It was a news-filled day on Monday for USL side Orange County SC, as in addition to parting ways with head coach Logan Pause they announced the appointment of Frans Hoek as technical director and senior advisor.
Hoek, 61, is a native of the Netherlands, having played professionally as a goalkeeper for FC Volendam from 1973-85 before moving into the coaching ranks. Orange County’s release of the news touts coaching stints at powerhouse clubs like “AFC Ajax, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern Munich, Manchester United FC and the Dutch national team.” In particular, Hoek has long worked with Louis van Gaal at a variety of stops over the years.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to guide the Club on a deeper, more advanced level as it continues its program of building a world class soccer organization and developing talented young players,” said Hoek in a statement.
“I look forward to working side-by-side with the technical staff in recruiting and progressing gifted players who are able to compete at the elite professional level expected by both Orange County SC and the best leagues in the world.”
Hoek spent a week with Orange County this year during the season, visiting in person and advising, and then spent another week recently assessing the season just passed. The team says he will take a “day-to-day role” in developing and carrying out curriculum to the pro side and the local affiliated youth programs.
“We are privileged to have a man of Frans’ stature join our technical staff on a more permanent basis as we look to build a highly competitive team that will pursue championships and take advantage of the wealth of exceptional soccer talent in Orange County,” said General Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations, Oliver Wyss. “Frans brings invaluable experience and insight that will further enhance the on-field product as we continue to grow professional soccer in Orange County.”
We’ll see how this impacts the pro side next season. Obviously, the team will have a new head coach, and I imagine Hoek will have some role in making that hire, but beyond that, the model set up for this season seems to be in line with the idea of signing young players and playing good soccer, even if the team couldn’t see it throughout the season. Perhaps with some more reinforcements, they’ll be able to give it a full go next year.
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