The Orange County Blues have continue to reshape their roster midseason, announcing a pair of signings on Thursday. They've picked up MLS veteran defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe, who played on loan at the club two seasons ago for a short stint, as well as winger Andrew Richard "AJ" Gray.
Watson-Siriboe, 29, grew up in Chino Hills and is returning home to play, something he mentioned in the team's release about the move. After playing collegiately at the University of Connecticut, Siriboe was drafted by the Chicago Fire in 2010, before being sent on loan to NASL side FC Tampa Bay in 2011. He then was traded to Real Salt Lake by Chicago in June 2012, staying there until the end of the 2014 season, spending some time with the NASL's Carolina RailHawks in addition to his four-game loan with the Blues in 2014. He was traded again within MLS, this time to New York City FC, ahead of that club's inaugural season in 2015.
He was released by NYCFC after the season, and has not played professionally yet this year.
"Signing a player such as Kwame with his ability and experience in the MLS is further evidence of the direction this club is heading in," general manager and head coach Oliver Wyss said."He has played at the top level in the United States with some fantastic teams in the MLS. He is a leader and brings a real physical presence to the backline, with the recent additions we've made I am confident we will continue to improve and secure our place in the playoffs."
Gray, 28, is a Canadian winger returning to North America after several years playing in Europe. Playing with Toronto FC's reserves in 2007, he then went to Sweden, playing for third-division side Juventus IF, and also spending time with Munich 1860 in Germany and nearly making a move to a Polish club. After going on trial to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2013 but failing to make the roster due to international slot rules, Gray went to Finland, playing for OPS in 2014 in the third division before moving to second-division FC Haka in 2015.
The quote Gray provided in the team release on the signing is pretty fantastic: "I am delighted to be here! To any individual out there who has a dream they want to fulfil but something is holding you back or some sort of obstacle has popped up into your reality and everyday life. I am here to tell you that anything is possible to the person who chooses to believe and have faith, God works in mysterious ways. Never stop believing!"
Both Gray and Watson-Siriboe are available for selection for Thursday's game against the Tulsa Roughnecks.
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