Orange County SC lost 3-0 on Wednesday at home against Tacoma Defiance, and in response, on Thursday the club announced they have dismissed longtime head coach Braeden Cloutier.
Cloutier had served as head coach since the start of the 2018 season, and was by far the longest-tenured manager in the club’s history. In addition, he’d been part of the organization for the majority of its history, serving as an assistant coach in 2015-17.
The club released the following statement regarding the news on Thursday morning.
Orange County Soccer Club announced Thursday that head coach Braeden Cloutier has been relieved of his duties. Cloutier had been head coach of OCSC since 2017.
“After much thought and a long evaluation of our current situation to accomplish our goals for the season, we made the difficult decision to relieve Braeden of his duties as head coach,” said President of Soccer Operations & General Manager Oliver Wyss. “Braeden has been part of the Orange County coaching staff for more than six years, including his role as head coach for the past four plus seasons, and we are forever grateful for his contributions and successes on and off the field. Braeden has been an exceptional professional and has represented this club with incredible class, and we wish him all the best moving forward.”
Richard Chaplow, current assistant coach and former team captain, will take over as interim head coach beginning this Saturday vs SD Loyal SC.
Orange County are 1-3-1 in their last five games and have dropped from 2nd place to 4th in the Pacific Division. While they remain above the playoff line, the front office clearly feels apprehensive about the team’s prospects of reaching the playoffs this year, after just missing out the postseason last season in a tough division.
Cloutier wraps his head coaching stint with OCSC with a 49W-31L-23D record in regular season play, likely one of the best marks in the league in that span. Still, Orange County SC are seeking a championship, and they apparently felt like it was time to make a change to try and get over the hump.
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