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Orange County SC 2017 Player Postmortem: Monday Etim

Second-ever LAFC player got his first professional minutes.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Orange County SC at LA Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

A pretty big surprise came in the spring courtesy of the semi-annual MLS Players Union’s salary figure dump. In addition to Carlos Alvarez, the first-ever signing for 2018 MLS expansion team Los Angeles Football Club, there was a second name: Monday Bassey Etim.

Who was this guy?!

We found out pretty quickly, as after the cat was out of the bag he was announced as a loanee for LAFC’s USL affiliate Orange County SC, and we learned more about the player who was effectively a total unknown.

Etim signed as a 17-year-old rookie, originally from Nigeria, out of Montverde Academy in Florida. That in itself was interesting, as Montverde has produced a handful of pros in recent years, although most of them have signed with teams in Florida, especially the Orlando City organization. Then again, this is the value of scouting, in trying to find players that no one has heard of before.

All told, Etim played just under 1,000 minutes in his first pro season, notching three goals and two assists across all competitions. The attacker played primarily as a striker or wide forward, and while he was still pretty raw he certainly looked solid at the USL level in his first season.

Here are Etim’s statistics for 2017:

Etim OCSC 2017 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 16 7 742 2 1 8 5 2 0
U.S. Open Cup 3 2 197 1 1 4 3 0 0
Total 19 9 939 3 2 12 8 2 0

Etim didn’t play the final weeks of the season, and the question now turns to his future. For all we know, he’s an LAFC player and will be present in preseason camp in January, something I am assuming will happen. Beyond that, we’ll see. I don’t think Etim is ready to play at the MLS level next year, but that was likely already anticipated by LAFC when they signed him, and it’s possible he could be back in USL next year.

Consider, too, the international player situation for LAFC next year. With Carlos Vela and Omar Gaber definitely on the roster next year, international slots will most likely be a precious commodity for LAFC in constructing their roster. Perhaps Etim will be on the way to getting his green card and this will be a moot point, but if not, roster rules could force LAFC’s hand on the youngster’s future. Again, we’ll have to see how things shake out in the coming weeks.

All in all, Monday Etim was a solid prospect in 2017 with Orange County SC, and had a few good moments. He is very young, however, and has a long way to go in his development. That is supposed to be the point of USL, isn’t it? In that case, Etim’s rookie season was a rather successful one in that context.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!