Orange County SC hit the field again on Saturday, for their first USL regular season game in three weeks, as they welcome Seattle Sounders 2 to Orange County Great Park for the teams’ first meeting of 2017.
OC are not only coming off a bye, they’re in the midst of a three-game losing streak in league play. Only one of those losses came at home, the last one, against record-breaking side Real Monarchs.
But with the amount of games in hand OC hold right now, they have perhaps a bit of room for imperfection, but not much. Games in hand aren’t really an advantage when you’ve dropped to almost the very bottom of the conference standings unless you pick up points from them. And Seattle pose a tricky, if beatable opponent.
S2 have been inconsistent this season, and are the only team in the Top 8 in the West with a negative goal difference. However, they’ve seemed to find traction this year, and have a core of young players who are able to hang with just about any team in the league.
One bonus for OC, however: S2’s Ray Saari, who has tallied a few goals this year, is suspended for this game, and defender Nouhou Tolo will most likely be with the Seattle Sounders first team due to international absences among the fullbacks. Whether that will play a role in the outcome remains to be seen. And there will be a special connection in this game for OC goalkeeper Charlie Lyon, who spent the past couple seasons with S2.
So we’ll see how this game goes. Orange County will likely have a bit of rust, but if they can shake it off fairly quickly during the game and get back into a rhythm, they should have a good shot of ending their losing streak in the USL. And a win could help them start climbing back up the Western Conference table.
Tale of the Tape:
Orange County SC: 10 points (3-4-1), 14th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -3; Last five games: L-L-L-W-D
Seattle Sounders 2: 20 points (6-6-2), 5th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -6; Last five games: W-L-W-D-L
How to Watch Orange County SC vs. S2: The game is scheduled to kick off at 5 pm PT at Orange County Great Park. You can watch it on the stream below or in USL’s matchcenter.
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