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Orange County Blues announce midfielder Nikola Ilich to return in 2016

That makes two players announced for the 2016 roster.

Liza Rosales/OC Blues FC

After a successful season in which he began in an open tryout for the club, the Orange County Blues announced on Tuesday that midfielder Nikola Ilich will return to the team for the 2016 season.

Ilich, of Vista, was the only player signed from the open tryout last offseason, and quickly emerged as a go-to option for Blues head coach Oliver Wyss. The rookie divided his time between starting and coming off the bench, leading the team in league appearances in the process, and scored a goal, a game-winner over the Austin Aztex late in the season.

"I'm excited to be back with the Blues and to have another great season," said Ilich in a team statement. "I can't wait to see what this season has in store for us and for the fans."

Ilich is the second player confirmed to return to the Blues next season, along with midfielder Christopher Santana.

The timing of Ilich's re-signing is somewhat coincidental, as the Blues will host an open tryout this weekend looking for more diamonds in the rough like him. If you want to learn more about the tryouts, check out OC's website.

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