Orange County SC has signed 19-year-old defender Ashton Miles to his first professional contract, making him the first player to join the club's First Team on a pro deal after coming through the club's Academy system. | Photo courtesy Liza Rosales / Orang
IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC announced on Wednesday the club had signed young defender Ashton Miles to his first professional contract ahead of the 2024 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.
Miles becomes the first player to progress through Orange County’s Academy system to sign a professional contract with the club. The 19-year-old has spent the past two seasons with the club’s USL Championship squad as a USL Academy signing, making seven appearances while seeing 209 minutes of action in the league.
"This signing is a significant milestone for the club, with Ashton becoming the first player to be signed from our OCSC II team,” said OCSC President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Peter Nugent. “It highlights the progress our path to professional model is making, and further shows our commitment to developing players through our program. Ashton has led by example and is fully deserving of this opportunity, we feel he has all the attributes required to succeed at this level and hopefully beyond."
More recently, Miles was a key part of Orange County SC’s U-20 squad at the USL Academy League Playoffs, which he helped lead to the Final during the event at the Tournament Sportplex of Tampa Bay in early December. A native of Fullerton, Calif., Miles was named to the event’s All-Tournament First Team for his performance.
“I am extremely excited to be signing my first professional contract with Orange County SC,” said Miles. “God has led me to this moment and after going through the full-time professional training structure with OCSC II, I couldn't be more ready. Having captained OCSC II this past season, I feel I am ready to take this next step in my career and compete for minutes with the First Team.”
Miles is currently one of four teenagers signed to professional deals in the Orange County SC squad, joining fellow defender Joseph Buckley and forwards Bryce Jamison and Benjamin Barjolo.
Ashton Miles becomes the latest teenage prospect to join the professional ranks with Orange County SC, with the local product’s ascent a true homegrown moment after his move up the club’s academy and into the First Team. The 19-year-old was one of the standouts at the 2023 USL Academy League Playoffs with not only his defensive play and ability to snuff out danger, but also his quality on the ball in the center back position.
With his prior experience in the Championship, the opportunity for more minutes in the starting lineup should be present for Miles this season alongside returning veterans Dillon Power and Markus Nakkim. The hope will be he takes advantage and potentially starts his own pathway to a higher level in Europe such as former club standouts Kobi Henry and Korede Osundina as part of OCSC’s next wave.