On Saturday, Michael Seaton was in the heart of the action for Orange County SC as they opened their 2018 USL Cup Playoffs slate.
On Wednesday, the forward had re-signed with the club.
Seaton, 22, scored a hat trick and drew a red card early against Saint Louis FC on Saturday, as Orange County won their playoff opener by a commanding 4-0 scoreline. Seaton’s hat trick was just the fourth in USL playoff history.
Second in scoring for his club this season, with 15 goals altogether, OCSC announced on Wednesday the contract extension.
“I’m very excited for Michael’s new deal,” said Orange County SC head coach Braeden Cloutier in a team release. “Michael has shown throughout the season and most recently last weekend versus St. Louis his ability to score goals and terrorize defenses. I’m really looking forward to continue working with Mike and building consistency within this team and organization for the future.”
Seaton is a name familiar to many who follow American soccer. Signed as a Homegrown player by D.C. United as a teenager back in 2013, he made just five appearances in MLS for his hometown team before being traded to the Portland Timbers in 2015. But Portland, under then-head coach Caleb Porter a team that had a reputation for not playing young players, Seaton didn’t get a look at the MLS level, and eventually departed for Israel, playing for three teams there before joining Orange County in the offseason.
He’s found unprecedented success with the USL outfit this season, linking up well with fellow forward Thomas Enevoldsen, as the duo combined for 35 goals to date.
After Saturday’s win, Seaton spoke about the vibe he felt coming into the game, with an inkling he was about to have a big night.
“I think I knew before the game even started,” he told reporters. “I felt like I was in tune mentally and physically, and I expected myself to perform. Everyone came out with a positive attitude, and I think this is the most I’ve seen the group be so positive.”
One of the turning points in the match was Tony Walls picking up a straight red card, for language, just after the 20 minute mark. Seaton had fouled Walls, and the Saint Louis player proceeded to yell at the OC forward and the referee until the official quickly brandished the red card.
“I can’t say what he said, but I think I did a great job getting in his head,” Seaton explained with a wry smile. “I think that’s one [part] of my game, if I’m not scoring or assisting, I’m getting in a defender’s head, opening up for my teammates and helping my team win. So I think that’s a bonus for me.”
Given Seaton’s youth and the fact he is having a career year, Angels on Parade asked him after Saturday’s game what he’s looking for as a personal goal at this point. The Jamaican international cited a desire to keep playing and perhaps settle in a spot as best for his career overall.
“Stability [is my goal]. That’s one thing that the coaching staff [has spoken of]. Because I’m 22, I’m still young, and I’ve been a professional for seven years, and that’s kind of shocking when anybody hears it. I’ve had good stuff and I’ve had bad stuff. And I think I thrive best off the bad stuff.
“For me, it’s stability, getting all of the games under my belt, a lot of goals under my belt, so later on when everyone wants to come together, they can push me on to the next level.”
Several OCSC players, including Seaton, had family come from all over the country to attend the playoff game on Saturday. When asked if his mom being at the game helped him raise his on the night, he was unequivocal.
“It did, it’s one of the main reasons [I played well],” he said. “I think my mom is my backbone. Every time my mom shows up to my game, I show up on the pitch. Oliver [Wyss, OCSC’s GM] was telling a joke, but he was being serious, we should fly my mom out more.”
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