Orange County SC announced on Wednesday the signings of two players, James Baxendale and Frank Olijve.
Both players are midfielders who join as free agents from their respective countries. Baxendale, 24, is an attack-minded midfielder who has spent his entire career to date in the English lower divisions. Getting his start at Leeds United, he has also played for Doncaster Rovers, Buxton, Hereford United, Walsall — where he has played the bulk of his professional games — and Mansfield Town. Earlier this summer, Baxendale went on trial with 2016-17 FA Cup cinderella side Lincoln City.
Orange County’s release on the signings touts Baxendale’s ability to score from range, so that is perhaps something to look out for.
Olijve, 28, joins OCSC from Dutch side FC Emmen. An Ajax youth product, Olijve made his debut with Eredivisie side FC Groningen, before moving onto PEC Zwolle in the second division. At Emmen, Olijve served as captain for the Eerste division club during his four-season spell.
“We are excited to add two high quality players to the group, we look forward to integrating them quickly and I fully expect them to have a big impact for us,” said Orange County head coach Logan Pause in a statement.
The duo, who will be available for Saturday’s game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, should help bolster the midfield with a backloaded schedule in the final months of the season. Between injuries and suspensions, OC’s lineup had become threadbare in recent games, so having two players who are likely to be able to play at a USL level right away should help the team in their quest for the USL playoffs.
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