Professional Soccer Returns to Orange County Great Park Professional Soccer Returns to Orange County Great Park

After a four-month-plus hiatus due to COVID-19, world-class soccer has found its way back to the Championship Soccer Stadium at the Orange County Great Park.

Orange County SC, the county’s Irvine-based professional soccer franchise, resumed its regular season with two home games against Phoenix Rising FC – a 1-1 draw on July 16 and a 1-0 win on July 25. The July 16 match was the team’s first since its March 6 season opener against El Paso Locomotive FC.

As part of ongoing health and safety protocols, fans are currently not permitted to attend games at the 5,000- seat capacity Championship Soccer Stadium. The good news for Orange County SC fans is all games through the last game of the regular season – an Oct. 3 match against Las Vegas Lights FC – are nationally televised on ESPN+.

Despite the no-attendance mandate, Orange County SC is actively engaging its fan base with watch parties and themed game nights.

FivePoint and Orange County SC co-hosted a FivePoint Night in May 2019 that included special perks specifically for nearby Great Park Neighborhoods’ residents. The FivePoint Night included game tickets, inflatable cheer sticks, and kids greeting and high-fiving players at the tunnel as they entered the pitch. FivePoint remains a strong supporter of the professional club.

FivePoint’s joint venture built the nearly 200-acre, $250 million multi-sports complex and other amenities as part of a public-private partnership with the City of Irvine. The Orange County Great Park Sports Complex, which was completed in September 2018 and is owned by the city, includes the Championship Soccer Stadium, baseball and softball fields, soccer/lacrosse fields, volleyball courts, tennis courts, basketball courts and other features.

In December 2019, Orange County SC entered into a strategic partnership with Glasgow-based Rangers FC from the Scottish Premier League. Rangers Soccer Schools have joined forces with Orange County SC to provide coaching sessions and week-long clinics to Southern California youth. Rangers professional and academy players are also on loan to play in Orange County, further enhancing the talent on the pitch.

After making the playoffs during both of the past two years, Orange County SC has its sights set on winning a United Soccer League title in 2020. Perhaps the third time will be a charm.

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