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Orange County SC sign veteran goalkeeper Cody Cropper

MLS and USL-experienced pro joins OCSC.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Orange County SC announced on Tuesday they have signed veteran goalkeeper Cody Cropper.

Cropper, 30, joins OCSC after a career spent in MLS and in England.

“Cody brings a wealth of experience with him from his time within Major League Soccer,” OCSC Sporting Director Peter Nugent said in a team statement. “He is a great shot stopper and will bring a commanding presence to our backline. We are looking forward to integrating him into the team.”

Cropper began his professional career in England, on the books at Southampton from 2012-15. After a season at MK Dons, Cropper moved back to his native United States, playing with the New England Revolution from 2016-19. He was the starter there in 2017, but injuries and goalkeeper shuffling left him on the bench eventually, and he got his first taste of the USL Championship with a loan in 2019 to Hartford Athletic. A backup at the Houston Dynamo and FC Cincinnati, Cropper had another USL loan, in late 2021, with Memphis 901 FC. Last season, he was a part-time starter with the Vancouver Whitecaps, winning the Canadian Championship with them.

“One of the main reasons that I wanted to join OCSC was to continue playing the game that I love,” Cropper said. “In addition to this, I firmly believe that the organization is capable of great things, like competing for and winning the USL Championship for a second time in three years.”

Orange County were in need of more goalkeepers on the roster, with Colin Shutler the only professional on the squad for Saturday’s season opener, a 3-1 loss to Louisville City. While Shutler may remain the starter, expect Cropper and Shutler to battle for the No. 1, and quite likely, the players to split the time in goal for OCSC.

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