Orange County SC announced this week the first two players returning to the roster for the 2018 season, midfielders Zach Kobayashi and Richard Chaplow.
Kobayashi, 20, scored four goals and an assist in 17 appearances with OC, his first season with the club. While he had to wait for his chance on Logan Pause’s squad, he came on strong in the latter half of the campaign and was one of the brightest spots on the team during the season.
“Zach is an incredibly gifted technical player who has the talent to play at the next level. We are looking forward to his continued development with our team and are expecting Zach to contribute significantly on the field for us this season,” said Orange County SC Executive Vice President and General Manager Oliver Wyss in a statement.
Chaplow, 32, will be returning for his third season with Orange County. Signed during the 2016 season, the Englishman was installed as captain straightaway but was also involved in a dispute with Robbie Rogers that season, who accused Chaplow of using a homophobic slur at the openly gay player. Chaplow was suspended for using bad language but denied the charge, and Orange County brought him back in 2017, where he played without incident.
“Delighted to be with the club for my third season, to be part of the project from the start and see the strides the club has made in such a short period of time has been amazing,” said Chaplow in a statement. “I now can’t wait to get going again and I am extremely excited about what lies ahead as we continue to grow and bring a winning team to Orange County.”
“Richard has been an integral part of this team and we are thrilled to have him return,” said Wyss. “He personifies everything we want and expect from our players. He is a powerful, experienced player whose characteristics, attributes and impeccable work ethic have established him as a true leader of our team.”
Orange County embarked on their latest era earlier this week, announcing the appointment of longtime assistant coach Braeden Cloutier as head coach.
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