There’s a lot on the line on Saturday night, as Orange County SC leave what turned out to be a bad month on the field and hope the new one will bring better things, as they host Reno 1868 FC.
These teams faced each other way back in the season opener, with Orange County winning Reno’s first-ever competitive game, in Reno 2-0. But a lot has happened in the meantime — OC had a long road trip to start the season and have since played in two different home venues, with a strong start to the campaign tapering into a difficult stretch in late summer, while Reno took several weeks to find their footing in USL before basically blowing the doors off the competition. With USL leading scorer Dane Kelly leading the way, the attack has been phenomenal (they’re +26 in goal difference, best in all of the league) and their defense has figured things out. They aren’t going to catch Real Monarchs at the top of the standings, but they’re in good shape to host a playoff game this season, and Sacramento Republic showed in their first season that expansion teams can win trophies in USL.
So it’s going to be a tough match-up for Orange County. Working in their favor, however, is that Kelly is off on international duty, although OC are also missing a player, Wuilito Fernandes, on international duty, too. Carlos Alvarez made his return last week, and if he’s fully fit, he could get the start here. Add in the surprise addition of Irvin Parra from Seattle Sounders 2 this week, and Orange County’s attack could be better than it’s been in some time. Finally, Reno will be missing former OC Blues defender Brenton Griffiths, who is suspended for the game. All of these factors could help Orange County, and at the moment, they could use all the help they can get.
If they fail to win, is it over for Orange County? No, but another loss will put them further behind in the playoff race, so three points really are becoming crucial here. Can they get another win over Reno? Should be an interesting match.
Tale of the Tape:
Orange County SC: 29 points (7-7-8), 11th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -2; Last five games: L-D-D-D-L
Reno 1868 FC: 42 points (12-5-6), 3rd place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: +26; Last five games: W-W-W-W-L
How to Watch Orange County SC vs. Reno 1868: The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 pm PT at Orange County Great Park. You can watch the stream below or in USL’s matchcenter.
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