Colorado Springs, Colo., July 4, 2019 - Orange County Soccer Club traveled to the highest stadium in the United States to take on Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. OC was looking for their first road win of the season, and the game started in Orange County’s favor.
There were several chances for the visitors early and involving many of the front line for Orange County. Michael Seaton took a cross and put it over the bar in the 7th minute. Darwin Jones also looked very dangerous in the first half. He put in a low cross that went to the empty far post.
In the 27th minute, Aodhan Quinn put a great free kick into the box. Seaton had a free header, but put it just wide. In the 30th minute, a ball came through to the penalty spot. Both Jerry van Wolfgang and Edson Alvarado had a chance at a shot, but the ball skipped by van Wolfgang and Alvarado put it over the bar.
In the 36th minute, Quinn found Seaton again. The play looked like it was going to end up with a goal, but Seaton missed the target.
The Switchbacks did not look like they were going to test the OC keeper Patrick McLain, but in the 37th minute Colorado got close. The first was a header on a corner kick that hit the outside of the netting, and the second was a one on one attempt by Saeed Robinson that he pushed just wide of the far post.
Late in the first half, Orange County looked to press again. This time it was Jones who put on a display. The first attempt was a brilliant through ball from Seaton that sprung Jones in toward goal. As the defenders collapsed on him, he managed to get a shot off, but was saved by Andre Rawls. The second was a great individual run from Jones. He got clear in the 18 yard box, but his centering pass missed everyone and the half ended at a 0-0 draw.
The second half did not start the way OC wanted. Only a few minutes after the game restarted, Rony Argueta put Colorado Springs up a goal in the 46th minute. A few minutes later, in the 49th minute, Seaton sparked the beginning of a comeback when he took a throw in and poked the ball by Switchbacks keeper Rawls.
Orange County kept pressing and again looked to be the better team on the pitch. In the 60th minute Jones again came to life with a great cross and a shot, but the shot sailed wide. The 65th minute featured a great save by McLain, which has become a weekly occurrence, that kept OC even with Colorado Springs.
Two Orange County subs provided a connection later in the half that ended up being all Orange County needed for the win. Kevin Coleman found his way down the wing and slid the ball beautifully between the Colorado defenders and Rawls to find Giovanni Ramos-Godoy who had an easy tap and put OC in the lead.
Orange County had to survive the last ten minutes of the game down a man, as Walker Hume was given a straight red in the 86th minute. It again featured McLain, in what has to be his best save of the season. In the 3rd minute of stoppage time, a cross came in and was headed toward goal. It found its way over McLain, but he was saved by the crossbar. The rebound bounced straight to a Switchback player, who headed it toward what seemed like a certain goal, but McLain sprung up and punched the ball away at the last moment. McLain mentioned how happy he was after the game saying, “we really needed a win tonight, we came into (the game) knowing it was going to be an absolute grind and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort the guys put in.”
Michael Seaton echoed a lot of McLain’s positive feeling saying “I’m very proud. I think the team held it together. We were very positive. The coach screamed out ‘family’ at the beginning of the game and I think we showed that on the field today.”
Coach Braeden Cloutier talked about the play on the pitch saying, “The first half was a really good performance. We created a lot of great opportunities. We got back to playing the way we want to play.” He also talked about the team mentality at this point in the season. “
The first half of the season is over with. Those 17 games, you can’t do anything about it. The next 17 are where our season is made.”
Orange County held on to get their first win on the road, and an important 3 points. Orange County hopes to continue their good run of for and looks to put together a road win streak against Austin Bold FC on July 13th. Kickoff is at 5:30 pm.
46’: Rony Argueta
49’: Michael Seaton
77’: Giovanni Ramos-Godoy (Kevin Coleman)
44’: Edson Alvarado (Yellow)
67’: Jordan Burt (Yellow)
86’: Walker Hume (Red)