2022 USL Championship Golden Boot winner Milan Iloski is set to lead Orange County SC into its first international exhibition against a European opponent when it faces Hamburger SV on Tuesday night. | Photo courtesy Liza Rosales / Orange County SC
IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC will close its 2022 campaign on Tuesday night as it welcomes historic German club Hamburger SV to Championship Soccer Stadium for an international exhibition that will see the hosts pay tribute to some of the notable names from its USL Championship title-winning squad from 2021. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. PT and the game will air live on ESPN+ with Mike Watts and Devon Kerr.
Hamburger heads to California for a two-game trip that will also see the side face 2022 USL League Two title winners Ventura County Fusion on Friday night. Currently in second place in the 2.Bundesliga as it vies for a return to the top flight, the side has been led this season by Robert Glatzel, who has scored 11 goals in 17 appearances. The 28-year-old has been backed by Slovakian midfielder Lászlo Bénes, who has six assists, while the side overall has averaged 1.7 goals-per-game and has recorded six shutouts defensively.
A former winner of the European Cup in its history – the precursor to the current UEFA Champions League – the club has boasted legendary talents such as Franz Beckenbauer, Uwe Seeler and Kevin Keegan among its alumni, and also saw American internationals Bobby Wood and Benny Feilhaber don its colors in more recent years.
Robert Glatzel has scored 11 goals for Hamburger SV this season in the 2.Bundesliga, helping the side sit in second place going into the league's winter break. | Photo courtesy Hamburger SV
Orange County is set to feature some of its exciting young talent in the contest, led by 2022 USL Championship Golden Boot winner Milan Iloski. The 23-year-old scored a league-high 22 goals in the regular season and also earned 2022 USL Championship All-League First Team honors after his breakout campaign. Two other players to watch are 18-year-old winger Korede Osundina, a current member of the United States U-19 National Team, and 16-year-old Bryce Jamison, who scored his first professional goal for the club late in the 2022 Championship season against El Paso Locomotive FC.
The game will also be the last in the club’s colors for some notable names, including German goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky, who played a key role in the club’s victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the 2021 USL Championship Final. Rakovsky will be joined in taking his final bow by midfielder Mikko Kuningas, forward Sean Okoli and midfielder Tommy McCabe, and former Mexico international Erick “Cubo” Torres.
Tuesday night’s game will mark the second international exhibition for Orange County SC and its first against European competition. The club previously hosted LigaMX’s Club Tijana in 2019.