This is it. This is what Orange County SC have been working for all season, a chance to prove themselves in the USL Cup Playoffs and perhaps lift a trophy when all is said and done.
But first, they must begin that quest on Saturday, as they face Saint Louis FC at Orange County Great Park, with a spot in the Western Conference semifinals on the line.
In their eighth season, Orange County will finally host a playoff game for the first time, after venue issues meant a home playoff game had to be moved to the opponent’s venue the last time OC finished atop the conference. In that case, they lost. They’re hoping home field advantage will be just that, as they face playoff debutant Saint Louis, who finally clinched this year after years of futility.
On paper, Orange County’s dominant season gives them an edge, as they’re the top seed and Saint Louis squeaked in as the final seed in the West. But these teams have played stalemate soccer this year, two draws in their regular season meetings, and the profiles of the rosters mean they should match up pretty closely. If Orange County aren’t at their best, they could really suffer against a team with nothing to lose here in STLFC.
It’s going to be an important night in Orange County SC lore. Here’s hoping they get a win here to move on in the playoffs and set up more important nights in what has been a terrific season to date.
Tale of the Tape:
Orange County SC: 66 points (20-8-6), 1st place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: +30; Last five games: L-W-W-W-W
Saint Louis FC: 53 points (14-9-11), 8th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: +6; Last five games: D-W-W-W-D
How to Watch Orange County SC vs. Saint Louis FC: The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 pm PT at Orange County Great Park in Irvine. You can watch the stream only on ESPN+.
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