Irvine, California - Orange County is poised to remain at the top of the USL Western Conference this season, and the home opener against Tulsa Roughnecks FC offers the club its first chance to impress its home crowd in 2019.
Opening weekend saw both teams earn draws, with OC fighting back late against Reno 1868 FC to earn an inspiring point on Aodhan Quinn’s extra time penalty conversion. Tulsa played hosts to Portland Timbers 2, striking early in the 12th minute before conceding an equalizer 10 minutes after the second half restart.
Orange County took all six points between the two fixtures in 2018, with five goal victories in both the home and away matches. The club will certainly look to continue their dominating offensive performances on Saturday, especially through returnees Michael Seaton and Aodhan Quinn, who scored OC’s first and second goals of the season in Reno.
Tulsa arrives with two former Orange County players on their roster in fullback Matt Sheldon and striker AJ Ajeakwa, both of whom played last week in Tulsa, but did not score. Both players featured for Orange County in 2016, when the club finished 8th in the Western Conference and advanced to the Conference Semifinal.
With just one game in the books, there is currently nothing to separate the two sides. But an Orange County win can see the club get an early jump on conference rivals, and if results elsewhere go their way, OCSC can even find themselves atop the West after just the second week of the season.
Orange County’s home opener kicks off at 7pm Pacific Time at Championship Stadium in the Orange County Great Park.
Rookie Daniel Cristostomo leads the club in pass accuracy at 91.7%, successfully completing 36 passes through his 90 minutes and professional debut in Reno.
Orange County’s back line amassed 20 clearances and 8 interceptions against a dangerous Reno 1868 FC attack.
How to Watch
Date/Time: Saturday, March 16, 2019 | 7:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Championship Soccer Stadium, Irvine, CA