Orange County looking optimistic towards the future with latest roster announcements.
We found out the names of a few new players during this week, and it’s no surprise to see Orange County fill out their roster with some young players. This makes sense from both a financial and a squad building standpoint: younger players will recognize their roles as backups but serve to grow the most from training behind an established group of some of the league’s best players. Financially, their development can lead to potential future transfer fees and success for the club at an initially low investment.
Orange County shored up their goalkeeping options with Carlos López Cortéz, previously with Club Tijuana and Dorados in Mexico. He is not a large figure, but he is exceptionally agile. He performed well during the preseason, making some big saves that impressed fans and staff alike. It’s another addition to a growing band of local youth players getting chances with OC. Born in Santa Ana and living in Corona, he additionally helps represent the large Latinx population of Orange County and Southern California as a whole, with his signing announced as LA Sports Today becomes the club’s official Spanish language media outlet.
Up top OC secured some much-needed depth, signing 21 year old Kevin Coleman after a successful tryout and trial. Coleman spent much of the last two years in Germany, most recently playing in the fourth tier for Bavarian club SpVgg Bayreuth. His return to the US looks promising for both club and player, and he should find a good deal of success if he can continue his preseason level of play against USL opposition. He is undeniably behind Michael Seaton in the depth chart, but nonetheless should still see a good amount of minutes, as the former has a habit for playing aggressively and picking up knocks.
Another young attacker, and this time, a Brazilian. Vinicius (no, not that one) is a 19 year old who last played with FC Utrecht’s U19 team. Likely picked up at the recommendation of Senior Advisor Frans Hoek, he is another low-risk investment for the club. While he comes in at a position that is well-covered, he is especially young and presents the club with an option for the future. While not especially prolific during his time in the Netherlands, a change of scenery and a bigger chance and senior level minutes may prove to be a positive change for him. Head coach Braeden Cloutier suggested that he would spend most of the early season with the U23 squad, but may feature later on in the summer.
Still, the club was clear that at least two new loan signings would be announced in the coming days. Club staff were coy about what players or positions would be announced, but early assumptions are that there will be another goalkeeper and a center back, helping shore up the squad defensively for its immediate needs as the club looks to win the USL Cup in 2019.