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Orange County SC 2017 Player Postmortem: Duke Lacroix

Forward started hot, then was shelved with severe injury.

Duke Lacroix started the 2017 season for Orange County SC as the starting striker. It seemed a bit uncertain, considering his prior career, playing for Indy Eleven, had not indicated he would be prolific as a scorer.

But those fears were quickly allayed, as Lacroix scored a brace in OCSC’s season debut, on the road against Reno 1868, to start the season off right.

Here’s the video of his second goal, which was one of the highlights of the season for OC:

Unfortunately, there were few highlights for Lacroix beyond that. The striker was ever-present in the opening weeks, but after getting hurt early in the first half of Orange County’s home debut against LA Galaxy II, he never played another minute during the season.

The only other time we saw Lacroix again was when he juggled on air during a live spot promoting the team with Oliver Wyss on ABC7 in August. It seemed like he might be able to be back on the field soon based on that snippet, but apparently it wasn’t going to happen this year.

Here are Lacroix’s statistics for 2017:

Lacroix 2017 OCSC statistics

2017 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2017 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
USL Regular Season 5 5 377 2 0 12 5 0 0
U.S. Open Cup 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 5 5 377 2 0 12 5 0 0

Lacroix is only 24, and with a bad injury sidelining him for most of the season, it’s hard to assess his level. Given Orange County struggled at times with scoring later in the season, even with the emergence of Wuilito Fernandes to take some of the sting out of Lacroix’s extended absence, having another productive striker seems like it would have been better than not having him.

In these cases, it’s hard to know if Lacroix will be in line for a return with OC next year. His social media doesn’t indicate much on that front, and for USL teams, players who suffer severe injuries sometimes return and sometimes move on. With more pro teams in the U.S. than ever, it seems likely that Lacroix will receive interest from some team if he doesn’t come back to Orange County, but we’ll have to see on that front.

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