CARSON, Calif. — “It’s about time.”
That’s all Ariel Lassiter had to say about opening his account for the LA Galaxy senior team in Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over Orange County SC.
Lassiter’s goal came in the 73rd minute to help Los Angeles seal their match with the feisty USL side that challenged the Galaxy for wide stretches of the game. The goal was a vintage Lassiter finish as the forward smashed home a deflection close to goal to help Curt Onalfo advance to the Round of 16.
After bagging his first senior team tally, Lassiter couldn’t contain his happiness.
“It’s been a long time coming to get that first goal. I knew it was coming to come,” Lassiter, who was making his first appearance for the team since March, told LA Galaxy Insider. “I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but I knew it was important to get on the scoresheet so that I can show Curt and the coaching staff that I belong on the first team. This [tournament] is an opportunity for myself and other players to show that.”
For Onalfo, who has stressed his desire to give opportunities to young players throughout his tenure, Lassiter’s finish was an important step in the right direction for the team’s youth movement.
“It’s paramount for their development and for us to continue doing what we want to do as a club,” the Galaxy said.
The seal finally broken, Lassiter is ready to overcome whatever frustration he felt about his start and work his way into Onalfo’s plans.
“It’s been frustrating, but that’s part of the game. Being a professional, you have to be ready for the opportunity when it comes. Mentally staying in it was the hardest part, but I think I showed well,” Lassiter said. “Any time you score a goal or I can be dangerous on the field, it shows I’m ready to take that step and be a regular for the first team.”