Irvine, California. Fresh from leading Swope Park Rangers to back to back Western Conference titles, Christian Duke has swapped Kansas for Orange County and become new Head Coach, Braeden Cloutier’s first new signing. Bringing one of the highest regarded midfielders in the USL to Orange County.
“I’m delighted and privileged to have the opportunity to work with Christian. I have been an admirer of his talent for the past few years. He is a quality human being and has all the characteristics we want at Orange County SC and will look to build a successful team around him. He leads by example through his discipline, work rate and ambition which will be a great example for the entire squad.” Said Orange County SC Head Coach, Braeden Cloutier.
Duke is no stranger to Southern California having played for the University of San Diego where he represented the Toreros for three years, he then started his professional career with home town team, Sporting Kansas City when he was drafted in the 2013 Supplemental Draft. He then went on to enjoy two successful loan spells within the USL with Orlando City and Oklahoma City Energy. In 2016, Duke returned to Kansas to lead Swope Park Rangers in their inaugural season in the USL, in which proved to be successful first season as he lifted the Western Conference title for the club. The Kansas native played an integral role for Swope Park Rangers last season, as he led the team in minutes played totaling 3,281 minutes for the club, starting every match of the season. Not only did he record the most minutes for the side, he also led the way in number of passes and assists with 1,894 passes and 7 assists.
Duke has firmly established himself as one of the leading center midfielders in the USL, and is renowned for his combative energy and quality on the ball. His box to box style will bring a real intensity to the Orange County SC midfield as he links up with club Captain, Richard Chaplow in the center of the field.
“I’m very excited and thankful for this opportunity to play for Orange County SC. The vision of the club and the ambitions of being the best is an attractive environment to be a part of. I cannot wait to play for Coach Cloutier who has played at the highest level and has a lot of knowledge of the game. I hope to bring trophies to the club for the city and fans!” said Christian Duke.
A third title for Duke would make it a Hat-Trick of back to back titles and a first in club history for Orange County Soccer Club.
This signing is pending league and federation approval.
Photo Credit: Swope Park Rangers | Nick Smith