The Orange County Blues will look to bounce back from a tough loss just days ago with a road trip to the state of Oklahoma, that begins with a game on Thursday against the Tulsa Roughnecks (5:30 pm PT). Both teams sit out of the playoff spots at present in the Western Conference, and surely both sides will figure they've got a good chance to pick up all three points in this match.
Of course, Tulsa beat the Blues in the teams' first-ever meeting, a 1-0 decision to the Roughnecks May 16 that kicked off a five-game winless run in league play that arrested the California side's momentum entirely. Despite that, Tulsa have not found a lot of success so far this season beyond a few highlights, including that earlier win over Orange County, and the first-year club sit one place off the bottom of the Western Conference.
Despite Tulsa's inconsistent form, to underestimate them would be a big mistake for the Blues. One figures that OC head coach Oliver Wyss will have to do some kind of squad rotation between this and the next game, on Saturday in Oklahoma City, especially considering the possible fatigue on display in the Blues' last game, a loss to Arizona United on Sunday. If that's the case, it will be up to those depth players called upon, combined with the regulars seeing heavy minutes during a stretch of back-to-back-to-back-to-back two-game weeks to play well together and seek a win.
In particular, Tulsa goalkeeper Zac Lubin is leading the league in saves by a mile, and while he may not be garnering a ton of praise around the league, he's a 'keeper accustomed to stopping a high volume of shots, so if the Blues can't actually put a decent volume up to test him, it could make his job much easier and could effectively hand the result over to the Oklahoma side. OC have been very inconsistent in the attack lately. When they're on, they play great, but when the offense isn't clicking, there's pretty much nothing doing. Will they rise to the occasion in their latest road match, or find the unfamiliar confines too tough to overcome? We'll find out at game time.
Tale of the Tape
OC Blues: 22 points (7-7-1), 7th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -2 (20/22); Last five games: L-W-W-L-L
Tulsa Roughnecks: 15 points (4-8-3), 11th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -9 (18/27); Last five games: L-L-D-L-W
How to Watch: Roughnecks vs. OC Blues will be played at ONEOK Field in Tulsa at 5:30 pm PT Thursday night. The game will be streamed on YouTube, and we've embedded the game stream below for your convenience.
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