The USL season begins for local USL side Orange County Blues FC on Saturday evening, as they host Arizona United SC in the opener at Anteater Stadium in Irvine (7 pm PT).
Both teams, who missed the playoffs in 2014, have largely remade their rosters in the offseason and will be looking to make a big improvement this year. For Arizona, the second-year club is being tipped as one of the teams to watch this season, so it should be a big test for the Blues, who haven't gotten really any buzz leaguewide heading into the season.
The Blues have 17 players on their roster for this game, while Arizona have 19. The visitors have one former Chivas USA player, in midfielder/defender Daniel Antunez, who was part of United's team last year as well. They also feature former MLS players Long Tan, Tyler Ruthven, Victor Munoz and Jonathan Top. Tan got the most experience among that group in the top flight, but it is worth noting there is a lot of experience on their roster, also on the USL level.
The Blues? They've got a core of returning players and a lot of newbies, young guys and a few guys from Europe. The big question for this game is whether they've got what it takes to begin a turnaround and move up the standings. Either way, we'll find out starting with tonight's game.
You can watch the entire match, live, here, as well as on the Blues' YouTube page:
How do you think the game will go? Leave a comment below!