Orange County took all three points from last weekend’s match in Portland and now return home to take on El Paso Locomotive.
Off the back of their current winning streak, OCSC find themselves in fifth place, just one point and one win outside of fourth. El Paso, currently in 11th, are very much in the playoff hunt, as a win could see them unseat Orange County in fifth place. The first match between these two sides ended in a 2-0 victory for El Paso on March 30.
OCSC have been led by Michael Seaton and Darwin Jones in the last few weeks. Both men have been in incredible form as of late, and last weekend’s match saw the two combine again and net both goals. Frederik Due has slotted into the starting goalkeeping role exceptionally well, not only denying chances with a commanding aerial presence, but also making massive saves from set-pieces. Much of the rest of the squad is similarly undroppable.
El Paso is another team that has been quite balanced this year, with nine wins, nine draws, and eight losses. They have so far picked up four wins on the road, but their recent from suggests this may not be the most clear cut chance for number five. The West Texas side, led by Mark Lowry, is one that is comfortable in possession, averaging over 500 passes per game. With so much of the ball, they are not a team that concedes a great number of goals, conceding an average of 1.1 per game.
While the early part of the season was a worry, Orange County’s recent form alone makes them one of the most formidable teams in the West. Against a side that has outscored their opponents 10-2 in their last four matches, El Paso may look to adapt their playstyle. Regardless, the continued success of Michael Seaton and Darwin Jones will be the key for Orange County on what is shaping up to be one of the best nights of the year.
Youngster Vinicius made a late cameo on Sunday to mark his return from injury. Kevin Alston and Liam Trotter have returned to training, but are questionable for this weekend’s fixture. Michael Seaton and Aodhan Quinn join Hugo Arellano and Harry Forrester on the list of players who are one caution away from a one match suspension due to caution accumulation.
Fiesta de Futbol festivities will begin just over two hours before the match, with Live Lucha Libre Wrestling match presented by SoCal Pro Wrestling, from 4:45pm - 6:15pm in the parking lot adjacent to the stadium. The match kicks off at 7pm at Championship Stadium at the Orange County Great Park. The game will also be broadcast live on ESPN+ in the United States.
Orange County SC have raised their pass accuracy to 79.2%, with a 69.3% pass competition rate in their opponents’ half.
El Paso generally dominate possession, averaging 59% possession through 26 matches.