Orange County SC announced today the club has signed 18-year-old midfielder Hunter Hanes and 17-year-old goalkeeper Anthony Anderson to USL Academy contracts. Pending league and federation approval, Hanes and Anderson will join Orange County’s senior team for the 2021 campaign, while also spending time in the club’s academy.
“This is another milestone for our one of a kind pathway to professional model,” said President of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss. “Hunter and Anthony will be training daily in our professional environment and be eligible to play for our USL Championship team. The future for both players is very bright and we are looking forward to seeing them develop to their fullest potential and become professional soccer players.”
Hanes, an Orange County native from Ladera Ranch, California, is part of the San Juan Hills High School graduating class of 2021 and joins Orange County SC from his youth club San Diego Surf SC. Prior to the San Diego Surf, Hanes spent time with Pateadores Irvine and West Coast FC.
“It’s every soccer player's dream to play pro soccer, and this is where I grew up. So it makes it even more special,” said Hanes. “I appreciate the opportunity OCSC and the coaching staff have given me so I am here to work as hard I can everyday to help the team win.”
Anderson, who hails from Carlsbad, California, also joins Orange County SC from San Diego Surf SC. Anderson started playing competitively for the Encinitas Express and Rancho Santa Fe Attack when he was seven years old. He joined the San Diego Surf when he was 14-years-old.
"I am really excited and blessed to be a part of OCSC and I can't wait to take a step further to my goal of playing at the highest level," said Anderson.
“I’m very happy and proud of the way both of these boys have come in and worked hard for this opportunity,” said Head Coach Braeden Cloutier. “Hunter is a player I had the privilege to work with when he was a kid and now he’s come full circle with me. Both players are Southern California natives and these signings prove again that we want to give the best local talent chances to improve their game in our professional environment.”
Hanes and Anderson are the first two players in the history of Orange County Soccer Club to sign USL Academy contracts and will compete for OCSC in the 2021 USL Academy Cup in Tampa, Florida. The tournament takes place between May 28th and May 31st and will feature 32 USL Academy clubs from around the country. The OCSC Academy boys team will be accompanied by the OCSC Academy girls team that will compete in the women's division, consisting of 14 USL clubs also from around the country.