Orange County SC lost their first game of the season on Saturday, falling 1-0 to Sacramento Republic FC at Champions Soccer Stadium in Orange County Great Park.
OC had plenty of chances on the night, holding an edge in total shots and shots on goal, even with the teams splitting the possession almost exactly 50-50. But much like their season opener last week against Phoenix Rising FC, they were unable to make the looks they got on goal go in the net, this time none at all.
Sacramento got their goal in the 66th minute, with Cameron Iwasa turning Alex Crognale into a pretzel before beating Andre Rawls in goal.
Orange County forward Michael Seaton was sent off in the 76th minute, as he collided with Republic goalkeeper Josh Cohen on a 50-50 ball in the box, with both players appearing to be hurt by the contact. It appeared they were both going for the ball, but the striker was sent to an early shower, which naturally left Orange County upset.
Cohen, who two seasons ago got his start in the pro game with OC, came up big on the night, with four saves, and Orange County had good moments but are still looking for a way to really unlock their attack. Head coach Braeden Cloutier preached patience in getting the team going, and it looks like they’re building that chemistry as they go, and we’ll see when things click.
They’ll get another chance right away, as OC will venture away from Irvine and head out on one of their long road trips, playing OKC Energy FC on Wednesday before facing the other Oklahoma side, Tulsa Roughnecks, on Saturday. Could the road trip speed up the jelling process? We’ll see.
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