The Orange County Blues continued in their preparations for the 2015 season this past week, by continuing to add to their roster and undergoing preseason training.
On the former front, the club announced on Friday that two players from the 2014 squad, forward Chris Cortez and defender Josh Suggs, will be back for the new season. Cortez is likely familiar to those who followed Chivas USA, as he played for the club in 2011. After leaving the Goats following that season, he joined the Blues in 2013 and has spent the past two seasons with the club, scoring 14 goals in that span.
"Chris has tremendous skill. He has been working very hard this preseason and understands the importance of his position." said Blues coach Oliver Wyss in a team statement.
Suggs has bounced around the pro ranks a bit, but has seen the most success with the Blues in three separate stints. He originally joined the team in 2011, before being signed by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2012 and being sent on loan to the Tampa Bay Rowdies that year. After being released by the Quakes, Suggs rejoined the Blues in 2012, then signed with the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2013. He returned to the Blues once again last year, and finally saw regular minutes, making 22 appearances for the Orange County club, also scoring the first two goals of his career.
"I am excited to be back. It is such a good group of guys. Coach Wyss has a lot of knowledge and we have so much to learn from him," Suggs said in the team statement.
Aside from the additions to the roster, which now sits at 11 players, the Blues spent the past week at Nike world headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., as part of their preseason training camp. During the trip, the Blues faced a local amateur side, IPS/Marathon Taverna, and beat them 1-0 off a goal from Didier Crettenand, a 29-year-old Swiss midfielder who is not (yet) officially signed to the roster.
The Blues' next announced friendly will be next Sunday, Mar. 22, against college side Loyola Marymount. They begin the 2015 USL season the following week, Mar. 28 against the Arizona United SC at Anteater Stadium in Irvine.
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