It's the biggest game of the season to date for the Orange County Blues on Saturday night, as they host the Portland Timbers 2 at Anteater Stadium with their playoff hopes very much on the line (7 pm PT). This will be the teams' second-ever meeting, after the Blues beat T2 at Providence Park 2-0 back on May 3. In that game, the Blues were comprehensive in their performance -- can they make it a season sweep over the MLS2 side?
Orange County enter this game having lost their last one, on the road against the Austin Aztex, which snapped a four-game winning streak. Aside from that one-goal loss, the Blues have been keeping pace in the Western Conference playoff chase, so they currently sit in both a precarious and fairly comfortable position, being in the sixth and final slot for the postseason, yet only three points out of third and six out of first place. To say everything is still up for grabs would be an understatement.
For the Timbers, meanwhile, they are clinging to playoff hopes themselves at this point, and are only four points behind the Blues, meaning this game is a proverbial "six-pointer." Though T2 have had some ups and downs this season, they're in solid form at the moment and are likely much better than they were when the teams first met this year, and even though the Blues have played well at home this season, they can't walk into it thinking they have three points in the bag. Timbers 2 coach Jay Vidovich has had some time to mold the squad, and they are capable of striking quickly in attack and doing what they need to on the defensive end to get results. Will Oliver Wyss and his side get the better of the Oregon squad again? We'll find out this evening.
Tale of the Tape:
OC Blues: 36 points (11-9-3), 6th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 0 (31/31); Last five matches: L-W-W-W-W
Portland Timbers 2: 32 points (10-12-2), 8th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -2 (36/38); Last five matches: W-W-L-W-L
How to Watch: OC Blues vs. T2 will kick off a 7 pm PT at Anteater Stadium in Irvine. If you can't make the game, you can also watch it via stream on YouTube. We've got the stream below for your convenience.
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