In most encounters, Ryan Martin (new coach of Loudoun United and former D.C. United Academy Director) said that his team would be ready for their first game against Swope Park Rangers. And they were up to the task, with Martin utilizing the talents of some of his prized assets, as Loudoun won a 3-2 nailbiter in front of 529 at Children’s Mercy Park.
The events started in the sixth minute, as a Peabo Doue cross from the left found Kyle Murphy, who directed it and just beating an attempted clearance by Camden Riley for a 1-0 lead. In the 13th minute, Felipe Hernandez found space in the middle of the field and blasted a 25 yard shot by Calle Brown’s right side to level things at 1. Late in the first half, Doue found Griffin Yow in the area and his right footed shot went by John Pulskamp on the left side for 2-1 Loudoun lead. A late comeback from a Swope free kick found Wilson Harris to tie the game at 2 headed into the half.
Martin had been using Nelson Martinez (in his professional debut) as left fullback opposite fellow Academy player Jack Villatoro, but he began employing more speed and youth into the lineup with his substitutions, first with a double substitution of Bryang Kayo and Orlando Sinclair (for Noah Pilato and Andrew Lubahn, respectively) after one hour. Kayo’s impact was immediate, as he combined on chances for Yow and Murphy within the first ten minutes of his appearance. Moments later Moses Nyeman made his pro debut, coming on for Murphy. The damn would eventually break as Kayo forced a turnover and fed Doue who gave it back to him, and Kayo would interplay with Antonio Bustamante and Connor Presley, feeding the latter for the game-winner in the 87th minute.
Loudoun (3-4-3) move closer East to Kentucky to play Louisville City FC Saturday at 7pm.