLS side.
SD Loyal fought through and through even after Seattle took a 4-3 lead with a left-footed blast by Reed Baker-Whiting in the 101st minute.
Named Palomar Health Man of the Match, Corona scored a brace for SD Loyal. In the first goal of his SD Loyal career, the midfielder converted a penalty kick and scored his second on a bending free kick. SD Loyal defender Kyle Adams scored his first goal of 2023 in second-half stoppage time with a left-footed blast to tie the match and force the extra 30 minutes.
SD Loyal’s attacking power came to life in the second half despite the homeside taking a 2-0 lead at the break. The efforts from Corona, Simba, and Adams were key to completing the comeback to tie the match and force extra time. Seattle got goals from Montero (15’, 120+2’), Ethan Dobbelaere (26’), Paul Rothrock (55’) and Baker-Whiting (102’) with the first three coming on SD Loyal defensive errors.
Corona’s 53rd-minute penalty kick conversion cut the Seattle lead to 2-1 after a handball was called on a volley shot by Elijah Martin that hit Seattle defender Xavier Arreaga in the arm. The San Diego native once again cut the deficit to one in the 73rd minute off a set piece from 25 yards out. Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland was left without a chance as the homeside’s advantage dropped to 3-2. Corona also helped set up Simba’s goal late in the match, recording his first career SD Loyal assist.
In the closing seconds, Seattle was awarded a penalty kick for a foul called against Simba. Montero didn’t waste his chance and sent in the game-winner.
SD Loyal’s busy month of April continues with a Western Conference showdown Saturday against El Paso, its third match in seven days. Tickets to the upcoming home match are available now at sdloyal.com/tickets.
SEA – Fredy Montero (Ethan Dobbelaere), 15th minute: Montero tapped in his first score of the night from near the SD Loyal goal line. SEA 1, SD 0
SEA – Ethan Dobbelaere, 26th minute: Dobbelaere scored off a miscue by goalkeeper Koke Vegas. SEA 2, SD 0
SD – Joe Corona, 53rd minute: Corona converted a penalty kick low and to the left to cut the Seattle lead. SEA 2, SD 1
SEA – Paul Rothrock, 55th minute: Rothrock sent a shot off Koke Vegas and into the net to extend the lead. SEA 3, SD 1
SD – Joe Corona, 73rd minute: Corona bent a free kick past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland into the upper left corner. SEA 3, SD 2
SD – Kyle Adams, 90+3 minute: Adams tied the match with a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area. SEA 3, SD 3
SEA – Reed Baker-Whiting, 101st minute: Baker-Whiting fired a left-footed shot past Vegas to take the lead. SEA 4, SD 3
SD – Jackson Simba (Joe Corona), 116th minute: Simba headed in a Joe Corona free kick to tie the match. SEA 4, SD 4
SEA – Fredy Montero, 120+3 minute: Montero converted a penalty kick to beat Vegas for the game-winner. SEA 5, SD 4