Irvine (Calif.) - Orange County SC (OCSC) of the United Soccer League (USL) and the L.A. Wolves FC (UPSL) are proud to announce an official affiliation focused on local player development.
L.A. Wolves FC has committed its support to Orange County SC's player development initiatives in a landmark agreement that grants financial incentives upon future transfer rights for the participating players that sign professional contracts and encourages the investment in elite player development by clubs at all levels of U.S. Soccer, especially in Southern California.
Orange County SC General Manager Oliver Wyss said, "We are excited to partnering with the L.A. Wolves FC as part of our "pathway to professional" model. There are many talented amateur players in the UPSL that we want to provide the opportunity to be part of the professional environment at Orange County SC and dream of playing in the highest levels of soccer in the U.S. and abroad. L.A. Wolves have been at the forefront of discovering talented local players and I believe this partnership will add a very important step, that is currently missing, in the Southern California player development structure."
L.A. Wolves FC (UPSL) players will be scouted and monitored regularly by Orange County SC (USL) and selected players will be granted the opportunity to train with the club's first team.
L.A. Wolves FC President Yan Skwara said, "The L.A. Wolves have produced many top, local players over the years. Many of those players have moved on from the club to sign professional contracts both oversees and domestically. Typically the player has had to navigate his way around to create that opportunity on the professional side, but now that process has been simplified. It's time now that we streamline this process with professional connectivity for our players with this dynamic affiliation agreement with OCSC. USL is sanctioned by U.S. Soccer as professional second division just underneath Major League Soccer. Orange County SC will provide L.A. Wolves players with a true "pathway to pro" opportunity with the OCSC's first team when our player is ready to take that next step and we will vet that process extensively on our side in terms of only sending players that are ready for pro level play. Getting our players to the next level has always been our role as a a club and will continue to be our our role as a club. Currently, OCSC is one of the nation's top pro clubs, with the recent run to the 2018 USL semifinals speaking for itself. Between the LA Galaxy and LAFC from MLS, and OCSC from USL, there are only a handful of playing slots open for professional players in SoCal, so we are excited to be working closely with one of the three pro teams in the Southern California market. L.A. Wolves FC players will have the opportunity to compete for a professional contract and potentially step into a playing role with OCSC's first team. Similarly, OCSC reserve players will be given opportunities to develop further in the UPSL with L.A. Wolves FC in certain cases and to keep playing time and game conditioning on point. I want to thank both Orange County SC Owner James Keston and General Manager Oliver Wyss for supporting this partnership and we are looking forward to many years of working together."
ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY SOCCER CLUB
Orange County Soccer Club is Orange County's only professional soccer team and is part of the United Soccer League (USL), the fastest growing Division II professional soccer league in the world. The USL is comprised of 34 teams across the United States. The team plays its home games at the Orange County Great Park's Championship Soccer Stadium, located in Irvine (Calif.). Nestled in the heart of the Great Park, Championship Soccer Stadium has a capacity of over 5,000 for Orange County SC matches. Orange County SC was one of 12 founding members of the USL during its inaugural 2011 season. The preceding club, Orange County Blues, won the 2015 Western Conference Regular Season Championship and reached the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the USL Playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Team owner and Chief Investment Officer of LARO Properties, James Keston, purchased and re-branded the team in 2017. Keston, who actively oversees all operations of the team, is dedicated to providing a pathway to professional soccer and a world-class soccer organization that focuses on the fans, players and youth clubs of Orange County.
For more information about Orange County Soccer Club, and to experience professional soccer in the OC, visit: http://www.orangecountysoccer.com. For more information about the United Soccer League, visit: http://www.uslsoccer.com.
About L.A. Wolves FC
L.A. Wolves FC is an American Soccer club based in Los Angeles, California. We are named after the Los Angeles Wolves, who played in the United Soccer Association in 1967 and the North American Soccer League in 1968.
L.A. Wolves FC is a charter member of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) and competes in the Pro Premier Division Western Conference. The club also manages a reserve squad and oversees L.A. Wolves FC Youth Soccer Program.
In addition, L.A. Wolves FC participates in the qualifying round for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup through its affiliation and membership with the UPSL, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).