With a new venue that drew more than 4,000 on the night, the stadium opening was certainly a topic of conversation for the team following the game.
“What an amazing atmosphere, an amazing environment,” Pause told Angels on Parade after the game. “And I know it’s been a long time coming for this club and organization, a lot of hard work. It’s just so great that we’re able to reward our fans with a game like that.”
Pause, who took up the OCSC head coaching job this season after spending his career previously as a player and coach with the Chicago Fire, has been on the new job a short time, but compared to the other USL venues he’s seen, he said the pop-up stadium at Great Park was impressive indeed.
“Of course [I’m] a little biased, because this is our home, but this is the best that I’ve seen, in terms of intimacy, in terms of everyone right on top of the field,” he said.
Winger Jerry van Ewijk is in his first season with Orange County after coming over from his native Netherlands, and he also spoke highly of the atmosphere in the new venue.
“It was so amazing. Everybody’s working so hard but it looks fantastic. As a player it only makes me more excited,” he said.
“It looks awesome, and the fans were amazing. I didn’t expect this to be this big. A lot of people from the club have been working really hard and it looks amazing. They’ve done a really good job.”
Given the local nature of the team, with a substantial number of players hailing from Southern California, there were quite a few personal fans of players in attendance. Pause noted the boost the team received from those cheerleaders.
“It’s wonderful for us to play in front of our fans, and especially having a lot of our kids from this area. To reward them and their families and their friends, to be able to play in front of them is just fantastic.”
Orange County SC’s next home game isn’t until June 3, so they’ve got some time to wait before they’re back in front of the friendly crowd. But it sounds like the start will leave them eager to follow up on the debut performance on Saturday.
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