As well they should, because the professional team is playing its home games at the stadium, after opening its season in temporary stands nearby. Its official home opener at the Orange County Great Park’s championship stadium was against Phoenix Rising on Aug. 18 and ended in a 1-1 draw.
The team was formerly known as the OC Blues and played at UCI’s Anteater Stadium. Orange County SC competes in the 30-team United Soccer League (USL), which is sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation as a Division 2 professional league, one level under Major League Soccer.
The team was purchased in 2016 by James Keston, the chief investment officer of LARO Properties in Los Angeles. Keston rebranded the team, and added a cool new logo that was also ubiquitous at the Sports Park opening.
According to a writer with LASoccerNation.com, Orange County SC is “filled with experienced players, whether it is having played abroad in Europe or having an MLS background.” Some of the international players to watch on Orange County SC include Victor Peneda from the U.S.; Belgian Roy Meeus-Bond; Dutch winger Jerry Van Ewijk; Richard Chaplow, who has played in the English Premier League; and OC’s own Ami Peneda.
The team’s coach, Logan Pause, was quoted in the OC Register about the team’s goals in Irvine: “An important pillar within our organization is not only do we want to compete for championships and put on a good display of soccer, but we want to be reflective of Orange County and we want to be ingrained in the community, getting to know the different communities and schools and getting to create and show a dream to all the kids that are playing soccer that they can come up and have a pipeline to play at the top level.”
Professional soccer on an international level at the Orange County Great Park Sports Park? What a kick!
For schedule of remaining games this season and tickets, go to: