The Orange County Blues FC take to the road for the first time in the 2015 USL season for a game this evening against defending champions Sacramento Republic FC at Bonney Field (7:30 pm PT, game streamed on YouTube). The Blues have gotten two wins in a row and played a dominant match last week against a previously-undefeated opponent, but this game is going to be a much bigger test.
Sac Republic is full of people with Chivas USA and OC/LA Blues ties, from coach Preki (CUSA), forward Justin Braun (CUSA), midfielder Rodrigo Lopez (CUSA, Blues) and goalkeeper Patrick McLain (CUSA, Blues). So there will be plenty of familiar faces going up against the Blues this evening.
Both teams are on excellent runs defensively, with the Blues on a 247-minute shutout streak to Sacramento's 212-minute streak, so there's a chance it could be a tight game. However, both teams have shown an ability to score, especially Sacramento, who are tied for most goals scored to date in the league, with 14 through six games.
One thing to keep in mind as far as the disparate positions of these clubs: Sacramento have played double the number of games of the Blues, so it's kind of hard to fully compare their numbers so far. Regardless, it looks like it will be a tough game for OC, though they have played well in all three of their games this season, and appear to be getting better each week, which is certainly a good omen.
If you missed it, be sure to check out our Three Questions feature with Joshua Beeman on Sac Republic from Thursday.
Tale of the Tape:
Orange County Blues: 6 points (2-1-0), 6th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 4 (6/2); Last three games: W-W-L
Sacramento Republic: 12 points (4-2-0), 1st place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 5 (14/9); Last five games: W-W-W-L-W
So can the Blues put USL on notice that they are for real this season? Will Sacramento Republic hand them a hard lesson in their rebuilding project? We'll find out this evening.
Here's tonight's stream, in a handy location, so you can watch it live (or on demand, if you wish):
What do you think? Leave a comment below!