The Orange County Blues released information on Monday regarding their preseason schedule, for those of us (ok, probably just me) waiting for word on the club would be doing to get ready for the 2016 season.
The team will go to Casa Grande, Arizona for a week beginning March 6 to train. Casa Grande is the hometown of the Real Salt Lake academy and the Blues will be the latest team to train at Grande Sports World.
"Grande Sports World is a first class soccer-specific facility which is the perfect environment for us as a team to get some more top-quality work in on the training field and play against two very good teams," said technical director Barry Venison in a team statement. "This week away as a squad is valuable time spent together in preparation for a very exciting USL season for OC Blues FC."
Here's the full announced preseason schedule. Times and exact locations were not included in the club's release:
|Feb. 16||Seongnam FC||Titan Stadium|
|Feb. 20||Univ. of San Diego||USD|
|Feb. 28||UCLA||Great Park|
|Mar. 2||Cal State Fullerton||Titan Stadium|
|Mar. 7||Indy Eleven||Casa Grande, Ariz.|
|Mar. 10||Arizona United||N/A|
|Mar. 18||Colorado Springs Switchbacks||Great Park|
|Mar. 19||Cal State Northridge||CSUN|
As you can see, it's a mix of college and USL teams with an NASL and a K-League team mixed in. The K-League (Classic, that means first division) team, Seongnam FC, is one of the most successful in South Korean history and is a two-time winner of the AFC Champions League. They have seemingly played every west coast team during their own preseason tour to the states (I'm exaggerating a little), playing Sporting KC to a scoreless draw, losing 1-0 to San Jose Earthquakes, and losing 1-0 to Real Salt Lake so far.
We'll have more information on these games as we get it. But now we know what the Blues will be up to the next month-plus ahead of the 2016 season.
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