A night before hosting a World Cup final watching party at Orange County Great Park’s Championship Soccer Stadium, the Orange County Soccer Club hosted San Antonio FC in a United Soccer League match on Saturday.
The result was satisfying for the home fans, regardless of which side they were rooting for in the World Cup.
Orange County SC dominated, earning a 3-0 victory.
The hosts, who came into the match in playoff position by occupying the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference, improved to 10-6-3 this season. San Antonio, currently on the outside looking in at No. 10, dropped to 5-5-7.
Orange County SC was able to rebound from a 3-0 loss to L.A. Galaxy II in its last outing.
“I was out the last game [with an ankle injury], and I wanted to help the team out,” said forward Michael Seaton, who scored one goal. “Coming off that loss, I think everyone woke up. We’ve got to get to playoffs and we want to be in the top four. I think we did a good job repaying the loss last game.”
Thomas Enevoldsen scored in the 33rd minute for Orange County SC, assisted by Aodhan Quinn. A San Antonio FC defender fell down near the top of the box and no foul was called, which gave Quinn plenty of space. He crossed it from the right to Enevoldsen, who stuck it in the back of the net for his team-best 10th goal.
Orange County SC dominated possession midway through the second half, and it ended up paying off, even after San Antonio FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo made a diving stop on Seaton’s chance in the 61st minute. Local product Mats Bjurman, who grew up in Irvine, scored in the very next minute on Quinn’s assist, doubling Orange County SC’s lead.
Seaton added a goal in stoppage time after an Orange County SC breakaway started by Mark Segbers. He passed to his right to Enevoldsen, who made the extra pass to Seaton, who put it away .
The match got chippy in the second half. There were nine total yellow cards presented, six to San Antonio FC, including one to the keeper Restrepo. Restrepo earned his in the 49th minute after a collision with Seaton near the top of the box.
Luis Lopez, who made his debut in goal for Orange County as he is on loan from Los Angeles Football Club, needed to make just two saves as the team earned its second 3-0 win over San Antonio this season.
“It was good for him to get a couple of saves,” Seaton said. “I liked how he didn’t have to work so hard. He got to see how the team plays and gel with the team.”