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Orange County SC sign midfielder Alex Villanueva

Sounders academy product moves closer to home.

Courtesy of Orange County SC

Orange County SC continued to build their roster ahead of the 2022 season, announcing on Wednesday they have signed midfielder Alex Villanueva.

The 19-year-old joins after coming through the Seattle Sounders academy system, playing extensively for their reserve team Tacoma Defiance the past two years at USL Championship level, and making two MLS appearances with the Sounders in 2021.

“We are delighted to add Alex, a top young talent to our club,” President of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss said in a team statement. “Alex is an exciting player that we are very familiar with and he will continue to develop in our professional environment. Alex is at an age where he is only starting out in his journey, and we know there is so much more to come.”

Villanueva grew up in Lancaster, so this move is a homecoming of sorts. He was on trial with LAFC this preseason, and impressed fans with his play in the first preseason scrimmage for the MLS outfit, but he ultimately did not sign there and is moving to the defending USL Championship title-holders.

“Orange County is a great club and the right fit because it fits my playing style,” Villanueva said. “The coaches’ confidence in me to contribute to such an experienced group and their commitment to help me achieve my goals to play on the highest level also played an important part in my decision. I can learn a lot from the staff and players. I’m looking forward to the upcoming season and playing in front of the fans.”

OCSC open the 2022 season on Mar. 12 at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.

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