San Diego Loyal player Francis Atuahene (center) nearly scores a goal in the first half of the match but the ball hit the goal post. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego Loyal SC will try to rebound from the first loss in their four-game history when they play host to the Las Vegas Lights FC Saturday evening at Torero Stadium.

SD Loyal lost 1-0 to LA Galaxy II Sunday, dropping their record to 2-1- 1. They were outshot 18-8 and trailed 8-1 in shots on goal against the reserves team of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

“This is going to take a process,” SD Loyal coach Landon Donovan said. “This is still a new team. A lot of these guys have not played a lot of minutes together, so, they are still learning each other. We’ll get there. It’s just a process and the results are going to happen.”

The game is the first for Lights FC since a 1-1 tie with SD Loyal March 7 at Torero Stadium before a capacity crowd announced at 6,100.

Frank Yallop will be making his debut as Lights FC coach, replacing Eric Wynalda, who was fired June 17 for violating rules related to the United Soccer League Championship’s return-to-play guidelines, owner Brett Lashbrook said.

Yallop coached Donovan with the San Jose Earthquakes from 2001-03, winning the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003, and with the Galaxy from 2006. He also coached the Canadian men’s national team and the Chicago Fire.

Yallop will coach Lights FC for the remainder of the season but will not be pursuing the permanent position once the season concludes.

Like Sunday’s game and most other sporting events around the world, fans will be barred from the Division II men’s soccer game under public health directives prohibiting public events and gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 7 p.m. game will be televised by The CW San Diego and ESPN+.

–City News Service

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