The USL season gets underway on Saturday, although local side Orange County Blues won't play their opener for another week, when they host Arizona United SC at Anteater Stadium.
The team is continuing to work towards their season debut on the field, and on Friday, announced the signing of three players, all of whom are entering the professional ranks for the first time.
Two of those rookies, goalkeeper Billy Thompson and defender Jack McCracken, were collegiate teammates at Loyola Marymount University and are making the move to the Blues together. Thompson, 23, also spent 2014 with USL PDL side FC Tucson, and was named PDL Goalkeeper of the Year last season. One figures he'll be a backup with the Blues, with Pepe Miranda likely being the starter, but given his experience he may fight his way onto the field at some point this season.
McCracken, meanwhile, is joining the Blues fresh from LMU. The 22-year-old was selected team MVP defender for the Lions last year, and was a 2013 All-West Coast Conference Honorable Mention, scoring a goal and adding two assists in 16 appearances that year.
The third addition to the team is the youngest of the squad so far, in forward Tyler Feeley. The 18-year-old is joining the Blues from the Real Salt Lake-Arizona academy. Listed as a midfielder, Feeley played for the U-16 squad last U.S. Soccer Development Academy season, with the team finishing national title runner-up, and was listed as a member of the U-16s this year as well, but wasn't included on the team roster. While the Arizona native didn't sign with the parent club of his academy, like a growing number of young pros he's signing a pro deal directly from the academy system.
That puts the official number of players on the Blues' roster at 14, according to the team website, anyway. The roster listing on USL's website has 16 players, which includes midfielder Siavish Haghnazari and midfielder Seth Moses. As a result, it seems likely the duo's addition to the 2015 roster will announced shortly.
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