Orange County SC were on a bye from USL regular season last week, but of course that doesn’t mean they were sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
The club welcomed Dutch coach Frans Hoek for a visit to Southern California. Hoek, 60, played professionally as a goalkeeper and has become a renowned coach and mentor for goalkeepers, developing a system for the position called the “Hoek Method” and working with a world-class cadre of goalkeepers, including Edwin van der Sar, Victor Valdes, Pepe Reina, and David de Gea. Hoek has been an ever-present assistant to Louis van Gaal, at Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United. He has also worked with van Gaal at the Netherlands National Team, and has worked separately from his compatriot with the Polish National Team.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Orange County SC. The club has tremendous potential, they now have the infrastructure and staff to take advantage of the abundance of talent in Southern California. I am excited to see the growth of professional soccer in Orange County,” said Hoek in a team statement on the visit.
In addition to meeting with the team and club’s front office and participate in team training sessions, Hoek also met with select Orange County SC supporters at a social event last week and discussed his career and philosophy with them.
“Having the opportunity to spend time with Frans was a true gift and privilege. Frans was incredibly open and generous to share both his knowledge and experience, as we strive to meet our goals as a club. Having a global perspective from the highest level is invaluable. I would like to thank Frans for his time and advice,” said Orange County head coach Logan Pause.
The team is back in action on Saturday with a local road game, in the 405 Derby against LA Galaxy II.
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