Orange County SC are back in action on Saturday, with just a few days to shake off their 405 Derby loss on Wednesday in facing a very difficult opponent, on the road, in San Antonio FC.
OC have been in good form lately, with Wednesday’s loss to LA Galaxy II halting a seven-game unbeaten run, but that loss seemed to prove their luck had to run out at some point. That, and the absences of Carlos Alvarez, Duke Lacroix due to injuries and the ongoing suspension (finally over after this game) of Ami Pineda have worn on the team over time.
But San Antonio is running away with the Western Conference, alongside Real Monarchs, who have beaten Orange County comfortably already this season. While San Antonio’s defense is the real star, after the attack went through a run of sputtering form, even a dip in their fortunes the last couple months has led to a single loss in league play this season.
Is this the kind of game where you enter hoping to grind out a draw? I would imagine most coaches would discourage that kind of talk, as a team in its best form is generally needed to beat a team in superior form overall. But Logan Pause admitted on SiriusXM radio show “USL Coast to Coast” the last time Orange County went to Texas, to face Rio Grande Valley FC, they were targeting a draw, which they got. Time will tell what the right strategy will be, and while SAFC aren’t invincible, Orange County will need to play well on both sides of the ball and probably get a little bit of luck to get a result.
If they do get a result, Orange County will likely go back above the playoff line in the Western Conference. There are still plenty of games ahead, but with the busiest month of the season here for the team, they’ll want to solidify their playoff credentials as much as possible.
Tale of the Tape:
Orange County SC: 25 points (7-5-4), 9th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: +3; Last five games: L-W-W-D-W
San Antonio FC: 40 points (11-1-7), 2nd place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: +19; Last five games: W-D-D-D-L
How to Watch San Antonio FC vs. Orange County SC: The game is scheduled to kick off at 5:30 pm PT at Toyota Field in San Antonio. You can watch the stream below or in USL’s matchcenter.
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