Blues Hold On to 1-1 Draw with Richmond Kickers

Photo Credit: Michael Janosz

Photo Credit: Michael Janosz

IRVINE, CA – (August 30, 2014) The  Orange County Blues played one of their best games of the season, holding the free-scoring Richmond Kickers to a 1-1 draw in front of 585 fans at Anteater Stadium.

In what was a crisp, technical, and tactical chess match, Richmond were able to strike first when a poor clearance out of the Blues end fell right to Jason Yeisley. The Richmond striker returned it with considerable interest, smashing it past Pepe Miranda in the Blues goal.

The Blues came storming back as a multi-pass move found Seung Ju Kim on the right hand side. He curled a delightful ball in and Andrew Hoxie bull rushed into the box to finish with a flying header to level the score six minutes later.

The match continued with end to end action and the pendulum swung from side to side as each team dominated pockets of the game.

In the second half, Kim saw his effort from 18 yards fly well over the goal, while Gabriel Gonzalez had a shot with either foot from just outside the box, but Richmond goalkeeper Ryan Taylor was equal to the task.

Substitute winger Enrique Cardenas almost recorded a shock victory for the Blues. The former Anteater weaved his way into the box and struck his shot with plenty of venom, but Taylor was the hero with a stunning save to deny the home side a famous victory.

With this result, the Blues earned their first draw of the season, but other league results earlier in the day sealed Orange County’s fate. The Blues are now mathematically eliminated from the USL PRO Playoffs, with 28 points and a 9-17-1 record.

The Kickers now travel up the 405 to face the LA Galaxy II on Monday night in a battle between the top two scoring teams in the USL PRO. Richmond holds 3rd place in the league, with 50 points and a 13-2-11 record.

Orange County has a week to recover before ending the season just as they started it, with a home match against the OKC Energy FC on September 6th. Kick-off is set for 7:00 PM PT at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC Irvine. It’s Fan Appreciation Night, where OC Blues FC will reward the fans for their loyalty with fun games and great prizes. The first 500 fans will receive a commemorative match-day poster, presented by Tifo Apparel, and LucyVegas.com will award a free trip to Las Vegas to a lucky Blues fan in attendance. For the best ticket pricing, call (714) 738-8011 or email seats@bluessoccerclub.com.

If you can’t make the match, you can always watch live on YouTube, at youtube.com/ocbluesfc.

 

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Orange County Faces League Power Richmond Kickers Saturday

Photo Credit: Michael Janosz

Photo Credit: Michael Janosz

IRVINE, CA (August 29, 2014) – The Orange County Blues look to end a three-match losing streak as they host the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, August 30th, at UC Irvine’s Anteater Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00PM.

Orange County comes off a tough defeat last Saturday to Wilmington Hammerheads FC. Both sides held each other in check for 70 minutes, until Wilmington broke the scoreless draw with a goal by Sunny Jane in the 72nd minute. The Blues responded five minutes later, as Alex Martinez played a ball into the middle for Christopher Santana, who calmly slotted it past Wilmington goalkeeper Brad Stuver for his third goal this season. The score held level until second-half stoppage time, when three players, two for Orange County and one for Wilmington, were sent off with red cards by the referee. A few minutes later, the Hammerheads’ Drew Ruggles fired a free kick into the box that found Ashani Fairclough, who headed in the game winner to give Wilmington a 2-1 victory.

Richmond comes into Saturday’s tilt after hosting league-leading Orlando City. The Lions ultimately took the victory in a back and forth match, winning 3-2 at rainy City Stadium in Richmond. Orlando’s Kevin Molino scored his league record-breaking 16th goal of the season, while Richmond’s George Davis IV tallied a goal and an assist.

The Kickers fell to 3rd place in the USL PRO standings after their loss and Sacramento Republic’s win against the Charleston Battery on Wednesday. Richmond has a record of 13-2-10 for the season, giving them a total of 49 points. After the loss to Wilmington, the Blues fell to 13th place in the standings, with a 9-17-0 record and 27 points.  If Orange County loses or draws against Richmond, they will be mathematically eliminated from USL PRO Playoff contention. They could also be eliminated before the match even starts, depending on the results of other matches around the league. Richmond has already clinched a home playoff match.

Allan Russell leads the Blues with eight goals and seven assists, followed by Chris Cortez, who’s scored five goals. Matthew Delicâte leads Richmond with 14 goals and one assist, while Davis IV has scored 11 goals and notched five assists. Davis IV, Shay Spitz, and Matheau Hall all played for the Blues last season.

With only two matches remaining in this 2014 season for Orange County, now’s the time to get out to Anteater Stadium to support your local team. Call (714) 738-8011 or email seats@bluessoccerclub.com for the best ticket pricing. If you can’t make it to the match, watch the Blues take on the Kickers live on YouTube, with Marc Serber on the call at youtube.com/ocbluesfc.

Wilmington Stuns Orange County, Taking a 2-1 Victory in a Wild Finish

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IRVINE, CA (August 23, 2014)- The Orange County Blues and Wilmington Hammerheads battled each other at Anteater Stadium, literally, and a wild ending ensued.

A back and forth affair produced some excellent saves by Orange County’s Aaron Perez and Wilmington’s Brad Stuver.

Wilmington opened the scoring in the 70th minute after a fine flowing move. Substitute Cody Arnoux made an immediate impact as he slid the ball across for Sunny Jane to slot the ball beyond Perez.

Blues’ coach Daryoush Yazdani sent Christopher Santana onto the field in the 77th minute. “Chino” repaid his coach’s faith by equalizing just five minutes later. Allan Russell flicked the ball on for Alex Martinez who played a gorgeous one touch through ball. Santana latched onto it and outraced the back-line before dispatching his effort past Stuver.

In stoppage time, Andre Campbell and Eli Garner were shown red cards for rough play in the box as Martinez was waiting to take a corner kick. Benches cleared as tempers reached a fever pitch in the vicinity of Martinez. The Uruguayan was also given his marching orders.

Play finally resumed and Wilmington claimed a crucial victory as Drew Ruggles crossed for Ashani Fairclough to head the winning goal in the 99th minute.

Wilmington will have to recover quickly as the Hammerheads face the LA Galaxy II tomorrow at noon.

The Blues will be back at it next Saturday, August 30 at home versus the Richmond Kickers. Kick-off is slated for 7:00 P.M. PT.

With only two games remaining, now is the time to come out to Anteater Stadium if you haven’t already, as Orange County hosts its final games of the inauguration of professional soccer in the OC . For the best pricing on tickets, contact the Blues front office at (714) 738-8011 or email seats@bluessoccerclub.com.

West Coast Meets East Coast as Orange County faces Wilmington Hammerheads

Photo Credit: Michael Janosz

Photo Credit: Michael Janosz

IRVINE, CA (August 22, 2014)- Orange County is set to host the Wilmington Hammerheads of North Carolina. The match will be played at University of California Irvine’s Anteater Stadium with  kickoff scheduled for 7PM PST.

The Hammerheads and the Blues meet for the first time this season with playoff spots at stake.

The Orange County Blues suffered a 6-1 loss to Northern California rivals Sacramento Republic FC in front of 753 fans at Anteater Stadium on August 17. The loss led Sacramento Republic to clinch a berth in the 2014 USL PRO playoffs, and left the Blues in a very compromising position.

Wilmington will enter this match after a 2-0 loss to Sacramento Republic at Bonney Field on their first game of their California road trip.

The Blues are one point above the Hammerheads in USL PRO standings. But a win for either team will strengthen their probabilities of a playoff berth. Blues Captain Allan Russell leads Orange County with eight goals and seven assists. Wilmington is led by forward Sammy Ochoa, who’s tallied four goals and five assists.

If you are not able to attend the match, be sure to watch it live on youtube.com/ocbluesfc.

With only three games remaining, now is the time to come out to Anteater Stadium if you haven’t already, as Orange County makes its final playoff push. For the best pricing on tickets, contact the Blues front office at (714) 738-8011 or email seats@bluessoccerclub.com.

Orange County Suffers 6-1 Defeat to Sacramento Republic FC

 

Photo Credit: Michael Janosz

Photo Credit: Michael Janosz

IRVINE, CA (August 17, 2014)- The Orange County Blues suffered a 6-1 loss to Northern California rivals Sacramento Republic FC in front of 753 fans at Anteater Stadium.

Sacramento Republic clinched a berth in the 2014 USL PRO playoffs after this victory.  

Sacramento took the season series three games to one. After the first three games finished 2-1 with the home team winning each time, no one expected such a one-sided affair.

The Blues opened the season series at Anteater Stadium on April 12, where the Blues were victorious with a 2-1 win. Sacramento then hosted Orange County on May 3 and then July 7 at their new stadium, Bonney Field, where the Republic was victorious both times.

Sacramento Republic played with a sense of urgency as the visitors knew that all three points.

Although six goals were scored on Blues’ goalkeeper Aaron Perez, the former NFL punter put in an impressive shift.  But, the lack of possession in the midfield for the Blues led to what seemed to be a continuous onslaught from the Republic. Orange County needed to keep up the intensity because the season depended on it, but Sacramento outclassed them.

Nemanja Vukovic opened the scoring in the 38th minute with a ferocious volley after Perez blocked four shots in succession by the Republic, but the Blues were unable to clear their lines and the ball popped out for the 30-year-old to smash home his first goal of the season.

The Blues responded in the 47th minute as Allan Russell was taken down after a neat turn in the box. The captain picked himself up and slid the ball past Dominik Jakubek, even though the Republic keeper guessed right.

It appeared to be game on, but two goals in two minutes put the game to bed.

First Mickey Daly finished a Max Alverez free kick after the Blues were unable to get the ball out of the box in the 54th minute. Two minutes later and the Blues were knocked to the canvas as Emrah Kilmenta crossed the ball for Alvarez to head the ball across for Adam Jahn to knock home his fifth goal of the season.

Thomas Stewart then entered the match in the 61st minute and recorded a hat-trick in 22 minutes. The former Shamrock Rovers forward struck in the 68th minute from a tight angle with a vicious effort that caught Perez off guard.

Five minutes later, Stewart ghosted through the Blues defense and smashed the ball beyond Perez into the right side of the net.

On the stroke of full time the 27-year-old completed his hat-trick, with a carbon copy of his 73rd minute strike. The goal took the Northern Irish forward to double digits on the season, clinching a playoff spot for Sacramento and possibly sending Orange County crashing out of the playoffs.

This defeat puts the Blues 9-16-0, tied for the ninth spot in the USL PRO Standings with Charlotte Eagles and Arizona United SC.

The Blues will be back at it next Saturday, August 23rd at home versus the Wilmington Hammerheads FC. Kick-off is slated for 7:00 P.M. PT.

With only three games remaining, now is the time to come out to Anteater Stadium if you haven’t already, as Orange County makes its final playoff push. For the best pricing on tickets, contact the Blues front office at (714) 738-8011 or email seats@bluessoccerclub.com.

Blues and Republic Square Off in their Last Regular Season Matchup

IRVINE, CA (August 16th, 2014) – It’s back to the friendly confines of Anteater Stadium at UC Irvine for the Orange County Blues, as they host Northern California rival Sacramento Republic on Sunday, August 17th. Kickoff is slated for 4:00 PM PST.

The Blues return from a week-long, three-game East Coast road trip that saw them log close to 5,000 miles.

The trip started on Friday, August 8th, where Orange County lost a close match to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 1-0. They traveled north to Rochester, NY for a match on Sunday, August 10th, where they took a narrow 1-0 victory over the Rochester Rhinos, their first in nearly a month. Allan Russell converted from the penalty spot in the 41st minute, and the Blues defense held off several Rhinos attacks to claim the win. Finally, the trip concluded on Wednesday, August 13th in Charleston, SC, where Orange County played one of their best matches of the season against the Charleston Battery. Going down 2-0 early, newly acquired forward Alex Martinez scored just before halftime to pull one back. Charleston put another on the board in the second half before Blues midfielder Seung Ju Kim scored his first professional goal, however the effort was not enough, as the Battery held on for a 3-2 victory.

Russell’s goal in Rochester gives him seven on the season, which along with his four assists, leads the team. Forward Chris Cortez has tallied five goals on the season.

Currently, Orange County sits in 9th place in the USL PRO standings, with a total record of 9-15-0, giving them a total of 27 points on the season.

Sacramento Republic comes into this matchup with the series advantage over the Blues. Each match has had a final score of 2-1. Orange County won the first match at Anteater Stadium on April 12th, and Sacramento won the matches on May 3rd and July 7th. Republic FC has not lost in their previous five matches, and is currently on a three-game winning streak. Former Blue Rodrigo Lopez leads Sacramento with seven goals and seven assists on the season.

Republic FC currently sits in 3rd place in the USL PRO standings, with a total record of 13-6-3, giving them a total of 42 points on the season.

With only four games remaining, and the top eight teams in the league advancing to the postseason, the Blues need as many points as they can get in this final stretch. Now’s the time to come out to Anteater Stadium if you haven’t already, as Orange County makes it’s final playoff push. For the best pricing on tickets, contact the Blues front office at (714) 738-8011 or email seats@bluessoccerclub.com.

Orange County Blues FC vs Sacramento Republic FC will be broadcast live, on the OC Blues FC YouTube channel. Watch and listen to Marc Serber and Brad Paul on the call at youtube.com/ocbluesfc.

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Blues Drop Final Road Match in Charleston, 3-2

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Charleston SC — Orange County Blues lost their hard fought battle against Charleston Battery with a 3-2 final score on Wednesday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 2,988.

Dane Kelly opened the scoring for Charleston in the 17th minute. The play began when midfielder Jarad van Schaik sent a cross into the box and midfielder Jose Cuevas used his head to flick the ball on to Kelly. Kelly then used his right foot to poke the ball past the Orange County goalkeeper, Aaron Perez, to make the game 1-0.

Kelly contributed to the second goal of the game when he took a shot from just outside of the box and forced a handball in the box by Orange County. Cuevas stepped up to take the penalty and calmly buried the kick in the left side of the net to make the game 2-0 in the 34th minute.

Orange County cut into the Charleston lead in the closing minutes of the second half. A ball played from the Orange County back line caught the Charleston back line off guard and Uruguayan, Alex Martinez chased the ball down. Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper charged out to defend the play but was easily beaten by Martinez, who calmly put the ball in goal to make the score 2-1 heading into halftime. This marked Martinez first goal with the Blues.

Kelly and Cuevas connected again in the second half to increase the Charleston lead in the 65th minute. Charleston was awarded a free-kick just outside of the box on the left side and Cuevas stepped up to take it. Cuevas played a ball that looked like it might go in, but Kelly was taking no chances and headed the ball in from 5 yards out to make the score 3-1.

The Blues would not go down easy and grabbed a second goal in the 75th minute. Substitutes Thomas “Eli” Garner and Seung Ju Kim were able to produce the goal when Garner possessed a ball in the midfield and found a cutting Kim behind the Charleston back line. Kim beat Cooper with ease to cut the Charleston lead to one.

The South Korean native, Seung Ju Kim earned his first goal as a professional soccer player.

Charleston was able to diffuse any threats after they allowed the second goal and held on for the 3-2 win.

Charleston now has 29 points with a record of 7-8-8. Orange County Blues FC stays at 27 points with a record of 9-15-0, but drop to 9th place in USL PRO Standings.

Despite the loss the Blues look forward to a win this Sunday against Sacramento Republic FC. A win will get them closer to a play-off spot.

The Blues return to Irvine to face Northern California foe Sacramento Republic on Sunday, with kickoff at 4:00PM PST. Now’s the time for fans to enjoy great soccer in Orange County, as the Blues make their final playoff push.

Dont miss the last four home games of 2014 Season at Anteater Stadium. Buy your tickets now by calling (714)738-8011 or email seats@bluessoccerclub.com and take advantage of the limited time offer to purchase tickets for all 4 games for only $20. (Offer Ends August 15)