Orange County SC announced on Thursday the additions of two players to the roster ahead of Saturday’s game against LA Galaxy II in midfielder Zach Kobayashi and goalkeeper Michael Suchy.
Kobayashi, 19, is a midfielder who returns to Southern California after spending a year in Croatia with Dinamo Zagreb. He played last season for Dinamo’s youth teams, but his campaign, and ultimately his stint with the club, was cut short by an injury. The U.S. youth international played club soccer locally with West Coast FC and Pateadores, and prior to going to Zagreb had been on the radar of several European clubs, including Swiss side FC Basel and German club Werder Bremen.
The signing of Kobayashi makes a lot of sense for Orange County SC, who are clearly targeting a profile of young pros with considerable upside and a few bumps in their journey, whether it was a lack of playing time at previous clubs or being so young that they haven’t fully gone through the pro journey yet. It will be interesting to see where Kobayashi slots in Logan Pause’s plans, but this is another player to certainly keep an eye on.
Meanwhile, Suchy is the first player signed by Orange County SC to an amateur contract in USL. This is a mechanism mostly used by MLS2 teams so far to bring in academy players but maintain their NCAA eligibility if they want to play in college down the road. OCSC’s release states Suchy, the presumed third-string ‘keeper behind Charlie Lyon and Casey Beyers, will “be eligible” to play for Orange County SC U-23s, the organization’s PDL team, so he’ll likely see action for them this season as long as Lyon and Beyers are both healthy and available to play.
Suchy may be a familiar name to those who follow MLS academies, as he’s spent time with both the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA academies in the past. The 19-year-old is an OC native and could potentially be a long-term prospect for Orange County SC or even Los Angeles Football Club, depending on how things go.
Both players are eligible for selection to Saturday’s game against LA Galaxy II at StubHub Center.
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