San Diego Loyal defender Josh Yaro scored his first goal with the soccer club, providing the 1-0 win over Tacoma Defiance Sunday afternoon.
Yaro found the net in the 31st minute when he headed a Charlie Adams corner kick, getting enough of the ball to send it on goal at Torero Stadium at USD.
“As a player, you have personal goals,” Yaro said after the USL Championship match, “but at the end of the day the most important thing is the team goal.”
“We needed three points and that’s what we got,” added Yaro, a player from Kumasi, Ghana. “It was a little bit of a revenge if you can call it that. I am glad we got the points and the clean sheet because that is something in the backline we take pride in.”
It was all SD Loyal would need to earn another three points in the Pacific Division standings and remain in second place. Donovan’s team is now unbeaten in its last three matches as it continues the push for the postseason with eight matches remaining.
SD Loyal had not beaten Tacoma Defiance in its last three meetings, including a 2-1 loss at home on Aug. 14.
“Today was a grind,” said Loyal manager Landon Donovan. ”Unfortunately, the (stadium) field had a lot of use lately so it was a little bouncy and it makes the game a little difficult for us.”
The first half was excellent the way the team approached the game and got the goal,” Donovan said, but the second half “wasn’t pretty.”
SD Loyal made it difficult by putting pressure on the Tacoma defense and controlling possession for most of the first half. Donovan’s squad came out attacking early.
Alejandro Guido nearly scored with a point-blank shot blocked by Defiance goalkeeper Spencer Richey at his line. The blocked shot came back to Guido who tried again but it was blocked once more and the ball popped up to Augustine Williams. His shot was also blocked to end the flurry of shots in the fourth minute.
Collin Martin had a shot from outside the penalty box, low-roller, but it was also saved by Richey at his line diving to his right. And then came the corner kick that resulted in Yaro’s score.
About Yaro’s play, Donovan said, “We’re extremely happy with him, and I’m happy he got the goal. He had a great game. He was the man of the match.”
Loyal will hit the road for a pair of matches this upcoming week. The team will travel to face Oakland Roots Wednesday Sept. 22 and Las Vegas Lights Sept. 25 at Las Vegas Lights.