Orange County SC has signed 16-year-old midfielder Ben Norris as its fourth USL Academy signing for the 2023 USL Championship. | Photo courtesy Orange County SC
IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC announced on Thursday the club had signed midfielder Ben Norris to a USL Academy contract for the remainder of the 2023 USL Championship season. Norris joins goalkeeper Mark Hyan, defender Ashton Miles and forward Nico Ruiz as USL Academy signings on the OCSC First Team roster.
Norris is a current player for OCSC II and will now be eligible to compete in the USL Championship and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the club’s First Team while maintaining his collegiate eligibility.
“Ben has thoroughly deserved this contract with his performances in our reserve team,” said OCSC Sporting Director Peter Nugent. “He is an exciting young player, who plays with a relentless energy every time he sees the field.”
A native of Poway, Calif., Norris has had an impressive youth career with San Diego Surf prior to joining OCSC II. The 16-year-old was named to the Elite Clubs National League U15 All-America Team for the 2020-2021 season. He followed that up with an ECNL U16 Boys Southwest All-Conference Team nod in 2021-2022.
“Being a pro has been a dream of mine since I was four, so it feels amazing to sign with OCSC,” Norris said. “I started with Orange County about a year ago and ever since I have been here, I’ve loved it.”
While with OCSC II, Norris played in all four matches last November at the 2022 USL Academy Finals in Tampa, Fla., where OCSC II took home the Showcase Division Title.