Courtesy: OKC Energy FC
USL Stories of 2015: Galaxy II Push On
Release: 12/25/2015
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By NICHOLAS MURRAY – nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com
Friday, December 25, 2015

The LA Galaxy became pioneers in the USL in 2014 when they were the first MLS club to own and operate a club in the USL.

In 2015 the fruits of those efforts began to show both on and off the field, as the club both reached the USL Championship, and also saw its first set of players move into the club’s MLS squad.

After the opening four games of the season, both of those achievements looked a long way away for Curt Onalfo’s squad, which went 0-3-1 to start the season as youthful errors cost the club points in late home defeats to Sacramento and Arizona.

But then, things turned around. A late winner in Los Dos’ favor by Raul Mendiola earned their first win of the season, 2-1 against the Austin Aztex on April 19, and that kick-started a run up the Western Conference as the side took victories in six of its next seven contests.

  • RELATED: Mendiola’s Progression Shines Bright For Los Dos

Homegrown standout Mendiola was at the center of the run, either scoring or recording an assist in all six of the victories. Then it became Ariel Lassiter’s turn to shine as he scored goals in three consecutive contests. A 10-2-1 run in the league was capped with a 4-0 victory on the road against Sacramento Republic FC, which saw Los Dos spoil the party as Preki departed Bonney Field with defeat in his final game in charge.

Los Dos saw a late dip in form as the season went on, but that period was also marked by the signing of Dave Romney to the Galaxy as the standout defender became the first player signed to a USL contract by the Galaxy II to appear in an MLS contest against the Houston Dynamo on July 25.

  • RELATED: Romney Makes Rapid Rise to Galaxy

The side earned a playoff place in its final game of the season, though, as a 1-0 win against Colorado Springs behind Lassiter’s 11th goal of the season claimed the No. 5 seed, and another visit to Bonney Field. After falling in dramatic fashion to Republic FC in the 2014 USL Playoffs, the Galaxy II turned the tables behind an early penalty kick, and an outstanding display in goal by Clement Diop to earn a 1-0 win.

Two more victories in the postseason followed, as Lassiter struck in wins against Orange County Blues FC and OKC Energy FC to earn the Western Conference Championship. Lassiter continued to shine as Los Dos took the lead against Rochester in the USL Championship. The side edged toward its first championship, but then would be denied by the Rhinos as Asani Samuels struck in both stoppage time and overtime to lift the hosts to a 2-1 victory.

  • RELATED: Los Dos Suffer 'Heartbreaking' Loss In Overtime
The defeat certainly stung, but the subsequent first-team signings of Diop and three-time USL All-League selection Daniel Steres provided a fitting epilogue to the Galaxy II’s second season. As the club maintains the standard of winning it holds at the MLS level in the USL, Los Dos continued to set the standard for the MLS clubs that have followed them into the league.
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