In the third edition of the USL’s 405 Derby this year, the Orange County Blues grabbed the win over local rivals, a 2-0 result at Anteater Stadium in Irvine on Saturday. Trevin Caesar’s two goals was the difference between the teams on the night.
Truth be told, the result was important on a couple of levels for Orange County. Not only did they grab their second win all-time against Galaxy II, but they also revived their playoff hopes with just under two months left to go this season.
Caesar’s goals came in each half, the first off a nice feed from Christopher Santana, the second on a botched clearance by a Galaxy II defender that the Trinidad & Tobago international took on the breakaway and finished. The performance resulted in Caesar being named to USL’s Team of the Week and finishing second in the USL Player of the Week award.
Beyond that, the Blues’ win was one of their finest defensive performances all season, as they played organized in the back and took the initiative in closing down passing lanes all over the field, stopping the Galaxy II from sending balls over the top or through the center backs to the forward up top to finish. If OC can continue their form beyond the game, they very well could make a push up the standings.
The loss means LA’s nine-game unbeaten streak in USL play comes to an end, but they’re still among the top teams in the Western Conference and will have a new opportunity to start a new winning streak Saturday against Portland Timbers 2 at the StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium.
Orange County have a shorter turnaround before their next game, as they travel to Tulsa to take on the Roughnecks Thursday night.