LAFC Partner with USL’s Orange County Blues FC

LAFC

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Incoming MLS franchise Los Angeles FC has a USL affiliate team in local club Orange County Blues.

The deal is a multi-year agreement that will create a pipeline for incoming talent to the newly minted Southern California club.

“We are thrilled to launch this exciting new era in Orange County Soccer with our LAFC affiliation,” said OC Blues General Manager and Executive VP of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss. “This partnership will significantly enhance the quality of our first team and strengthen the bond between the two clubs.”

LAFC is still a year away from taking the field in 2018. However, this partnership will allow the team to loan players to the USL side starting next season, meaning the academy system can get started before a ball is ever kicked in MLS.

“We are incredibly excited about this partnership,” said LAFC Executive VP of Soccer Operations John Thorrington. “In the OC Blues we have a fantastic partner with an owner and staff who closely align with our vision to bring world-class professional soccer to Southern California.”

Orange County Blues became a USL expansion franchise in 2010 and has been a constant fixture in the league ever since. Last season, OC finished in eighth place (12-14-4, 40 pts.) defeating the first seeded Sacramento Republic FC in the first round of the USL Championship Playoffs. In August the team was purchased by James Keston, a local investor in the Los Angeles area.