The Orange County Blues announced another addition to the roster ahead of the season opener on Thursday. Midfielder Verneri Valimaa joins the squad in Irvine, on loan from the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies for the season.
Now entering his sophomore season as a professional, Valimaa was born in Helsinki, Finland but moved to Florida as a boy. He appeared in four matches for Tampa Bay last season after a college career at University of North Carolina. Valimaa has also represented Finland at the U-20 level.
Valimaa joins a Blues midfield stacked with talent, strengthening a key area of the field with Didier Crettenand, Pavle Popara, Nikola Ilich, and Christian Silva. Add in Chino Santana, who can play in the middle or on the wing, and Orange County boasts a very formidable and deep midfield.
The Blues kick off the 2016 season Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at UCI’s Anteater Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 pm PST.
What do you think of the new addition? Let us know in the comments!