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Orange County SC 2018 Player Postmortem: Nico Czornomaz

LAFC loanee got a brief run for USL outfit.

Liza Rosales/Liza Rosales Photography

Nicolas Czornomaz was an unknown quantity in the United States when he turned up at Los Angeles Football Club’s preseason camp in 2018. The Argentine midfielder, who had been in the reserves at Defensa y Justicia, had yet to make his full pro debut, and could reasonably be seen as a project for LAFC.

In the end, the then-22 year old was a victim of LAFC’s international roster slot crunch, and after being signed he was loaned out for the season to USL affiliate Orange County SC. MLS teams get one season-long loan like this on their roster, and Czornomaz’s path to playing a competitive game for LAFC in 2018 was therefore blocked.

At Orange County SC, he found the competition to be pretty fierce, perhaps more fierce than anticipated under first-year head coach Braeden Cloutier. Although the manager gave Czornomaz playing time, it wasn’t a great deal, with the winger making two starts and just five appearances total for the season.

Czornomaz OCSC 2018 statistics

2018 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2018 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
USL Regular Season 5 2 148 0 0 1 1 1 0
U.S. Open Cup 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
USL Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 5 2 148 0 0 1 1 1 0

The last time he made the 18 for OCSC was mid-July, and his final appearance came a couple weeks before that, as he started in the 405 Derby loss against LA Galaxy II. It’s possible he was carrying an injury in the meantime, but it seemed like he fell out of favor with Cloutier and quietly came out of the rotation.

Given his season-long loan, LAFC were not going to bring him in after July, either, and on Tuesday they declined to pick up his contract option. Frankly, Czornomaz didn’t get a ton of playing time, so it’s hard to judge what he did do with a keen eye, but he looked like a project and after failing to break through with Orange County, LAFC were ready to move on. It happens.

It seems likely that like another former Orange County SC loanee, Rodrigo Pacheco, Czornomaz will return to Argentina to continue his career, and see if he can learn from his experience stateside to break through with a pro club in his home country. We’ll see what happens from here for the midfielder.

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