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Orange County Blues on baffling-yet-impressive run of inconsistency

There may be few conclusions to draw other than to look at the pattern.

In any sport, there are differing ways teams can run through their schedule. Streaks of wins, losses, or (in some sports like soccer) draws, a mini-run here and there, some back-and-forth results over time -- every season is distinct and each team's results differ, of course.

The Orange County Blues are on a bit of a peculiar run in league play at the moment. Since ending a four-game unbeaten run in April, they have alternated a loss with a win or draw, every single game, for more than two full months. That's 11 games altogether, and they've played a total of 16 so far in the league this year.

What to make of this run? I don't know that it can truly be called a "coin flip" run, since like a coin flip, the odds of getting alternating losses and wins/draws 11 times in a row are astronomical. As with any run, luck, both good and bad, as well as the actual quality of play from game to game play a role in determining this unusual streak.

On a tangible level, the alternating stretch is reflected in the Blues' place in the Western Conference standings, currently eighth out of 15 teams. Playing roughly .500 ball has them in the middle of the pack, and based on the good and bad of their play so far this season, that's reasonable.

What's puzzling on some level is why they keep alternating the good with the bad. Again, seasons are like snowflakes, and it's entirely plausible a team can go one game with a loss and the next with a result -- but it leaves the team rather unpredictable game to game. Sure, at this point we can predict that Orange County will defeat Sacramento Republic on Sunday, because that's the pattern, but a team that can pick itself up when it loses but falter after it wins or ties a game, over and over, is puzzling. It's just not the kind of form we're used to seeing on such a sustained basis in soccer.

But again, the Blues' next chance to keep the run going or to change the tides comes up at the weekend. Will they keep the chain intact? Will they go from middle of the road to one extreme or the other? Should be interesting to follow in the games to come.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!