Orange County SC Increases USL Western Conference lead With Victory over Real Monarchs SLC
Soccer News: Christian Duke scores his first goal on the 2018 season, Noah Powder scores a goal in three straight matches and Thomas Enevoldsen moves into a tie for 2nd in the USL’s Golden Boot race — all in all, a great match for Southern California’s USL team.
USL RACE FOR THE PLAYOFFS: OCSC Has SECURED A BERTH
Orange County SC is enjoying a great end of the USL regular season, keeping fans on the edge of their seats as the team has shown grit, talent, and determination with important comebacks elevating them in the USL Western Conference standings … all the way to the top of the charts.
This Wednesday, was another example of great teamwork and leadership as Orange County SC officially clinched a USL playoff spot.
The team, which is known for providing opportunities to talented youth players who are able to wear the same orange and black uniform and share the field with experienced soccer pros who have played in FIFA World Cups has made a clear statement; they are here to make a difference.
Orange County SC has a never-give-up mentality deserving of their cheering fans.
Surrounded by cheering fans, Orange County SC defeated Real Monarchs SLC 5-2 in front of the home crowd at Championship Soccer Stadium.
The victory further secured Orange County’s first place position in the USL Western Conference and added to the club’s record-breaking season totals in wins and points.
Following Swope Park’s 2-0 victory over San Antonio FC in Kansas City, shortly after kickoff in Irvine, Orange County secured a berth in the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs.
“It’s a great feeling to be back in the playoffs, and I am convinced that we have a team that can compete for a USL championship,” said Orange County SC General Manager & EVP Oliver Wyss.
“The credit goes to the hard work of our entire technical staff and talented players, who have worked tirelessly all season long to clinch a spot in the post-season—where this club belongs.”
In his first season as Orange County SC Head Coach, Braeden Cloutier has helped guide a talented team to the post-season.
“Clinching the playoffs is a great feeling, and a tribute to the hard work this team has put into this season,” said Cloutier. “It’s only the first step though, in accomplishing our overall goal for the season. We still have a lot of work to do in the next several weeks, and I know our players are not satisfied.”
Against Real Monarchs, Orange County played as if it was not satisfied.
After conceding an early goal, midfielder Aodhan Quinn tapped home a goal and midfielder/defender Noah Powder chipped the goalkeeper from nearly mid-pitch—a surefire USL Goal of the Week candidate.
Following an SLC equalizer, Orange County ran off three unanswered goals: One from midfielder Christian Duke—his first of the 2018 USL regular season—followed by a penalty from Aodhan Quinn and then the final score from forward Thomas Enevoldsen.
Orange County SC had earned back the top spot in the USL standings for the Western Conference the week before with the win a 1-0 win over Fresno FC on September 16, 2018. That was a hard fought match and one where Orange County SC clearly showed their determination to be a playoff contender.
After the win against Fresno, Quinn said, “It’s great being back on top of the standings after another hard-fought game in a difficult place to play. With 4 games left this is the position you want to be in, giving yourself a chance to win the league.”
“The win against Fresno was an important result,” said Duke. “It was a big-time win going into the postseason, even if it is an ugly way to win, it was huge.”
“We came together as a team,” said Duke. “Our team chemistry is fantastic. We have a never-say-die mentality and that is what helps us come through.”
As the head coach, Cloutier has shown unwavering leadership of Orage County SC, regardless of the final score. The quality of a coach is often clearest while climbing the path to victory and not after a big win. Before the team had their recent series of wins, Cloutier had said, “Great results do not always happen. We will put in a solid week of training. and continue to make make a run at 1st place in the table and carry that momentum into the playoffs.” And that is exactly what the team has done.
Orange County’s final 2018 regular season home game is on Saturday, October 6th, – click here for tickets. Playoff ticket information will be announced within the next week.