Orange County SC announced two intriguing signings for the 2020 season this week, as they’ve added forward Sean “Ugo” Okoli and midfielder Brian Iloski.
Okoli, 27, joins after playing the last two years in Europe, at Swedish club Landskrona, Norwegian side FK Jerv and Austian outfit Pinzgau Saalfelden, all in the lower tiers. Before that, he had two stints in MLS, first as a homegrown player with the Seattle Sounders in 2014, then the New England Revolution in 2015, and New York City FC in 2017.
The striker also has USL experience, playing for the then-OC Blues on loan in 2014 and for then-USL side FC Cincinnati in 2016, where he had his best season to date as a pro, winning the Golden Boot and USL MVP with 16 goals in 31 appearances.
“I couldn’t be happier that we have come to terms with Ugo,” said OCSC head coach Braeden Cloutier in a team statement. “He has proven himself at the Championship level, with his time at Cincinnati, and we know that he can score goals. Ugo is a very strong center forward that can hold it up, link it and look to get in behind defenses. He’s going to be a huge asset to our club this season.”
Okoli’s addition, along with Thomas Enevoldsen rejoining OCSC this season, could arguably make their attack the most potent in the league, joining up with returning attacker Darwin Jones and playmaker Aodhan Quinn. While Okoli hasn’t been a consistent scorer since leaving FCC in his career year, he’s a player whose addition should absolutely bolster Orange County’s attack.
Iloski, meanwhile, is an intriguing addition for OCSC. Now 24, Iloski was once the “next big thing” of American soccer, and was at one point rumored to be in the sights of some of the world’s biggest clubs, but he ultimately played college soccer at UCLA, then went pro after signing with Polish power Legia Warsaw in 2018. He didn’t get much run there, and was loaned to fellow Polish outfit MFK Zemplín Michalovce where he saw a handful of minutes. Last year he signed with LA Galaxy II and made 16 appearances, scoring two goals.
“We are excited to add Brian, a local Southern California player to our roster,” said Oliver Wyss, president of soccer operations, in a statement. “Brian is a talented player and we expect him to contribute with his offensive qualities.”
If Iloski can push through to see some regular playing time for Orange County, perhaps he can be a late bloomer on the pro level and prove to be a very savvy signing indeed. Time will tell, but Okoli and Iloski are both very interesting signings as Orange County SC look to compete for the league title in 2020.
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