Despite a nervy second half, Orange County SC held on against Seattle Sounders 2 to win 4-3 after going up 3-0 at halftime.
While the score line flattered the away side, Orange County was imperious in the first half and even though mistakes crept in, they kept Sounders 2 quiet throughout the match.
Even though it was a tale of two halves, two players stood out; Roy Meeus and Carlos Alvarez.
At the beginning of the first half, Orange County took the initiative and were pressing the away side into submission. They were first to every second ball, intercepting passes, and sustaining attacks in final third of the pitch.
With Orange County SC controlling the game, this allowed Meeus to constantly get forward to provide width for the home side. At every moment, he was whipping balls into the box putting pressure on the defense whenever he could.
Along with his persistence in creating attacking opportunities for his side, he scored the first goal of the match in the 10th minute from the penalty spot taking his goal scoring tally to three goals in four games.
What also helped him in the attacking third of the pitch was his link up play with attacking midfielder Carlos Alvarez. The two were combining near the top of the box creating one-two’s and creating mismatches for the opposing right back.
Not only was he good offensively, but he positioned himself well to defend every attack on the left side of the pitch.
The Belgian was happy with his performance and was full of praise for Alvarez:
“Im just trying to keep going. I’ve been playing a few good games and today I had the opportunity to get forward a lot and with Carlos Alvarez it works out really well on the left side. He is a very good and smart player, likes the ball, keeps the ball, and plays two touches a lot. It makes it interesting to play with him.”
As for Alvarez, the attacking midfielder was at the center of the action for Orange County SC. He found himself in good spaces to facilitate to his teammates when on the attack. With being a positive force in the match, he scored their third goal of the game in the 25th minute.
His passing was on target as he was able to switch the focus of play to either side of the pitch throughout the match.
He was hard-working and also contributed to keeping the ball in the offensive zone by winning the ball back as well.
He credits his performance to manager Logan Pause, who according to the midfielder, has helped him improve immensely in the attack:
“I worked pretty hard in the week. Coach gave me repetition after repetition. We both played in the MLS, but I’m learning a lot from Coach Logan. He’s helping me improve on my movement, where to receive the ball, where to attack, when to play one two’s, and when to dribble. It’s been working so it’s a positive thing.
With breaking a three game losing streak in their first of three consecutive home games, Alvarez has stated his thanks to the fans who came out and supported the club on Saturday and has called on the fans of the club and soccer fans in general to come out and support:
“I just want Orange County fans to come out, or any kind of fans to come out. We need to city behind our back. We’ll show them a good game, and at the end of the day, I want to say thanks to everyone who came out and supported us. It’s gonna keep going each and every week.
*All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise stated
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