Local USL club Orange County SC have also rebranded their PDL side this offseason, to Orange County SC U-23, and the development side announced this week the appointment of Chris Volk as head coach.
Volk joins OCSC U-23s after three years at the helm of the UC Irvine men’s soccer team, and 17 years before that as assistant and goalkeeper coach of UCI.
“We’re really excited to have such an accomplished coach with great local ties leading our team beginning in 2017. Chris has tremendous knowledge of the local players we want to bring to our club and will be a major contributor in our efforts to create a direct pathway to professional soccer in Orange County and Riverside. It is the opportunity for our PDL players to showcase their skills for our USL team and to send the very best up to the MLS,” said club general manager and EVP of operations Oliver Wyss in a statement on the hiring.
Orange County SC U-23 will begin PDL regular season play on May 7 against FC Golden State Force. OCSC U-23 will play their home games this season at Norco College in Norco, so if you’re in the Inland Empire you can catch some of the stars of tomorrow in your own backyard.
The PDL is a development league, consisting mostly of college-aged players, most of whom are actual college players who play for PDL sides during the summer while school is out. Seasons are short, just 14 games this year in the regular season, but again, it’s a chance for college players to get more games in, as well as other players looking to impress in PDL in order to earn a fully professional contract elsewhere.
“I am excited to be part of the Orange County SC organization and the vision being implemented by the new owner James Keston and Oliver Wyss,” said Volk. “We will look to build a roster of players that have connections to Orange County and surrounding communities. The OCSC U23 PDL team will provide an opportunity for high school and college aged players to train and develop in a competitive environment while having exposure to the structure of the club.”
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