Orange County SC announced on Wednesday their head coach for the 2018 season will be Braeden Cloutier. The 43-year-old Cloutier may be a familiar name to Orange County fans, as he’s already served as assistant coach for the club the past three seasons, under three different head coaches. This will be his first head coaching job at the professional level.
“We are privileged to have someone with Braeden’s talent and wealth of experience leading our club as our new head coach,” said OCSC general manager and EVP Oliver Wyss in a statement on the hire. “Braeden exemplifies everything we are looking for as a leader of our team. Braeden played an instrumental role as the lead assistant coach in our back-to-back playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016.
“He shares our philosophy of creating a relentless and disciplined team culture which consists of players with a strong mentality and character that will lead us back to the playoffs in 2018. Braeden will have a significant impact on our vision of developing and mentoring young talented players so they can succeed at the top professional levels in the United States and around the globe.”
In addition to working with Orange County SC the past three years, Cloutier also worked with local youth academy West Coast Futbol Club, which recently rebranded as Orange County Surf Academy, and with the Surf organization entering a partnership agreement with Orange County.
Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Cloutier was a player, playing as a midfielder in Germany and the United States, indoor and outdoor, and for five years in MLS, with the MetroStars, San Jose and the New England Revolution.
“I could not be more excited about this opportunity. I want to thank James, Oliver and Frans for their trust and confidence in me,” said Cloutier. “I’ve been a part of the USL in Orange County for three years and look forward to continuing to build on the success the club has had over that time. I have plenty of knowledge of both the USL as a league and Orange County itself as a community. This has been my home for the past twelve years and where I’ve developed as a coach. Southern California has been a hotbed of soccer for quite some time. I want to give the local youth players a platform to grow and develop in the right environment at home.”
“As a player, I wanted nothing more than the respect of my teammates and coaches. I took tremendous pride in in my dedication and work ethic above all else. That’s what I want to instill here with the team we put together. Character, attitude and effort will be the foundation that will get us to the USL Cup Final,” said Cloutier.
Cloutier replaces Logan Pause, who coached the team for the 2017 season before recently departing by mutual consent. Pause was present at Los Angeles Football Club’s expansion draft event on Tuesday, although LAFC officials refused to confirm if he would be part of the MLS expansion team’s coaching staff.
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