IRVINE, CALIF. (October 20, 2018) – The top seed in the USL Western Conference is headed to the second round of the 2018 playoffs. Orange County SC defeated playoff debutants Saint Louis FC 4-0 on Saturday night, pouring it on after a Tony Walls red card 20 minutes in.
Tony Walls red card downs Saint Louis FC in first ever USL appearance
Just 11 minutes in, Thomas Enevoldsen found Michael Seaton on the counter-attack after a turnover to open the scoring.
This match ultimately came down to the 21st-minute decision by head official Ramy Touchan. Orange County were possessing the ball well and looking to create some changes. After an interception, STLFC looked to move the ball upfield.
Walls and Seaton collided with Seaton getting called for a straight-forward (and what seemed like a harmless) foul. The two exchanged words after Walls refused Seaton’s help getting off the ground. The exchange continued and Touchan gave Walls a straight red card. Seaton was given a yellow card after the play as well.
At the time of publishing, the USLSoccer.com match center still has the red card to Walls for violent conduct.
After that, Orange County went to work. In the 29th minute, Seaton scored with a header, with Kevin Alston proving the service. Seaton completed his hat trick in the second half with a goal in the 64th minute on a sequence after a corner. Mats Bjurman completed the blow out with a goal just two minutes later.
The match ended 4-0.
Red card downs Saint Louis: Saint Louis fell off a cliff once the red card happened. Walls has been an engine in the midfield on both sides of the ball for the first year playoff team. Without him, they were unable to keep the ball for long stretches and were weak up the middle.
Seaton balls out: There’s no doubt who the man of the match was in this one. Seaton recorded a hat trick and started the play that got his team up a man. He was dangerous with his feet and his head all game long and his movement off the ball was excellent.
Reno next: Orange County will host Reno 1868 FC in the next round. Reno upset higher seeded Real Monarchs on the road on Saturday.