Los Angeles Soccer: J.C. Banks

L.A. BLUES: Defeat, on and off the field

April, 21, 2012
FULLERTON -- The L.A. Blues' second outing this season went worse than the first, on and off the field. Another loss, this time by two goals, despite nearly constant possession during the first half and a flurry of chances at the end of the second.

The Rochester Rhinos took advantage of Blues miscues to score goals six minutes apart early in the second half Friday night to post a 2-0 triumph, dropping L.A. to 0-5-2 all-time at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium and into the cellar in the third-tier USL Pro, at least until Wilmington and Harrisburg tangle Sunday.

“I'm baffled right now, I got to be honest,” said Blues head coach/GM Charlie Naimo, whose team lost its opener last week to the Rhinos, 1-0. “We wasted a half -- the first half they were there for the taking, the energy wasn't there in their team, and we didn't take advantage of it. ...

“Not a poor performance. I can't look at it and say we're bad. We're not bad. We do things well, we just can't get that elusive goal.”

Rochester goalkeeper Kristian Nicht came up big twice, making a diving stop on Irving Garcia in the 29th minute and parrying a Ricky Waddell free kick in the 73rd. The Blues' other chances -- a Garcia shot off the post, a deflected Bryan Burke blast that just went wide, and a Burke header that bounced past the upper-right corner of the net, all in the second half -- weren't on target.

“I'm a bit shell-shocked, to be honest, the fact that we lost, 2-0,” said Waddell, the captain. “That's the way soccer is. Credit to Rochester, because they came out with a game plan, same as last week -- exact same -- sat [back] and came out and attacked us, and they've done very well, and we weren't good enough to cope with that. We've got to look at that carefully as a team to sort that out.”

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