Orange County SC announced Monday they have added forward Adam Jahn on loan for the 2021 season. While the release says Jahn is on loan from Atlanta United, he’s actually on a guaranteed MLS contract as part of the MLS single-entity system and after clearing waivers this offseason the loan move will give him playing time while he plays out his contract, per The Athletic’s Jeff Rueter.
Jahn, 30, has divided his pro career between MLS and the USL Championship. After being drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2013, he split time between that club and Sacramento Republic on loan, helping the latter win the USL title in 2014. He was traded to the Columbus Crew in 2016, and spent part of 2018 on loan at OKC Energy FC. Jahn then signed with Phoenix Rising FC in 2019 and had a monster season, ending as an All-League First Team selection after scoring 17 goals in 33 appearances.
Last year Jahn was transferred to Atlanta from Phoenix, and played more than expected after starting striker Josef Martinez tore his ACL in the season opener. Jahn scored three goals and two assists in 21 league appearances, with Atlanta struggling overall through the campaign.
So Jahn has a proven track record in the USL Championship and he’s been adept at starting or coming off the bench throughout his career. Assuming Thomas Enevoldsen does indeed return for Orange County SC this season as expected, the two veterans will likely be in a timeshare for starting striker for the club.
“We are delighted to add Adam, a true Champion and prolific goal scorer to our roster,” said OCSC President of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss in a team statement. “Signing a player of Adam’s pedigree clearly indicates what our goal is for the season and we are looking forward to his contributions on and off the field!”
“I’m so excited to return to my home state and join an organization with such high goals and aspirations,” said Jahn.
I think this is a pretty big move for Orange County. Given the expectation that the division the club will compete in this season is expected to be a murderer’s row again, and the fact that Jahn is a player who could basically have his pick of USL Championship teams to play for, snagging him ahead of the competition should not only improve OCSC but also weaken the competition. And to do it with a loan deal is creative from Orange County, as they won’t have to pay him market rate with him already on an MLS deal.
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