SANDY, Utah – Curt Onalfo led the LA Galaxy II to 41 regular-season victories during his three-year tenure at the club.
On Saturday night, he took the first step toward surpassing that number with the LA Galaxy, as the side took a 2-1 victory against Real Salt Lake for Onalfo’s first with the team.
“This win means a lot. I’ve worked my whole life for this job,” Onalfo said. “I want to win and be successful, and we’re going to be. It’s good to get the first win under my belt and the first of many, many more.”
The Galaxy had to come from behind to earn victory after RSL’s Yura Movsisyan struck early for the hosts at Rio Tinto Stadium. With Real reduced to 10 men just before the halftime break as U.S. international Kyle Beckerman received his second yellow card of the game, however, the Galaxy were able to take control in the second half.
One of the players whom Onalfo had helped make the progression from the Galaxy II to the Galaxy then gave his Head Coach a boost, as Dave Romney volleyed home a blistering effort from Romain Alessandrini’s corner kick in the 69th minute. The goal was Romney’s first in MLS, after having begun his career with Los Dos at the start of the 2015 USL season, a year when Onalfo’s side earned the Western Conference Championship.
In all, six players who had competed for Onalfo with the Galaxy II were in the starting lineup, including the entire back four and goalkeeper Clement Diop, with all three substitutes having done the same. When former Ventura County Fusion midfielder Ema Boateng banged home Alessandrini’s low cross for what proved to be the winner in the 74th minute, it gave a big lift to everyone in the Galaxy locker room.
“It’s a big win for him and us,” former Los Dos player Nathan Smith told LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano. “It’s his first win of the season, and that’s big. Curt has been saying that we’ve been playing well and we were just unfortunate in the first two games. We’re just coming out and playing our game.”
The Galaxy will return home for their next outing after this week’s international beak, as they face face Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 1 at StubHub Center. With a first win secured, Onalfo believes the side will build on its first league win of 2017.
“It feels good. We believe in what we’re doing,” Onalfo said. “It’s only going to get better. It takes a long time for a team to become a team and gel. Patience is a virtue. We’re going to stick to our process, and we’re only going to get better.”