Orange County SC announced the signing of two players on Sunday, defender Joe Franco and midfielder Amirgy Pineda.
Franco, 27, will be among one of the most experienced pros on the team in 2017. The local product played collegiate soccer at Cal State Northridge 2008-12 before being drafted by Chivas USA in 2013. He was not offered a pro deal by the club, however, and began his pro career in USL with LA Galaxy II in 2014. He played a total of two seasons for the USL side, including the run to the USL Cup final in 2015, where LA lost to Rochester Rhinos.
Last season, Franco played for NASL expansion side Miami FC. The fullback is capable of playing on both flanks in defense, which is good news considering Orange County SC has a number of fullbacks already on the roster.
Additionally, OCSC add Pineda. The rookie, 19, was a highly touted youth product, playing on a succession of U.S. youth national teams and getting opportunities to play in cup games and showcase events abroad. After being academically ineligible to play for Cal State Fullerton, where he committed, he played last fall for Santiago Canyon College. This profile of Pineda last fall shows the Santa Ana native faced some adversity of his budding career recently, but has the potential to show why he was so highly touted as a youth player.
Said to be a “versatile midfield player” in the team’s release on his signing, it will be interesting to see where Pineda slots in for Logan Pause’s squad.
The additions of Franco and Pineda bring the Orange County SC announced roster to 13 players. The team will play the first of five preseason games Saturday afternoon at Loyola Marymount, with the USL regular season opener coming March 25 on the road against expansion side Reno 1868 FC.
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