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Orange County Blues 2016 Player Postmortem: Kwame Watson-Siriboe

Veteran defender helped boost the Blues late in the season.

Nickelodeon & New York City FC Host Tryouts For Kids' Choice Sports 2015 'Triple Shot Challenge' Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Nickelodeon

Kwame Watson-Siriboe was one of the many midseason signings made by the Orange County Blues in 2016, and was one of the bigger “names” among those added. MLS experienced, with stints with the Chicago Fire, Real Salt Lake and New York City FC, the Southern California native returned home to continue his career after spending most of the past year out of the pro game after being released by NYCFC.

Watson-Siriboe brought experience, size and, it was hoped, the tenacity from the center back position to correct course for the Blues, who had been consistently inconsistent through the season.

And he pretty much hit the ground running, playing regularly in the month of August and continuing that run into the first part of September.

Watson-Siriboe 2016 OC Blues statistics

2016 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2016 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
USL Regular Season 8 8 617 0 0 1 0 2 0
USL Playoffs 1 0 37 0 0 0 0 0 0
U.S. Open Cup 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 9 8 654 0 0 1 0 2 0

But after playing regularly in August and the first couple games of September, Watson-Siriboe did not feature again in the final, crucial weeks of the regular season. He did come off the bench in the final game of the season, the playoff loss to Swope Park Rangers that went 120 minutes, with Watson-Siriboe playing the final minutes of regulation and then the full extra time period.

When he played, OC went 4-4-0 in the regular season, so that sort of fit with the “consistently inconsistent” theme. And to be fair, center back turned out to be the Blues’ deepest position by the end of the 2016 season, between Watson-Siriboe, Brenton Griffiths and Maurice Pluntke. All three of those players would certainly be starter-caliber in USL, and Griffiths and Pluntke were arguably All-League quality CBs. That’s not to say Watson-Siriboe isn’t, but his much smaller body of work makes it difficult to project if he was at the same level over a full season, with two very capable regulars already at the back.

At any rate, Watson-Siriboe certainly helped lift the Blues when the entire team was struggling to find a foothold on the season, and played a part in helping the Blues finish the season strong and have by far their best playoff campaign ever.

Will he be back in 2016? Good question. He does seem like a very serviceable USL center back, and he has not yet been signed by another team, so he could be back. And given his pedigree and experience, he could even return with a new head coach in place for the 2017 season after Barry Venison’s departure.

But this is USL, and Orange County are going through a lot of changes. You never know until you know. So we’ll see if the local guy will be back in the OC in 2017.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!