Los Angeles Soccer: Justin Cochrane
August, 1, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
As the L.A. Blues struggled through a dark stretch as June turned to July, an answer to their problems sat on the sideline, waiting for the summer transfer window to open.
It did, Antiguan forward Peter Byers -- a major contributor not so long ago for the Major League Soccer-bound Montreal Impact -- became eligible, and his blisterintg speed and precise touch had immediate effect, even if he wasn't putting the ball into the net.
Byers scored his first goal for the Blues on Sunday afternoon, and it delivered a 2-1 victory over his former team, Antigua Barracuda FC, at Norco College, a pivotal triumph if L.A. is going to catch Harrisburg or Rochester for one of the top two spots in the USL Pro's National Division.
Byers, 26, scored in the 39th minute to extend the Blues' advantage to two goals, enough to secure their first home win over Antigua in three tries. They'll look to make it two in a row in the third meeting in five days Tuesday evening in Pacific Palisades.
Jamaican forward Akeem Priestley also scored for the Blues (8-5-6), who clinched a playoff berth with the victory. They sit third in their division with 30 points, seven behind the first-place Rochester Rhinos (11-6-4) and three in back of the Harrisburg City Islanders (9-6-6).
The Blues have five regular-season games to go and need to catch the City Islanders, or they'll be at a disadvantage in a home-and-home first-round series -- likely against Harrisburg.