Orange County SC announced Friday they have signed midfielder Chris Wehan on a free agent deal ahead of the 2021 USL Championship season.
Wehan, 26, is a standout player in the Western Conference, having won the 2017 USL Rookie of the Year award with Reno 1868 FC, and winning one All-League First Team selection and one All-League Second Team selection, the latter in 2020 with New Mexico United.
“I am very excited that Chris has signed for Orange County,” said OCSC head coach Braeden Cloutier in a team statement. “He has been a player that I have admired for several years. I look forward to adding his creativeness and professionalism to our group.”
The signing represents a return home for Wehan, who grew up in Laguna Niguel and played club soccer for Orange County United FC and was a standout at Aliso Niguel High School.
“I am elated to join Orange County SC, a club I used to watch firsthand,” said Wehan. “I am extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity to move home to Southern California and play for this club that has done so well in the Championship over many years.”
He played NCAA soccer at the University of New Mexico in 2012-16, then joined Reno in 2017, where he was one of the budding stars right from the jump. He leveraged his Rookie of the Year campaign into an MLS contract with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2018, making six appearances in the top flight while splitting time with Reno that year.
After he was out of contract following the 2018 season, Wehan signed with a new USL Championship expansion team, New Mexico United, and helped them reach the playoffs in each of the first two seasons, leading the team in scoring this year with five goals.
This is a big deal signing, assuming Wehan can maintain his level. He’s a versatile attacker who can fill up the stat sheet and has experience as a leader on his team at this level. OCSC had a tough 2020 season, but they really aren’t that far away from being a championship team, and a signing like this could help put them over the top, which is really exciting.
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