The big day is here, as Orange County SC will look to continue their 2017 U.S. Open Cup run, this time against their toughest opponent yet in the LA Galaxy. The teams will clash in the fourth round, already the deepest point in the tournament for Orange County all-time, but why quit now, right?
This is the first competitive match between Orange County and the Galaxy’s MLS side since June 2011, when they met in the third round of that year’s Open Cup, with the Galaxy winning 2-1. OC, then known as the Los Angeles Blues, took the lead before the Galaxy scored two unanswered goals to wrestle back the game for good.
It will of course be interesting to see how this game goes tonight. Orange County are in the middle of a three-week bye in USL play, so they should be fresh and have had plenty of time to prepare for this game, unlike just about every other team. They might also have some familiarity with their opponent, between OCSC defender Oscar Sorto being a former Galaxy first-team player himself, Joe Franco formerly playing for LA Galaxy II, and there’s a good chance several of the players who have played for Galaxy II, this year and in the past, will play for LA tonight. We won’t know for certain until gametime, but it seems unlikely Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo will field a fully first-choice XI with a league game at the weekend, and that should be to Orange County’s benefit.
All that said, in these kinds of games even if the Galaxy do trot out several reserves, they’ll often have some of the big stars waiting on the bench should the team need them. Of course, these days Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan aren’t on that bench, but even if Orange County play them well for 60 or 70 minutes, that’s not the same thing as advancing at the end of the game.
So, it isn’t a lost cause game, but a second-division team going against a first-division side is always a lopsided match. Does that mean the outcome is predetermined? Absolutely not, and I think the context and conditions are about as good as they’ll ever be for Orange County to take an upset. But we’ll see if they can actually make it happen, or if the bracket will go chalk and Orange County’s USOC run comes to an end here.
How to watch LA Galaxy vs. Orange County SC: The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 pm PT at the StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium. If you won’t be there in person, you can watch the game locally on Spectrum SportsNet, or outside the LA region on USSoccer.com.
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