Orange County SC kick off a four-game homestand in USL play on Saturday evening with a tough game, welcoming Real Salt Lake’s USL team, Real Monarchs, to town.
Going under the radar a bit because San Antonio FC’s unbeaten start to the season, Real Monarchs have been on fire, winning six straight games and just two away from matching the USL record, previously set by Orlando City.
And this team has been upgraded in a major way in the offseason, with former RSL youngster Sebastian Velasquez lighting things up, to go alongside quality MLS/USL tweeners Chandler Hoffman and Nick Besler. Monarchs have previously been a bit of a Western Conference doormat, hence Orange County only losing to them once previously, but those days seem to be behind them.
Oscar Sorto is suspended for this game for OCSC, due to his red card in the game against OKC Energy FC, but Logan Pause has opted to rotate the fullbacks anyway this season, so I don’t think there will be a drop-off there. And while Orange County are way down the standings at the moment, it’s primarily because of the lack of games they’ve played, by far the fewest in the West. And while they’ve lost their last two games in league play, both of those losses came in Oklahoma, historically a tough road trip for the team.
All of this is to say Orange County have a tough game here, but this doesn’t seem nearly as lopsided coming in as it does on paper. Of course, they’ll have to show that they can match one of the best teams in USL, on home turf, to live up to that billing. They seem capable of ending Real Monarchs’ winning run, but the proof will ultimately be in the pudding.
Tale of the Tape:
Orange County SC: 10 points (3-3-1), 12th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -2; Last five games: L-L-W-D-W
Real Monarchs: 27 points (9-1-0), 2nd place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: +16; Last five games: W-W-W-W-W
How to Watch Orange County SC vs. Real Monarchs: 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.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!