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Orange County Blues 2015 Player Postmortem: Christopher Santana

Santana (right) went toe-to-toe with the rest in a breakout season.
Santana (right) went toe-to-toe with the rest in a breakout season.
Liza Rosales/OC Blues FC

2015 was a good year for Christopher Santana on the Orange County Blues.

The midfielder, in his second season with the club after earning a contract alongside brother Jio in an open tryout, slowly worked his way into Oliver Wyss' lineup and emerged as a consistent option as the 2015 season wore on.

In contrast to his brother, who was hampered by injuries and was not one of Wyss' core guys as the season unfolded, Christopher featured more and more as the season wore on, racking up more playing time than his rookie season and more importantly emerging as a real contributor on the team.

And as he not only got on the field but became the corner kick taker and more comfortable with his teammates in the run of play, Santana emerged as the leading assist man on the team this season, with five. Frankly, looking back that's a bit surprising, but his emergence fit with the team's gaining rhythm in the final months of the season.

Here were Santana's stats for 2015:

Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
USL Regular Season 24 16 1,509 2 5 23 10 3 0
USL Playoffs 1 1 90 0 0 1 1 0 0
U.S. Open Cup 1 0 22 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 26 17 1,621 2 5 24 11 3 0

He's already been announced as coming back in 2016, the first such player to be bestowed that announcement, so I'd say that's a good sign for Santana's prospects moving forward. He's still just 23, and if he can continue to hone his skills at set pieces and perhaps add some more goals to his game, he could set himself up for looks at a higher level. I'm not saying he's a lockdown MLS prospect at the moment, but there's a chance he could play himself into some opportunities if he makes another improvement next season.

It's pretty certain at this point that Christopher Santana will be a core player for the OC Blues in 2016. It's up to him and his teammates to help him really break games open and be a dominant force in the midfield next season. If he can do that, things could really be looking up for "Chino." 2015 showed good progression, but there's more work to be done to really unlock the potential there.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!