As Loudoun United get more acclimated to their formation change, they have been doing it despite several injuries to professional players, and have been using a mix of loanees and Academy players. And it was young Kristian Fletcher who propelled the Red-and-White Saturday night, scoring both of the team’s goals on his 17th birthday and leading them to a 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy II in front of a season-high 2,076 at Segra Field. The win was the first by Loudoun since June 18, stopping a six game winless streak.
Loudoun started Jeremy Garay, Jacob Greene and Gaoussou Samaké from D.C. United, while Hayden Sargis made the bench. Sargis joined former and current Academy players Dane Jacomen, Matai Akinmboni, Gavin Turner, Isaac Espinal, Ignacio Alem and Brian Chavez, while Fletcher started.
Loudoun started faster early, with a Jacob Greene shot ultimately providing the most dangerous for either side:
The second half started modestly early, but Fletcher scored his second goal in three games for a 1-0 Loudoun lead:
Los Dos responded after the goal but Luis Zamudio was keeping things out:
Fletcher found his first pro brace late in the game, following a nice feed from Abdoul Zanne:
“I’m happy and proud of the guys, they had to withstand some moments and made some big ones,” Coach Ryan Martin said after the game. “We keep talking about moments that win and lose you games and it’s good when you see a guy stick it on his birthday, it was a pretty good thing there.”
“We came in fired up, and I cam in especially fired up, since it was my birthday today,” Fletcher said after the game. “I wanted to show off for my family and friends who came and prove to myself that I could do it. So I came in not knowing when to score but wanting to score.”
“We were always knocking on the door, but what a team performance,” Jalen Robinson said after the game. “We did well to keep a clean sheet and we dug down deep. We absorbed their attacks, and hats off to them as a great team. We got our goals off good delivery from our wide guys, and hats off to Kristian, he’s been working his tail off in practice, and to get two goals on your birthday like that is pretty special.”
“More than likely, it will be a pretty similar 18,” Martin said about their game this coming midweek. “We hope that the guys can keep building and growing and getting more and more disciplined with what we’re doing tactically.”
Loudoun (5-14-3, 18 pts) goes on the road for their next game, playing San Antonio FC on Wednesday, August 10, at 9:00 pm.
USL Championship Regular Season - Game 22
Loudoun United FC 1 (Fletcher 63, 85)
LA Galaxy II 0
Loudoun (4231): Luis Zamudio; Jacob Greene, Jalen Robinson (C), Carson Vom Steeg, Gaoussou Samaké; Jeremy Garay (Houssou Landry 69), Nicky Downs; Abdoul Zanne, Skage Simonsen (Hayden Sargis 77), Zoumana Diarra, Kristian Fletcher (Ignacio Alem 90+2)
LA2 (442): Eric Lopez; Owen Lamb, Jalen Neal, Liam Doyle (C), Josh Drack; Adrian Gonzalez, Dante Campbell (Axel Picazo 65), Taylor Davila, Remi Cabral (Juan Calderon 86); Duhaney Williams (Callum Johnson 65), Cam Dunbar
Loudoun - Greene 32, Zanne 59, Zamudio 80
LA2 - None