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Orange County Blues 2016 Player Postmortem: Jack McCracken

Defender started well, but moved on before season’s end.

Jack McCracken, OC Blues, credit Liza Rosales

Jack McCracken entered his second season with the Orange County Blues in 2016 looking to have the inside track to hold on to the starting right back spot. As a rookie in 2015, he became a fixture in the lineup and it appeared that position would be set the following season.

And he did start the season as the starter, basically being the No. 1 at his position the first half of the season.

Despite the experience in the team, the group struggled through the first half of the season, with results effectively all over the place, trending to the negative. The late-season signing binge, which produced results for Orange County, appeared to leave McCracken as a casualty.

McCracken 2016 OC Blues statistics

2016 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2016 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
USL Regular Season 14 13 1,163 0 1 1 1 2 0
USL Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
U.S. Open Cup*
Total 14 13 1,163 0 1 1 1 2 0

Once Matt Shelton was signed from the Blues’ U-23 team, McCracken appeared to be out the door. While Shelton was solid in the position, it seemed rather abrupt to move on from McCracken altogether in the middle of the season. Even if the Blues hadn’t been playing as well in the first half of 2016 as they did in 2015, McCracken himself did not appear to be a fatal flaw in the lineup, so losing a promising defender was puzzling.

What does the future hold for McCracken? It’s not altogether clear. He has not joined another professional team thus far, but he does very much seem up for the level of being a regular in the USL. Perhaps he has opted to go in a new direction in his career, doing something else in the sport or moving into a new field.

All in all, his sophomore season did not have the same highs as his rookie campaign, but Jack McCracken appears to still have promise as a pro.

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