Orange County SC (OCSC) hosts Open Tryouts every year before spring training in hopes of discovering local talent and jump-starting a player's professional soccer career. Over Orange County SC’s 11 seasons in the United Soccer League (USL), at least one player has always received an invitation to spring training, and in some rare cases, players have gone on to earn full-time contracts.
On February 20, Orange County SC announced that the club had selected three players from this year's open tryout to join the USL Championship team in spring training, Wolfgang Prentice, Luis Garcia Sosa, and Musa Yansaneh. These players were selected from a record-setting OCSC Open Tryout of over 150 participants.
“I’ve always known about the team,” said Wolfgang Prentice on how he heard about the tryout. “I decided to go out one weekend just to kind of see… and it took off from there.”
Wolfgang Prentice, or “Wolf,” as he’s referred to by his coaches and teammates, was born and raised in Redondo Beach, California, but don’t let the long blond hair and his favorite past time of skating fool you. The 20-year-old forward bagged four goals, notched two assists, and started in every match during his freshman season at Cal State University, Northridge (CSUN). He was later named part of the 2018 Big West Conference All-Freshman team. Before attending CSUN, Prentice spent time in the LA Galaxy Academy program and participated in the 2015 US National Team U-15 camp.
“I always thought the competition was pretty high in South California,” said Prentice on growing up and playing soccer in Southern California. “There’s just more consistency and a bigger pool of good players.”
Luis Garcia Sosa also grew up in a competitive soccer environment, to say the least. He was born in, Juarez, Mexico, and moved to California when he was eight years old. He says he never played video games or other sports as a kid in Juarez, just soccer. His father, a Santos Laguna’s fan, would take him to Liga MX games on occasion and while Garica Sosa doesn’t remember attending many of the games, Santos is still his favorite club.
“I would love to be in a stadium one day... having fans cheering and being able to make kids smile like they made me smile when I was little,” said Garcia Sosa.
The 23-year-old midfielder was part of the LA Force’s 2020 roster before the arrival of Covid-19 in March of 2020. The LA Force play in the third tier of American professional soccer, the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), which due to the pandemic, was permanently suspended on April 27, 2020. Before joining the LA Force, Garcia Sosa attended The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, California, where he had a decorated four-year career. He was named All-GSAC three years in a row, becoming only the sixth player in program history to do so. During his Junior year, he tallied nine goals and 11 assists.
“Nothing happened for me in 2020, so I’ve just been training a lot and trying to find opportunities… knock at the door,” said Garcia Sosa. “I just turned 23 so I know I’m getting old for soccer, but it’s something I love to do so I’m going to keep pushing until I can sign my first professional contract, and I know I have the ability to do it. If they say no to me 10 times, 15 times, I’m going to keep going until that 16, 17th time... whatever it takes. If they say yes, then I achieve my dreams and keep working to play and make a difference.”
He attributes his resilience to many people, but especially to his parents, who have been in his corner every step of the way.
“They know I have a dream and aspiration,” said Garcia Sosa. “They tell me, ‘If it's not for you then it's not for you, but you won't know until you keep going, until your legs can't go no more and then you can go find a job with your degree or something, but you got to do what makes you happy.”
Prentice, Garica Sosa, and Musa Yansaneh took part in Orange County SC’s spring training camp for three weeks.
“I really enjoy the level [of play],” said Prentice on his time with OCSC’s first team. “A team like that could really help my development. It’s what I’ve been really looking for. To find a professional environment to develop my game and get a lot of experience… I feel like it will help me get over that barrier... to push to be the best player I can be.”
While the three Open Tryout finalists are no longer training with OCSC, they plan on continuing to pursue professional careers. With a month of USL Championship training under their belts, they become one major step closer to achieving their goals.
“If you work hard and you're consistent about it, and your patient, I think good things can happen,” said Garcia Sosa.