Orange County SC will aim to pick up more points in midweek action as they take a long road trip this week, stopping first in Kansas City for a meeting against Swope Park Rangers on Wednesday evening.
This is the first meeting between the teams this season, with the return leg coming in less than a month. Swope Park, like OC, are playing well this season, sitting just below Orange County in the Western Conference standings, so this is a good heat check game for both sides.
In looking at the past history, while I initially thought Swope Park Rangers had a big edge over OC, that’s not the case: Orange County holds a 1-2-1 record against SPR, including the teams’ playoff run in 2016. So things were much better last year, and OC will look to keep that run going against a Swope Park Rangers side that has undergone some changes.
Most notably, former MLSer Paulo Nagamura is coaching the team now, and Thomas Enevoldsen’s main rival for the USL Golden Boot at the moment, Kharlton Belmar, may be in the lineup for Swope Park in this game. Belmar did get minutes for Sporting Kansas City last weekend, however, and Sporting play in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, so his status is uncertain. On the other hand, it seems likely Enevoldsen will be in the lineup.
So which team emerges from this game? Both teams will be eager to take a win here to improve their position in the Western Conference. And with the first meeting coming so late in the season, it will be interesting to see how these teams look in the midweek clash.
Tale of the Tape:
Orange County SC: 33 points (10-6-3), 5th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: +17; Last five games: W-L-W-L-W
Swope Park Rangers: 31 points (9-6-4), 6th place in Western Conference; Goal Difference: -1; Last five games: L-L-W-W-L
How to Watch Swope Park Rangers vs. Orange County SC: The game is scheduled to kick off at 5:30 pm PT at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. You can watch the stream only on ESPN+.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!