The reigning USL Championship title holders Orange County SC have announced the signing of midfielder Tony Rocha from 2021 MLS Cup winners New York City FC, pending league and federation approval. Rocha, who will be an integral figure to head coach Richard Chaplow’s midfield, has made 125 caps with three goals and eight assists in his seven professional seasons.
“I joined OCSC because of their style of play and winning culture which was evident last year with them lifting the [USL Championship] cup,” Rocha said. “I hope to build on what the team did last year and win the USL championship again this year.”
Rocha, 28, is no stranger to lifting trophies as he capped off a three-year tenure with NYCFC with a 2021 MLS Cup victory, the club’s first in history. He appeared in two of the four 2021 MLS Cup Playoff matches. In total, the central midfielder featured for NYCFC 38 times scoring one goal and one assist. Rocha joined NYCFC after three seasons with Orlando City SC where he also appeared for the club’s USL affiliate Orlando City B.
“We are delighted to add Tony, a top professional and recent MLS Champion to our team,” President of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss said. “Tony is a true winner and his experience and leadership will have a significant impact for us on the field this season.”
This will be Rocha’s first season in the Championship since a short-term loan from Orlando to Saint Louis FC in 2018. His professional debut came in 2015 with the Austin Aztex in their only season in the Championship. Before going professional, Rocha played collegiately for the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane for four seasons where he ended his career as the captain.
“I am excited to have a player of Tony’s quality and experience join our team,” Chaplow said. “He will add leadership both on and off the field, while bringing a welcomed balance to the roster. A proven winner, Tony is a player that is comfortable playing both with and without the ball and possesses flexibility to play a number of different positions effectively across the midfield. I am looking forward to integrating him into our setup.”
Hailing from Spring, TX, a suburb of Houston, Rocha started representing the colors of Belize in 2019. He was called up by former head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese and made three appearances for the country in CONCACAF Nations League play.
With Rocha’s addition, this will mark the first time a Belize international has donned the Black and Orange in the club’s 12-year history. Heading into the 2022 USL Championship season, OCSC has four rostered players that have played in official senior level CONCACAF competitions with their respective national teams.
Orange County SC sign Midfielder Tony Rocha, February 2022
Name: Tony Rocha
Height: 5’ 9”
Weight: 165 lbs
Born: August 23, 1993
Birthplace: Spring, TX
Social Media: @t.rocha16