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Logan Pause named OC Blues head coach

Longtime MLS veteran joins OC from Chicago Fire.

Chicago Fire v San Jose Earthquakes

The Orange County Blues announced on Thursday the appointment of Logan Pause as the club’s head coach for the 2017 season. Pause replaces Barry Venison, who departed the club after the end of the 2016 season.

The 35-year-old joins the USL team from the Chicago Fire, where he was a player from 2003-14, playing in nearly 300 games in his MLS career and retiring as a one-club man. Following his retirement as a player, he served as a vice president, assistant coach and PDL team head coach for the Fire organization. The Blues’ appointment is his first pro head coaching job.

“We are thrilled to welcome Logan to the organization. We went through an exhaustive search over the last couple of months to identify a head coach who not only could succeed in the USL but also understands the importance of developing talented professional soccer players within Orange County and for our partner club LAFC,” said OC general manager and executive vice president, soccer operations Oliver Wyss in a team statement on the move. “We feel that Logan is the prototype of what we were looking for based on his experience, passion, work ethic and commitment to the community. I’m excited to begin working with him and the entire staff on building an elite organization that is committed to setting a new standard for the USL.”

Pause will be joined in Orange County’s coaching staff by Braeden Cloutier as first assistant. Cloutier has been with the Blues the last two years, helping the club to their best-ever seasons to date.

“It is with great joy and honor that me and my family are joining the Orange County Blues FC organization,” said Pause in a statement. “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and confidence [team owner James] Keston and Oliver have given me. This is a once-in-a-lifetime project and a perfect fit for me and my family. I also want to thank Andrew Hauptman and the entire Chicago Fire community for our time together and their support in my career growth. My staff and I look forward to putting together a team that makes our fans and community proud.”

Prior to the official announcement, Guillermo Rivera of Chicago Fire Confidential reported on the move on Thursday, with an additional report that Pause will join LAFC’s coaching staff beginning in 2018. Pause and Los Angeles Football Club executive vice president of soccer operations John Thorrington were teammates at the Fire, and the Blues are LAFC’s USL affiliate club beginning this year.

So the OC Blues have a head coach, filling that slot. Now, it’s a matter of finding a stadium, rebranding the club, and building a roster before the season starts in late March. We’ll obviously be on top of the news surrounding the club as it drops.

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