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Orange County SC bring back midfielder Mats Bjurman

Local returns after sojourn with Preki.

Mark Guthrel | Saint Louis FC

Orange County SC announced on Wednesday the signing of midfielder Mats Bjurman. The 23-year-old will return to the club, where he began his professional career in 2016, after spending last season with fellow USL side Saint Louis FC.

“Mats is a player that I have been familiar with from his youth days and his time playing with Orange County two years ago,” said Orange County SC head coach Braeden Cloutier in a statement. “He is the type of player whose tireless work ethic and positive attitude is what I am looking to build the foundation of this team with. He has great abilities and has shown his versatility in this league, but as he has matured, he will have a more simplified role in the upcoming season.”

Bjurman, who has played primarily as a defensive-minded central midfielder, made 27 appearances for Saint Louis last year, scoring two goals. Bjurman, an Irvine native who played at UC Irvine, departed last year to play with Preki at SLFC, but the project fell apart rather quickly, and Preki has already moved on to be an assistant for the Seattle Sounders, and the midfielder is coming home.

His signing brings Orange County’s 2018 roster up to seven players, joining returning players Oscar Sorto, Zach Kobayashi, Richard Chaplow and Casey Beyers, and newcomers Christian Duke and Aodhan Quinn.

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