Orange County SC will hit the field for the first time in the 2021 USL Championship season on Sunday afternoon, the very last team in the league to begin play, when they face Tacoma Defiance in the Pacific Northwest.
Braeden Cloutier is back as head coach, and some of his squad is also returning — Michael Orozco, Robbie Kiernan, Kevin Alston, Nathan Smith, Brian Iloski, Darwin Jones, Seth Casiple, among others — while the club has also brought in a number of reinforcements. Chris Wehan, Brent Richards, Adam Jahn, and Abraham Romero come from around the USL, while the likes of Eero Markkanen, Mikko Kuningas and Patrick Rakovsky come from abroad. Plus Thomas Enevoldsen kind of fits in a couple of those categories, but he’s back and should provide an immediate boost.
They’ll be taking on a Tacoma team that is not to be taken lightly, having started the season with a draw and a win, most recently a strong 3-1 romp over San Diego Loyal on Thursday. They’ll be on short rest, and I suppose a player or two could be unavailable with the Seattle Sounders playing Sunday evening and having a bit of an injury crisis, but I think this team has a lot of potential and this is not necessarily a situation where Orange County walk into an MLS2 team’s stadium and walk out with an easy three points.
So, here’s our first data point of the season for OCSC. The season is here, at long last, and here we go with the 2021 campaign!
Tale of the Tape:
Orange County SC: 0 points (0-0-0); Goal Difference: 0
Tacoma Defiance: 4 points (1-0-1), Goal Difference: +2; Last two games: W-D
How to Watch Tacoma vs. Orange County SC: The game is scheduled to kick off at 12 pm PT at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma on Sunday. You can watch on ESPN+ throughout the United States.
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