BLUES: Dike strikes again in win
June, 18, 2012
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
The L.A. Blues turned again to Bright Dike to finish off a two-game sweep of the Dayton Dutch Lions, and the star striker did not disappoint.
Dike scored for the fourth time in six games Sunday to deliver another 1-0 victory over Ohio's USL Pro entry and vault the Blues (5-3-2) from seventh to fifth in the 11-team league, just one point out of fourth.
Dike tallied in the 62nd minute, taking a pass from Matt Fondy and curling the ball in from the top of the box with a shot that left Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams no hope.
Dike also scored in Friday's win over the Dutch Lions, and he netted the Blues' goal before that one, too, in a 1-1 draw last month at Orlando City. The big forward, on loan from the Portland Timbers, has scored or assisted L.A.'s last five USL Pro goals.
It bodes well for the speedy, powerfully built forward from Notre Dame, who has struggled with little success to find playing Major League Soccer playing time.
“I can only hope at the end of this loan he gets back where he needs to be,” Blues coach Charlie Naimo said following Friday's triumph. “I think the games he's getting here, the opportunities he's getting, the chances to finish under pressure and helping this team is going to bring him back to where he needs to be. That's what loans are all about.”
The Blues dominated the game, outshooting the Lions, 15-3, and narrowly missing the target four times -- twice by Dike, plus shots by Carlos Borja and Cheun-Yong Park -- before Dike's goal.
Dayton's best chance was a mistake: Blues center back Erlys Garcia in the 42nd minute knocked the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh, then raced to clear it off the goal line.
The Blues claimed two victories in three days at Cal State Fullerton after failing to win even once in 10 tries in the club's first 14 months. Their record at Titan Stadium is 2-6-3.
L.A. is off next week, then heads east for games June 28 at Charlotte, June 30 at Wilmington and July 3 at Richmond. Defending champion/first-place Orlando City visits Fullerton on July 6 and 8.
Titan Stadium, Cal State Fullerton
L.A. Blues 1, Dayton Dutch Lions 0
LA -- Bright Dike 62
Dayton Dutch Lions: Matt Williams; Greg Preciado, Nixon Dias (Eli Garner, 37), Mettin Copier, Shane Smith; Joel DeLass, Michael McNamara, Toric Robinson (Akeem Priestley, 61); Eric Kissinger, Daniel Holowaty (Gibson Bardsley, 53), Kyle Knotek (Bret Jones, 80). Unused subs: Gerrit Jan Bartels, Corey Whisenhunt.
Yellow card: Preciado 43.
Referee: Adam Brugman. Att.: 239.