Orange County SC have taken the much needed step to bolster their defense, as they announced the signing of MLS veteran Leonardo to a contract. With limited defensive options, the signing will definitely make Orange County supporters happy. With the addition of Leonardo, who has played 9 seasons in the MLS with LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo, the club has added another high quality, experienced player in hopes of winning the USL Cup.
Soccer fans in Southern California will recognize the name, as Leonardo played 7 seasons with LA from 2010-2016. He appeared in 85 regular season matches with the Galaxy, winning the MLS Cup 3 times. In the 2017 season, he joined Houston Dynamo, where he appeared in 54 matches over his 2 years with the club. During his 9 year career, he has scored 5 times on 10 shots on goal.
With the addition of Leonardo to the roster, Orange County now has a much needed center back to partner with Walker Hume, who is the only natural center back currently on the roster. In the season opener, the club played a makeshift back line, with 3 players playing out of their natural positions. Kevin Alston, who has played right back for most of his career, was forced to play in the left back position. Joe Amico, who is also an outside back, was forced to play center back, thanks to no other options on the roster. The biggest surprise of the match was Giovanni Godoy, a natural offensive player, who was forced to play right back.
“His signing clearly indicates that we are not resting on last year’s success and are continuing our pursuit of winning the USL Cup this season!” - Oliver Wyss, GM
Orange County now has 2 quality, experienced players in the back line who should be able to control Orange County’s defense. This should allow the midfielders and offensive players to focus more on their offensive duties, something that was very limited in the opening match of the season. Leonardo will also provide a solid target on set pieces, thanks to his 6’2” frame, and solid athleticism.
You can read the entire press release from the club by clicking the link below.
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