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Orange County SC announce return of 10 players for 2021 season

Mix of veterans and youngsters on tap for another season in SoCal.

Courtesy of Orange County SC

Orange County SC announced last week seven players will be returning to the club for the 2021 season: Michael Orozco, Thomas Enevoldsen, Robbie Kiernan, Francis Jacobs, Blake Malone, Kobi Henry and Raymond Drai. This week, they have announced three more players — Brian Iloski, Nathan Smith and Seth Casiple — will also be returning.

The group is a mixture of veterans and youngsters. Orozco has served as OCSC captain since joining in 2019, the 34-year-old settling into a mentor role for Orange County’s growing crop of young prospects. Joining him is fellow experienced center back Kiernan, who made 15 appearances in 2020, his first season at the club.

Iloski, Smith and Casiple were also additions for 2020 and all three played regular roles for the club in their debut seasons in Orange County, all in their 20s and bridging the gap between the elder statesmen and new pros on the roster.

Jacobs, Henry, Malone and Drai are some of the youngsters the team is high on, and all but Malone got some playing time in 2020, with the expectation they’ll be ready to make a step up next season.

Enevoldsen was an unusual case this year, the Dane returning after a year away from Orange County in 2019. But his wife was pregnant with the couple’s child and she returned to their native Denmark to have the baby, and Enevoldsen went with her. As a result, he missed all of 2020 aside from the home opener before the coronavirus shutdown for Orange County SC, but has been staying fit and playing regularly for Danish club Hobro IK on loan through the end of this year.

The 10 players announced to be coming back will be joined by the first new signing announced, attacker Chris Wehan. We’ll keep you updated on signings for the club for 2021 as we learn more.

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