This is it. The Orange County Blues' destiny is in their hands Tuesday evening at Anteater Stadium in Irvine, as they host Sacramento Republic with top seed in the Western Conference on the line in the regular season finale. If Sac Republic win, they grab the Western Conference regular season title, and if the Blues win or draw, they grab the honor, as well as a bye in the playoffs which begin this weekend. It's a simple task, and in many respects, the playoffs start now for both teams.
Now, the Blues got an unexpected bye week ahead of this game with it being postponed last week due to flooding at the stadium, so it could make the players fresher or maybe bring a bit of rust, while Sacramento played on the weekend. It's probably not a big factor, but something worth thinking about.
OC did beat Sacramento in the teams' prior meeting this season, at Bonney Field, an early season victory that put the Blues on the map around the league. But SRFC have made some big changes since then, most notably new coach Paul Buckle, who replaced Preki after the latter resigned abruptly midseason. And while both teams have had slumps this season, both are playing their best in 2015 right now, which means this should be a massive game and a good taste with the playoffs kicking off later this week.
But the Blues have the edge, however slight. They're playing at home, where they've been very good this season, and a draw will be enough for them to leap into first place. Can they grab the result and officially make this their best season in club history? We'll find out very soon.
Tale of the Tape:
OC Blues: 46 points (14-9-4), 3rd place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 4 (38/34); Last five games: D-W-W-W-L
Sac Republic: 45 points (13-8-6), 4th place in Western Conference: Goal Difference: 12 (43/31); Last five games: D-W-W-W-D
How to Watch: OC Blues vs. Sacramento Republic will kick off at Anteater Stadium on Tuesday at 7:30 pm PT. If you can't make the game, you can also watch on YouTube. We've included the stream below for your convenience.
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