Orange County SC announced on Friday they have signed veteran English defender Rob Kiernan. The 29-year-old joins after playing in England and Scotland.
Kiernan most recently featured for English League One outfit Southend United, which he joined in 2017. Getting his start at now-Premier League side Watford, making his first-team debut in 2009, Kiernan has gone on to play in Scotland (Kilmarnock, Rangers) and England (Yeovil Town, Bradford City, Wycombe Wanderers, Wigan, Accrington Stanley, Burton Albion, Brentford, Southend and Birmingham City).
A former Irish youth international, Kiernan won a second-division Scottish title with Rangers in 2016 and the Scottish Challenge Cup the same year, alongside current Orange County SC player Harry Forrester.
“We are delighted to add Rob, a former Rangers FC standout, to our roster,” said Orange County SC President of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss in a team statement. “His experience and quality will be invaluable for us and he will be a great role model for our young Rangers FC loan players.”
“To play football for Orange County was an opportunity that I was desperate to make happen,” said Kiernan. “I can’t wait to meet everyone and start my new chapter playing in Orange County.”
Orange County SC are in the middle of their preseason, with the 2020 season opener coming March 6 at home against El Paso Locomotive.
More OCSC news from a busy week:
- First preseason games: Orange County played Colorado Rapids to a 4-0 loss to open their preseason slate, and a 2-1 loss to New York City FC on Tuesday. The highlight from an OCSC perspective was this goal from (apparent trialist?) Gevorg Ohanyan against NYCFC.
- Orange County are planning to play eight preseason games, and coming against MLS opposition is a good test, one that hopefully pays off down the line.
- Next preseason game: Speaking of, the next preseason game will be Saturday morning against Loyola Marymount at LMU at 11 am. The game is open to the public if you can make it out, and having gone to it in the past, it’s pretty easy to find parking in the neighborhood next to the field.
- Young trio loaned from Rangers: The big news, aside from Kiernan’s signing, this week was the loan move to bring in three young Rangers FC prospects — midfielder Cammy Palmer and defenders Matthew Shiels and Danny Finlayson. You never know, but I expect all three to see a fair amount of playing time this year.
- Promo schedule released: If you like your soccer game to have an extra side of spectacle, OCSC released their promotional schedule for home games for 2020. Among the highlights are fireworks for every Friday home game along with $1 beers, three beerfest nights and three kids-themed nights, as well as a Rangers night to celebrate the partnership with the Scottish outfit. You can find more info on the team’s website.
- New Orange and Black Soccercast: Ray, Dylan and Ray welcome new OCSC addition Seth Casiple for an interview in their latest episode. They also talk new signings, the roster coming together, and the trademark random thoughts.
- 538’s season predictions: The preseason projections for FiveThirtyEight are out for the USL Championship, and they rank Orange County SC quite high for the 2020 season, second in the Western Conference, behind only Phoenix Rising FC. If they crunched the numbers right, that sounds pretty decent, but time will tell. You can check out the details and full list here.
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