Luca de la Torre

Luca de la Torre was the lone American in action in Spain over the weekend, helping Celta Vigo to an unlikely win, while Luca Koleosho returned to Espanyol’s bench in the team’s draw against Valencia.

Celta Vigo 1 – 0 Real Betis

Luca de la Torre returned from USMNT duty over the weekend, helping to lock down the final 20 minutes of Celta Vigo’s narrow home win over ten-man Real Betis on Sunday.

After not featuring in the second of two friendlies for US squad last week, the American came off the bench to add defensive fortitude to Celta’s midfield as they successfully staved off any late attempts by their visitors to grab an equalizer.

The hosts scored the only goal of the game in the early going, with Fran Beltrán stealing the ball in the Betis half of the field and poking it forward to Gabriel Veiga, whose low shot from 30 yards caught keeper Rui Silva off-guard.

Nine minutes later, they were given a huge boost by the video assistant. Beltrán was pulled down by Luiz Felipe just outside the area after pulling down a long ball and attempting to make his move goalward.

While the referee originally brandished a yellow for a cynical foul, the subsequent review revealed that Felipe was barely the last defender, and therefore given his marching orders, forcing the visitors to play the final 70 minutes a man down.

Erstwhile third-place team Betis held the majority of possession throughout, however were largely stifled by the stout defensive performance of the hosts.

The American entered in the 70th minute for central attacking midfielder Veiga, and played a more defensive role in the final going. He had 12 touches during his time on the field, completed six passes in seven attempts, did not attempt any shots or set up ay chances, lost all of his five duels, and committed a pair of fouls.

In the end, the Sky Blues were able to hang on through the final whistle, securing the three points and climbing to tenth place. They have a tough visit to Barcelona on Sunday in their next outing.

Highlights of the game can be seen here.

Notes

Luca Koleosho stayed on Espanyol’s bench while Yunus Musah was out for Valencia through injury on Sunday as the two teams fought to a 2-2 draw in Barcelona.

Jonathan Gomez didn’t take part in Real Sociedad’s 5-3 road win over Girona on Sunday. The defender is still playing with Sociedad’s second team in the Spanish third tier, where their B team beat Barcelona’s youth squad by a 2-0 margin, with Gomez entering the game midway through the first half.

Samuel Shashoua is still injured for Tenerife and missed their 1-1 home draw against Sporting Gijon on Friday night in La Liga 2 action.

Armando Shashoua is out for injury for UD Ibiza, and was not in uniform for their 3-2 win over Lugo on Sunday night.

By David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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