Following a well-fought draw in Fresno, Orange County SC returns home to face Phoenix Rising FC. Saturday night will feature the first match between the two clubs since the 2018 season ended in heartbreak for Orange County fans.
Despite picking up a point away, Orange County dropped into 14th place in the West. However, the points spread is still tight, with three points separating 10 places in the standings. Both teams further have a game in hand over the top four in the West, meaning that nothing is yet stable as teams head into the third month of the season.
Phoenix started off the 2019 campaign with four successive draws, home and away. But the defensive issues that saw a worrying eight goals conceded in the first three games have been resolved. The team has conceded just one goal in the four matches since, including a goalless draw in Sacramento last weekend.
Defense will again be critical for Orange County this week, with Phoenix Rising averaging just over 18 shots per game. Such an offensive effort not only guarantees an exciting match but also means that OCSC should find opportunities to strike on counter attacks, using the most of their attack’s youth and speed.
The match kicks off at 7pm Pacific at Championship Stadium at the Orange County Great Park. The game will also be broadcast live on ESPN+ in the United States.
OC has maintained a 78% pass completion rate, having completed 3,305 passes thus far.
Phoenix currently leads the entire USL in shots, having registered 149 through eight matches.