Tonight’s the night, as the 2017 U.S. Open Cup returns to Southern California, and the two local teams involved in the third round clash, with UPSL team LA Wolves FC hosting USL side Orange County SC.
It is technically an amateur vs. pro match-up, but this is probably going to be a nail-biter, with both teams motivated, and Wolves fielding a slew of former professionals (among others, Paolo Cardozo, Chris Klute, and former OC Blues midfielder Pablo Cruz), while also being coached by Eric Wynalda.
At the same time, I expect Orange County knows how pumped up the Wolves are for this game, and so this will be a good test for them to stake a reputation as a quality side and make sure their pride remains intact in going against an amateur side. They broke their USOC duck in losing several years in a row two weeks ago, and now Logan Pause’s side can try for a deep run in the tournament.
But just to give you a sense of the hype heading into this game, the Wolves are getting a lot of attention, and given the names involved in the team and the fact that they are hosting it, you could argue they might be slight favorites in this game. That sounds ridiculous given OCSC’s advantages as a professional outlet, but the hype today so far has the Wolves being the odds-on favorites to spring the upset among the Open Cup field.
Again, I think this is going to be an outstanding game, and I look forward to the local teams duking it out for the right to play the LA Galaxy in the fourth round. This is going to be a treat.
How to watch LA Wolves FC vs. Orange County SC: The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 pm PT at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa. If you are unable to make the game, there is supposed to be a stream of it on USSoccer.com.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!