San Diego Loyal SC vs. Orange County SC
Saturday, August 5 at 7:00 pm
Torero Stadium – USD
The San Diego Loyal host Orange County SC for the first time in 2023. Their rivals just up the Interstate 5 are playing elite soccer with three straight wins and four of their last five. Saturday night has the makings of being another intense contest between two potential playoff squads.
The Loyal are also playing well at this point in the campaign. They have registered 10 points of a possible 12 in their last four matches. July was a good month of them as they climbed back up the Western Conference standings into fourth place. San Diego took down Colorado Springs two matches in a row with a combined score of 7-0. Loyal goalkeeper Koke Vegas and his squad also had another clean sheet against Hartford Athletic 2-0 prior to the two wins against the Switchbacks.
The Loyal record has improved to (9-5-6) with 33 points and a (+11) goal difference. Their goal difference is tied for 4th in the USL Championship and third in the conference.
Orange County struggled to begin the season but has figured out their identity when it mattered. They currently sit in a playoff spot as they are in 6th place with a (9-9-4) record. They are two points below the Loyal in two more matches played while having a (-3) goal difference on the season.
The Loyal have championship aspirations in mind. They know that they need to take care of business during this homestand. SD will be facing squads that they are better than and have a good chance to climb up the standings even more.
The Loyal have played in just 20 USL matches. Sacramento Republic FC lead the conference with 41 points but have played in 22 matches. If Nate Miller and his squad can win a majority of these home matches, then he will have his team within a few points of first place.
San Diego is coming off a win where they attempted 17 shots with four on target. Joe Corona and Ronaldo Damus scored the goals as the Loyal controlled the entire match. Koke Vegas saved five shots in another impressive performance.
El cohete. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/FRhJBxpGMr
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) August 1, 2023
Damus added to his goal tally and has six on the season. He will be facing his former club where he won a USL Championship with back in 2021. Damus is now two goals under Evan Conway for the team lead. Corona now has three goals on the season to match Blake Bodily and Tumi Moshobane. Adrien Perez has five on the campaign.
For Orange County, July was also an impressive month for them. They are coming off a 1-0 win over New Mexico United and registered a combined seven goals in their previous two wins.
Milan Iloski leads the team with 10 goals which is tied for 4th in the USL. He is really a bulk of their offense. He has scored 10 of their 27 goals on the season as their next highest scorers are Oluwakorede Osundina and Thomas Amang with three each. Amang will return to San Diego where he played a crucial role with the squad in 2022.
San Diego knows what is right in front of them. Expect them to come of aggressive Saturday night as they look for their fourth consecutive victory … and who knows, maybe they will even get another clean sheet with how well Vegas is playing right now.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.