Orange County Soccer Club (15-7-10) will start their journey in the 2021 USL Championship Playoffs against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (13-10-9) at Championship Soccer Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. OCSC is currently the second-place team in the Pacific Division, while Colorado Springs is currently the third-place team in the Mountain Division of the western conference.
After defeating LA Galaxy II on Oct. 30, OCSC came off their fifth straight win to conclude the regular season. The result confirmed OCSC’s second-place standing, securing the team a home-field advantage in this conference quarterfinal playoff game. During their current five game win streak, OCSC conceded only one goal from their opponents.
From injury woes to mid-season coaching changes, OCSC has overcome its fair share of obstacles before its seventh postseason appearance in 11 years. Under the guidance of interim head coach Richard Chaplow, OCSC will host their first home playoff game since 2018, when they lost to Phoenix Rising FC.
Orange County’s red-hot defense will have to fend off Colorado Springs’ forward Hadji Barry. Finishing the regular season with 25 goals, Barry was awarded the 2021 USL Championship Golden Boot as the league’s highest scorer. OCSC goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky, who was recently dubbed USL goalkeeper of the week, U28, will be tasked with keeping out Barry’s attempts on goal.
Forward Ronaldo Damus will also be a player to watch, having notched 14 goals for OCSC throughout the season. Damus scored the winning goal in OCSC’s final regular season match against Las Vegas Lights FC in the final seconds of stoppage time.
In the teams’ last matchup in Colorado on July 1, OCSC came away with a 2-0 victory, led by goals from forward Eero Markkanen and midfielder Eric Calvillo.
Saturday’s game will coincide with a pop-up beer fest at Championship Soccer Stadium. Tickets are available for purchase online for as low as $9.99. The game can also be streamed on ESPN+ and Cox Communications TV. For more information about OCSC and the USL Championship Playoffs, visit orangecountysoccer.com/playoffs.
James Huston is a Sports Staff Writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.