SD Loyal clinch first postseason berth in team history

Sports

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Loyal are now postseason bound for the first time ever even after a 0-4 start to the season.

They’ve surrendered only one loss since Aug. 28.

“That being said, I truly believe we have a team that is capable of doing more,” Head Coach Landon Donovan said.

The team’s first year in San Diego was cut short because of the pandemic. Finally playing their first full uninterrupted season this year, they have become one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

“We have the ability to beat any team in this league,” Donovan said. “We know that. Most of the teams who are in the playoffs can probably say that, but we’ve proven it over time.” 

The Loyal now have a chance of hosting their first playoff match. A win against Orange County on Wednesday would earn the team three points and a home playoff game.

“We played arguably the best team in the league, which is Phoenix and we took it to them.  In their field, in our field,” said midfielder and San Diego native Alejandro Guido. “We’re a caliber team that can win the championship and beat anyone.”

So far this season, the Loyal has come away with one win, one loss and one tie against OC.  

“Wednesday’s crucial,” Donovan said. “If we started the season and you had said we could wrap up second place and a home playoff game with three to go, we’d take that all day long.” 

Donovan also had quite the October. Earlier this month, he was honored by the LA Galaxy with a statue in Legends Plaza at Dignity Health Sports Park.

“My first thought is that in the times we’re in I hope I don’t say something stupid so that the statue gets knocked down but ultimately its a representation of pouring my heart and soul into something for 10 years so that makes me feel very proud,” Donovan said.

He now has a chance at laying the foundation for a statue of him as a head coach here in San Diego. That all starts locking up that home playoff match on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Orange County.

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