OCFC 0-1 La Maquina

by Art Eftekhari

Orange County FC came up short in a 1-0 loss against la maquina at vanguard university 

Costa Mesa, CA - Eight days after defeating La Habra City FC 3-0, OCFC faced another UPSL squad: La Maquina. 

Entering this match OCFC head coach Paul Caligiuri knew La Maquina would be a challenge and it showed right away as La Maquina dominated possession in the first half and exploited holes and space in the OCFC midfield.

The only goal of the match came midway through the first half after some excellent teamwork between midfielders Ronaldo Pineda and Thales Serra. 

From just outside the penalty area, Pineda placed an excellent shot into the far upper corner past OCFC keeper Brandon Gomez.

Head coach Caligiuri and assistant Ernie Richau were busy throughout the match and during the break as they made changes to stem the tide in the second half. 

La Maquina - coached by Alex Uribe - showed great chemistry with quick passes and ball control throughout the first half but goalkeeper Luis Sosa would be forced into action on more than one occasion in the second half. 

The best scoring opportunity for OCFC came late in the second half when midfielder Jonathan Romero had a shot inside the penalty area that was parried by Sosa to force a corner kick. 

"I think I had the best opportunity of the game but you can't dwell on one chance," said Romero.

OCFC had their opportunities on corner kicks and free kicks during the second half but La Maquina kept their poise and goalkeeper Sosa limited scoring chances for OCFC with his saves and positioning in the penalty area.

Although OCFC were unable to find the equalizer in the second half, head coach Caligiuri was satisfied with OCFC's performance. 

“Everyone benefits when the team comes together and everyone plays their roles,' said Caligiuri. "Our goal is to build chemistry and improve match fitness as we get closer to our opening match against FC Arizona."

Assistant coach Richau echoed similar thoughts as he was happy to see that La Maquina were unable to find any space in the OCFC midfield during the second half. 

"We are happy with how the guys adapted and from here on out we have to keep evaluating our players and making adjustments," said Richau.

Caligiuri and Richau will be busy evaluating their squad as they get closer to the big match against FC Arizona on March 11th but it is clear that they are focused and ready to make OCFC known throughout the National Premier Soccer League.