Following Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against LA Galaxy II, the San Antonio FC faces a short turn around as they remain in California and prepare to take on the Orange County Blues Saturday night.
Unlike the high flying Los Dos, the OC Blues find themselves desperate for a win, having gone through their first three matches of the season winless. Yet their 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy II last Friday was an encouraging sign for the team.
Didier Crettenand and Brenton Griffiths have been the only scorers for the Blues, and Roy Meeus provided the only assist, this season. This has been a rough season from the start for the OC Blues, who have really struggled to finish their chances.
Trevin Caesar, a Trinidad and Tobago international, and a former Scorpions player, has been a dangerous player going forward for the Blues. He found number of good opportunities during the game against Los Dos last week, but has not yet found a goal to add to the existing 11 professional goals.
Though the Blues won the Western Conference regular season title last year, they have not showed that same form during the early stages of this season. Their finishing has been notably astray, and in a recent match, the defense failed to stop Saint Louis from scoring three goals with only three shots on target.
Despite being the better side in both matches, the Blues’ leaky defense has recently let them down and allowed for the goals, which cost them so dearly. That defense was central to the loss with Saint Louis, as the Blues could not hold on, despite a good attacking performance.
Poor finishing most notably came up in that loss to Saint Louis with Pavle Popara particularly responsible in that match. Popara had the chance to give his team the lead, but his penalty was well saved, giving away the Blues best chance of the season.
That sets up the possibility that this match could well be a frustrating one, with both sides struggling to finish the chances they have created. After doing well in the first match of the season, things have fallen away, but on the bright side, the chances have been spread throughout the players, as have the goals, which should encourage Darren Powell and the fans.
San Antonio FC will be coming into the match on a high after Wednesday’s draw, which felt more like a win against LA Galaxy II. Darren Powell handed a number of players their first match for San Antonio on Wednesday night, which should leave players fresh for Saturday’s match. San Antonio should be confident of getting at least one point from this match, and if the finishing can begin to really click, they could come away from this California road trip with four points.
The OC Blues will have one significant advantage coming into the match with no midweek game, having no match since last Friday. San Antonio, however, will have only spent Thursday and Friday without a game, and will have moved hotels in that time due to USL’s league structure. Any result will be pleasing for San Antonio, but after Wednesday’s solid performance against Los Angeles, a win is certainly possible.
Top Image: San Antonio FC’s Rafael Castillo and LA Galaxy II’s Jaime Villarreal approach a play during the game on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in Carson, Calif. Photo courtesy of United Soccer League.