The Orange County Blues will get their latest opportunity to get a first-ever win over the LA Galaxy II on Thursday, as the Southern California teams clash for the third time this season. On paper, it doesn't look great, but with streaks like these (now stretching to six games over two seasons) the run has to end at some point.
Why does it look unlikely on paper? Besides the fact that the Blues have never beaten their local rival, they've been on a busy run of three straight weeks with two games each week, and their form has been inconsistent of late. Certainly digging deep and getting a draw to finish last week's trip to Oklahoma was a good sign, but they're flirting with falling out of the playoff places, though they still sit in the final slot for the time being. Obviously, picking up three points could really bolster their postseason hopes, while a draw or loss could knock them back below the red line.
Meanwhile, Galaxy II have been cruising of late, and sit on a five-game unbeaten run, with a big win on the road over Sacramento Republic leaving them in pole position in the West. It's a busy time for the club, with midseason friendlies, the MLS team's recently ended U.S. Open Cup run, and CONCACAF Champions League action coming up later this summer alongside the regular league slate, so some of the 'tweeners who play for Galaxy II may see less action in USL in the weeks to come. Still, enough of the main contributors, including Ariel Lassiter and Kainoa Bailey, who've scored against the Blues this season, are only signed to the USL side at present and will most likely feature against Orange County.
I hate to sound like a downer. Certainly, an OC Blues side that's playing at their best can beat any team, including LA. But given the teams' form and history against each other, the deck is stacked against the Blues until they can prove they're able to hang with the team from down the road, it's as simple as that.
Tale of the Tape:
OC Blues: 23 points (7-8-2), 6th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -5 (23/28); Last five matches: D-L-L-W-W
Galaxy II: 32 points (10-5-2), 1st place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 12 (29/17); Last five matches: W-D-W-W-W
How to Watch: Galaxy II vs. OC Blues is scheduled for a 7:30 pm PT kickoff at the StubHub Center Track and Field stadium in Carson. If you can't make the game, you can also watch a stream of the game on YouTube. We've embedded the stream below for your convenience:
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