Just before its inaugural season went on hiatus due to COVID-19, San Diego Loyal SC won a road match by one goal. When the season resumed on Saturday, they did the exact same thing.
The Loyal went to Utah and beat Real Monarchs SLC, the reigning champs of USL Championship, 1-0 to remain unbeaten. With two wins and a draw the Loyal will stay in first place in Group B.
The Loyal wore their special "Black Lives Matter" kits met Monarchs SLC in a pregame silent circle at midfield. They didn’t take long to take the lead.
In the 16th minute, Jack Metcalf sent a corner kick into a crowded box and somehow Grant Stoneman was the one who got enough of his head on it for a redirected goal, the only one of the match.
At least, it was the only goal that was recognized as such.
On two different occasions it looked like the Monarchs found the equalizer. In the 1st half a deflected shot hit the crossbar and shot straight down. Replays showed the ball might have made it all the way over the goal line but the officials ruled otherwise. The VAR replay system that earned notoriety (or perhaps infamy) during the World Cup is not being used by USL Championship so the call stood.
In the 86th minute another Monarchs shot was turned away by Carlos Alvarez … who looked to be far enough into the net that the ball crossed the line. Again the referees said no goal, giving the Loyal the 1-0 decision.
San Diego is still unbeaten with seven points and brings a 2-match winning streak to Torero Stadium next Sunday against L-A Galaxy II.