The big game is almost here, the one the Orange County Blues are billing the biggest in their club history. They're pulling out the stops for the last meeting of the regular season against fellow Southern Californian side LA Galaxy II, to take place Saturday evening at Anteater Stadium in Irvine (7 pm PT). The match could have playoff implications for the victor, as a win for Galaxy II would definitely clinch a ticket to the postseason, while a win by OC would most likely do the same, depending on other results.
But this match is also a challenge for the Blues because they've never beaten LA in history, seven meetings across two years. They only got their first result against Galaxy II in their last meeting in July, a 1-1 draw. Spirits are high for the in-form Blues coming into the game, but can they really push back against the weight of history to take a key win?
Perhaps helping the hosts' cause is that the Galaxy have been rather inconsistent of late and have lost some of their MLS loanees to the first team with the CONCACAF Champions League campaign getting underway. Of course, with the MLS side having a bye this weekend, those loanees could be suiting up against the Blues, an eternal risk for a league like USL. But it's clear to see Galaxy II have not been firing on all cylinders lately.
That said, every meeting between these teams where the Blues don't grab the win makes the Galaxy II an even bigger albatross around the Blues' necks. Not to be a total downer, but if OC lose again, especially with a playoff spot on the line, with the game majorly hyped up (not to mention the distinct possibility they could meet in the playoffs this season), it could hurt them at the exact worst time and really dent their sky-high confidence.
But that's why they play the games, and it doesn't hurt to try to rise to the occasion, to alter one's destiny in a given challenge. Maybe the Blues can turn the tide of history, or maybe the Galaxy II will show their superiority once more. It should be a fascinating game.
Tale of the Tape:
OC Blues: 39 points (12-9-3), 4th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 2 (34/32); Last five matches: W-L-W-W-W
LA Galaxy II: 42 points (13-9-3), 2nd place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: 9 (37/28); Last five matches: L-W-W-L-L
How to Watch: OC Blues vs. Galaxy II will kick off at 7 pm PT at Anteater Stadium. If you can't make the game, you can watch the stream on YouTube or embedded below for your convenience.
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