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Orange County SC 2018 Player Postmortem: Oscar Sorto

Local defender departed team midseason.

Sorto (right) was the starter until his departure.
Liza Rosales / Liza Rosales Photography

Oscar Sorto returned for his second season with Orange County SC in 2018. The right back had gotten plenty of run in 2017, after arriving from the LA Galaxy organization, and he was expected to play a big role again this season under new head coach Braeden Cloutier.

The 23-year-old began the season as starter, and featured in the first seven games of the season. His performances were solid, and things seemed to be humming along.

Sorto 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 7 7 544 0 0 0 0 3 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 7 7 544 0 0 0 0 3 0

And then...it was over. In May, Orange County SC announced Sorto was leaving the team and the decision was “mutually agreed.” It was an abrupt turn of events, but it’s not entirely unheard of in USL — sometimes players are released to join a new team, or things just don’t work out, for whatever reason.

Sorto’s exit remained a mystery until the playoffs. He didn’t join any other professional team. But in a profile on midseason addition Kevin Alston by Scott French on MLSsoccer.com, came a passage explaining what happened:

Cloutier, in his fourth year with the club, had Oscar Sorto playing at right back, but barely a month into the season the former LA Galaxy Homegrown defender told the first-year head coach that he was done, that he didn’t “want to do this anymore.” It took Cloutier, who had worked with Sorto in the Galaxy’s academy, “completely by surprise,” and he wasn’t sure how he was going to fill the hole.

In the end, Alston did indeed fill Sorto’s spot at right back, and put together a very good season. That story just gives the team’s perspective, maybe more went into Sorto’s decision to hang it up, and maybe he’ll be back playing at a high level at some point. Or maybe his elite playing days are well and truly over.

Thus ends a season-plus run for Oscar Sorto. He had a good run with OCSC, and best of luck to him in whatever he does in the future.

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