Having taken care of clinching a USL playoff berth already, the Orange County Blues now have seeding and form heading into the postseason in mind as they play their final three games of the regular season, beginning with Friday's clash against Seattle Sounders 2 in Washington (7:30 pm PT). The Sounders need just two points to book a spot in the playoffs themselves, and have been a very good team at home this season, so they'll have full motivation in this game.
The Blues are still looking for their first win over S2, as they lost 2-1 at Starfire in the first meeting and tied 1-1 at home in the second game between the clubs. Perhaps working in OC's favor is that two key players, Sam Garza and Amadou Sanyang, are both out for this game, serving suspensions for yellow card accumulation. But much like the MLS team, Seattle has a deep USL team, and even with those two out, there are other guys to fill their spots.
That said, the Blues have won five of their last six games, and S2 have won one of their last six. They've gone from the top of the Western Conference to out of the playoff slots with this slide, their first real crisis as a team, and it's hard to know if a team can pull out of a tailspin, much less with just two games left in the season.
So this is a game of form vs. motivation. Will Seattle roar back to life and get those final points to make the playoffs? Will the Blues get a wake-up call with the postseason right around the corner, or keep on rolling? We'll find out this evening.
Tale of the Tape:
OC Blues: 42 points (13-9-3), 4th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 3 (36/33); Last five matches: W-W-L-W-W
Seattle Sounders 2: 39 points (12-11-3), 7th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 3 (42/39); Last five matches: L-L-L-W-L
How to Watch: S2 vs. OC Blues will kick off at 7:30 pm PT at Starfire Sports Stadium on Friday. You can watch the game on YouTube, and I've provided the stream below for your convenience.
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