Orange County SC were all but eliminated from USL playoff contention for the 2017 season on Saturday, as they lost their final home game of the regular season 4-1 to Reno 1868 FC.
OC are technically alive still, with one game to play, but they have to win that final game, hope OKC Energy does not pick up a single point in their final two matches, and hope Colorado Springs Switchbacks do not win their season finale, plus if all that happens, Orange County have to overcome the goal difference on OKC. The long odds are as long as they can be while still being alive, for the moment.
Jimmy Ockford scored against Orange County, again, as Charlie Lyon came charging off his line but was beat by Ockford in the 30th minute to put Reno ahead.
Luis Filipe scored the insurance tally in the 65th minute for Reno, finishing off a combination play between former Orange County player Brenton Griffiths and Brent Richards.
Irvin Parra once again led the rally for Orange County, cutting Reno’s lead in half in the 71st minute with a goal.
But it wasn’t enough, as Oscar Sorto conceded a penalty and Chris Wehan converted it past Charlie Lyon in the 81st minute to seal the win for the visitors. Mackenzie Pridham then poured it on with another goal, right off the bench, in the 85th minute.
So it’s an encapsulation of OC’s second half of the season in one game. When they’ve conceded, they’ve tended to let in goals liberally, and that happened once again tonight. There were a lot of factors contributing to OC not returning to the playoffs this year, something we’ll go over in some depth later, but the defensive issues were clearly a major weakness for Orange County in the business end of the season. And it cost them enough times to make them a below average team.
There is, however, one game left in the season for Logan Pause’s squad, on the road on Friday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. Will they end the season on a positive note?
What do you think? Leave a comment below!