"If you're not gonna try to go out and win a championship, then what are you doing?"
New Orange County Blues FC forward David Estrada didn't mince words postgame on Saturday after winning his first game with the club, a 3-0 road win over Arizona United SC.
On one hand, the Blues remain on the edge of the playoff picture in the Western Conference, sitting in the sixth and final postseason slot. They're in great form, on a four-game winning streak, but the West is so competitive that they are still fighting to even sit in the playoff places down the stretch.
Still, the sentiment expressed by the newest Orange County player is something widely expressed around the club. All season, players have cited winning a championship as the ultimate goal for the team, and despite the competition level, they have not wavered from that objective.
"Our goal is to win the Western Conference," Blues head coach Oliver Wyss said after Saturday's game."That has not changed. And our goal is to win a championship.
"We know we need to win these kind of games if you want to win the Western Conference championship. That's our goal. We feel we can do it. The team believes we can do it, so we continue to work one game at a time."
Despite sitting in sixth place, it's not a goal completely out of reach. Orange County are only four points behind current West leaders OKC Energy, and they have six games to go in the regular season. With two of those final games against teams ahead of them, they have a tough task, but could find themselves vaulting up the standings if they continue winning.
For anyone who's watched the Blues in their recent run, Wyss' explanation at what's working for the team is evident.
"Right now it's a unit, they all work for each other. If one of them has a shortcoming, the guy next to him steps it up, and I think it makes it pretty visible now on the field."
Kyle Kepner contributed reporting to this story.
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