The Orange County Blues made a significant announcement on Friday. No, it has nothing to do with the rumored change in ownership, but rather that head coach and general manager Oliver Wyss has been promoted to executive Vice President of soccer operations, and technical director Barry Venison has been appointed head coach. Wyss will remain GM and Venison will remain technical director.
On the field, it has been an up-and-down season for Orange County after posting their best ever season in 2015. While results this year have been inconsistent, they appear to be trending in the right direction for the Blues to reach the USL playoffs again.
In reality, this move is less surprising than it may initially appear, as Venison, a veteran of English first division sides Sunderland and Liverpool, has in fact been de facto head coach for several weeks, at least on game days, as he has been coaching from the sidelines with Wyss often not present on the bench.
The club's release says Wyss will be transitioning to run a new OC Blues academy and expanding the front office staff and marketing efforts for the club, which have lagged significantly behind most USL teams this season. It will be interesting to see what the months ahead bring on that front, as well as the details of the new academy program apparently being established. We'll be sure to cover all the developments as they happen.
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