Blues Looking to "Stop the Bleeding" against OrlandoJuly 5, 2012 - USL PRO (USL PRO) Los Angeles Blues
The Blues played their third road match in six days against a well rested Richmond side, falling 1-0 courtesy of a Ryan Heins tally in the 66th minute. Despite Blues midfield anchor Ricky Waddell limping off the field in only the 14th minute after twisting his knee in a tackle, the contest could have taken a favorable turn for the visitors from Southern California when attacker Israel "Izzy" Sesay hit the crossbar with a powerful first-half header.
"I thought we looked like the slightly more dangerous team," Jalayer offered. "The game had some good moments for us, one of them being Izzy's header. That said, the legs definitely got heavy after all the travel and having played two games in the five days before Tuesday. In addition, the injury left us without one of our key players and forced us to make some tactical changes. Ultimately, all that led to us coming up short despite a valid effort by the guys."
While calling last Thursday's 3-2 defeat to Charlotte, which had played Chivas USA in the U.S. Open Cup just two days prior, "the most inexcusable" of the past three games, Jalayer felt that his side played "decent soccer at times" during the road swing, which also included a 4-2 loss to Wilmington on Saturday.
With the Blues in the middle of a physically and mentally challenging stretch of seven league fixtures in 17 days, there is no time to take a breath for the Fullerton-based side. Players and staff traveled back from the East Coast on Wednesday, the day after their meeting with Richmond, for the back-to-back home games against mighty Orlando on Friday and Sunday.
Despite the Lions having failed to win in either of their two previous matches against struggling Dayton and Pittsburgh, Head Coach Adrian Heath's squad still sits comfortably atop the standings behind the attacking heroics of Trinidad and Tobago international Kevin Molino, team top scorer Kevin Chin and former San Jose Earthquakes strikers Matt Luzanaris.
The Orlando roster also includes such experienced former MLS players as defender Kyle Davies, veteran forward Ian Fuller and midfielder Jamie Watson, as well as 2011 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year Miguel Gallardo.
"I think it's important that we don't put extra pressure on ourselves now by going into this mentality of having to win three or four games in a row," Shayon Jalayer remarked. "Over the next four games or so, the important thing is to find a way to get results again. Instead of demanding a certain number of wins, we have to focus on not losing and stopping the bleeding. If we can manage that, it should put us right back in the hunt for the top spots in the league."
With a record of 5-6-3, the Blues are at a key moment in their campaign. While admitting as much, the Blues Associate Head Coach wrapped up his remarks by once again warning against overreacting to the recent defeats.
"We really need to look at one game at a time now," he said. "By obtaining a respectable result, that's how we gain momentum for the next match. USL PRO is very much about the timing of your runs, and a few strong performances at the right time can get you right back on track.
"Anyone with any knowledge of soccer probably would have looked at our schedule and said that the three road games in six days would be tough. While dropping all three certainly isn't what we had hoped for, it doesn't say a ton about our team. We now have to focus on the two games against Orlando. It doesn't matter if we get four points or six points out of those. As long as we can avoid going into a losing mentality, we have every opportunity to turn things around."
U.S. Women's National Team star Abby Wambach will be at Fullerton 's Titan Stadium on Sunday, July 8, for a historic day of soccer in Orange County . For $10, fans will be able to see the Blues' W-League sister club, the 10-0-1 Pali Blues, take on the Colorado Rapids Women (noon), with an Olympic Send-Off Ceremony being held for Wambach either at halftime or after the match, followed by the men's USL PRO clash with Orlando (5 p.m.).
Friday, July 6, will also feature a doubleheader at Titan Stadium, with the Pali Blues taking on the Colorado Rush ( 3 p.m. ) and the USL PRO Blues battling Orlando ( 7.30 p.m. ) on $3 Beer Night. Tickets for both Friday and Sunday are $10 and may be purchased by calling 714-738-8011 or by visiting www.labluesprosoccer.com.
USL PRO Stories from July 5, 2012
- City Islanders To Visit Pittsburgh On Friday - Harrisburg City Islanders
- Fatigued Blues Fall 1-0 in Richmond - Los Angeles Blues
- Hammerheads Sign Arnoux - Wilmington Hammerheads
- Blues Looking to "Stop the Bleeding" against Orlando - Los Angeles Blues
- Eagles Take on Charleston in Back to Back - Charlotte Eagles
- Lions Head West for Weekend Series in LA - Orlando City SC
- Battery Takes on Charlotte Eagles Friday Night at Blackbaud Stadium - Charleston Battery
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