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Orange County SC sign defender Brent Richards

Former Reno 1868 captain trades silver for Golden State.

Courtesy of Orange County SC

Orange County SC announced Thursday they have signed defender Brent Richards for the 2021 season.

The 30-year-old joins after a four-season run with Reno 1868 FC, where he made 105 appearances and served as team captain before that club folded this offseason.

“We are delighted to add Brent, a great leader and top professional to our roster,” said OCSC president of soccer operations Oliver Wyss in a team statement. “Brent is a winner, and his experience will have a significant impact on our team!”

Richards turned pro in 2012, signing the first homegrown deal in Portland Timbers history out of the University of Washington. Making a handful of appearances at MLS level, Richards really emerged in the USL for Portland Timbers 2 in 2015-16, before moving on to Reno. He’s mostly played of late as a fullback, but Richards has experience in midfield and even in an attacking role in his career, too.

“I’m proud to be joining Orange County, a club that’s been extremely professional and competitive in the USL. The end goal is always to win a championship and I believe we will do just that in Orange County in 2021,” said Richards.

I think this is a significant signing for OCSC. Between the general arms race between Phoenix Rising and San Diego Loyal so far this offseason, Orange County have to hustle to keep pace with the most ambitious clubs, and this is a move that indicates they’re still in the hunt. Plus, adding both experience and leadership will not hurt whatsoever, especially with OCSC seeming to get younger and younger these days. I think this is a signing that should pay off for the club.

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