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Orange County SC Announces the Signing of Three Next Wave Players to Academy Pro Contracts

March 22, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Orange County SC News Release

Orange County SC today announced the signing of midfielders Ryan Ayoub and Ben Norris along with goalkeeper Juan Santana to USL Academy Pro contracts for the 2024 season. Ayoub, Norris and Santana are now eligible to appear for both OCSC and the OCSC II teams, while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. This is the second USL Academy Pro contract for Norris and the third for Santana with OCSC.

A midfielder from Hawthorne, CA, Ryan Ayoub joins OCSC from the LAFC 2 MLS Next Pro program. He made seven appearances for the Black and Gold development squad last year, playing 407 minutes. He also was selected to the FC Bayern World Squad, an international U19 developmental program hosted by FC Bayern Munchen and Volkswagen, where he made eight appearances and captained the side three times. A product of St. John Bosco High School, he played his youth football at the Total Football Academy.

Signing his second USL Academy Pro Contract with OCSC, Ben Norris returns to the Black and Orange after an impressive season with OCSC II last year. The Poway, CA native helped lead OCSC II to the USL Academy League Cup Final last season. He had three goals in the regular season while patrolling the midfield and also made his first team debut at Championship Stadium coming on as a substitute against Phoenix Rising FC on May 20, 2023.

Goalkeeper Juan Santana is also making his return on a USL Academy Pro contract, marking his third such contract with the club. After appearing on the bench in 2022, Santana answered the call last season in 2023 making two starts in the USL Championship. Santana's debut match was on the road against Sacramento Republic FC where he made two saves in a 2-0 shutout victory at Hughes Stadium. He followed that up with another shutout in a 0-0 draw with El Paso Locomotive FC. The Corona, CA native was named to the USL Academy League Finals All-Tournament First Team during OCSC II's run to the Final.

Ayoub, Norris, and Santana are all now eligible for selection in first team matches, while maintaining their collegiate eligibility and ability to play on OCSC II, the Black and Orange's fully funded reserve team. Tomorrow's Home Opener vs. The Miami FC might be sold out, but don't miss out on your next chance to see OCSC at The Champ on Saturday, March 30 for our Spring Break Beer Fest!

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