It’s been 3 months since Orange County SC fans have had a chance to see their team in action, and fans will have to wait just a bit longer to see their 2019 squad.
The fans first opportunity to see the new squad was disrupted by mother nature when the pre-season friendly against Vissel Kobe was cancelled due to rain on Tuesday, and even with a few dry days since, the conditions of the field at Championship Soccer Stadium are not ideal, especially for a pre-season friendly. Due to this, the club has made other arrangements to avoid another cancellation, moving the location and kickoff time. Unfortunately for fans, the change in venue has also resulted in the match being closed to the public. The change may not sit well with all fans, but again, there is no need to risk injury due to a poor pitch in the pre-season.
Orange County will be using this match to get a look at a few players trying to make the squad, while giving the newer players a chance to learn the system. Thanks to the return of many key players from last years squad, this should go a lot smoother than in seasons past. When asked about the team’s first opportunity to play a match in over 3 months, coach Braeden Cloutier shared his excitement:
“It’s been a long off season, especially after the loss to Phoenix in the conference final. The good thing is we have our core group of players returning & have added some very good players that fit the way we want to play. We are well ahead of schedule in terms of fitness & players that are signed than anytime in club history. I think everyone is excited to get started vs Toronto FC today & eager to get the season started vs Reno.” - Orange County SC coach Braeden Cloutier
For Toronto FC, this will be their second pre-season friendly, having lost their first match to Las Vegas Lights 5-1. In that match, Toronto used a partial squad, as many of their players were in Orange County for a scheduled match against Vissel Kobe that was also cancelled due to mother nature. They too will be using this match to get prepared for their upcoming season. Coach Greg Vanney knows the importance of friendlies in preparation for the season:
“The preseason is a process and today’s game is another step along the way toward getting our group prepared for Concacaf Champions League and the regular season. We like what we’ve seen in training, but it’s always good to see some of the things we’ve worked on tactically in a game setting.” Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney
We will do our best to update you with any news from the scrimmage. Hopefully going forward, the weather will cooperate, and fans will get to watch their team in action.
Orange County will be without the services of Harry Forrester and Koji Hashimoto for today’s match.
How to Watch
The club has announced that the scrimmage is closed to the public.
Date/Time: Friday, February 8, 2019 | 2:00 p.m. (PT)
Venue: Crawford Field, UC Irvine (Closed to the public)