After a disappointing loss to Rio Grande Valley FC last weekend, Orange County’s trip to the Pacific Northwest was a chance to return to their winning ways against a struggling Seattle Sounders 2 team who entered the match with only 18 points on the season. Unfortunately, an early start time lead to sloppy play, especially in the first half, and OC was only able to come away with 1 point following a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Early on in the match, Orange County looked to be in control, and had two quality chances within the first 10 minutes of the match. In the 8th minute, Aodhan Quinn received a nice pass on the run from Michael Seaton, but missed his shot just wide to the left of the goal. Although it wasn’t the easiest of attempts, it’s one that OC would have loved to have back.
Just 2 minutes later, OC had their easiest attempt on goal of the 1st half off a set piece. Quinn placed a nice kick just to the left of the goal, where Alex Crognale was waiting. The placement of the ball drew Seattle keeper Bryan Meredith to the left post, and Crognale was able hit the ball perfectly with his head, aiming it to the center of an open net, with not one, but two teammates in the area. Mats Bjurman, one of those two teammates, got his foot on the ball, but somehow missed the open net high.
Just a couple minutes later, Seattle had their best opportunity of the first half, but unlike OC, they were able to finish it. Midfielder Jesse Daley won the ball at the center line and used his pace to put pressure on the OC defense. He fed Azriel Gonzalez just outside of the box, who took a quality shot on goal, but was denied by Andre Rawls. Luckily for Seattle, the ball landed at the feet of Daley after Christian Duke was unable to make contact of the ball. Daley was able to set up his left foot, and curl the ball into the upper left side of the goal.
The remainder of the 1st half was filled with sloppy play from both sides, with poor passes, tackles, and attempts on goal.
The second half saw the quality of play pick up for both teams. In need of an equalizer, Orange County was able to win a corner kick in the 57th minute, and Quinn delivered a perfect pass to the near post, where Crognale was able to get his head on the ball, this time aiming for the goal instead of his teammates, with enough pace to get past Meredith.
The remainder of the 90 minutes saw some quality attempts on goal from both teams, including a shot off the crossbar from Quinn in the 86th minute. The boys from Orange County even had an opportunity to steal the match in the 3rd and final minute of extra time on a beautiful display of passing the ended in another opportunity for Quinn, but couldn’t get the ball past the keeper.
In the end, Orange County dropped points, but still got a result, and now sit 2nd in the Western Conference, thanks to 2 games in hand over 3rd place Phoenix Rising FC. Just like the loss to RGVFC last week, this match might be one that will haunt the team if their final position in the standings comes down to just a couple of points.
Orange County will look to get back on the winning side of things when they host OKC Energy FC this Saturday, Sept. 8. We’re in the home stretch of the season, hold on folks!
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