The Orange County Blues woes continued on Wednesday, as they suffered their biggest loss of the season, a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks in Colorado Springs. The Blues' losing streak extended to three games, and their scoreless streak has now stretched to 216 minutes.
The Switchbacks' Miguel Gonzalez tried to claim a penalty in the 11th minute, after he and Brenton Griffiths battled for the ball in the box, but replays showed the challenge was fair and the no call was correct.
The hosts took the lead in the 17th minute, as King took a volley right in front of goal off a flick-on header from a long throw-in. Admittedly it was a good set piece and a well-taken goal.
The second of the night came indirectly from King in the 40th minute. The Blues failed to clear their lines and the Switchbacks ended up getting the bounces going their way, with King's shot deflecting off a Blues defender to wrong-foot Pepe Miranda. Miranda kept the first-half deficit respectable with a key pair of saves just before the break.
The Blues brought on Jack McCracken for Nikola Ilich and Nikola Paunic for Beto Navarro to start the second half and shore up the defense, but the changes didn't really pay off for the visitors. Miranda had another big save to bail out his defense off a shot from Luke Vercollone in the 49th minute, and OC's attack looked like it would get a shot in the arm with Christofer Ramirez returning to the lineup after coming off the bench in the 55th minute.
But right after that, the Blues conceded a penalty on the other end, as Paunic brought Josh Phillips down in the box on a free kick. Vercollone stepped up and coolly converted the spot kick to make it 3-0 just before the hour mark. The romp continued with yet another goal two minutes later, as Taylor Hunter made a give-and-go with Seth, and no Blues defender prevented the low cross that Hunter tapped in right in front of goal. The scoring was complete in the 69th minute, as Seth jumped up to head a cross from Jordan Burt.
Above all, there's no two ways about it: The Blues look lost right now. Unable to play coherently on defense, liable to giving up possession easily in the midfield, and toothless in the final third, Orange County had no chance in this game and exacerbates the slump the team has been in since their last win, over the same Switchbacks team on May 13. Perhaps the good news is that they can move on quickly and look forward to their next game, at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 on Saturday -- but that's only good news if they can regain their mojo and arrest the slide against the ThunderCaps.
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