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GOLDEN RETURN: Orange County Signs 2016 MVP Okoli

By Staff, 02/19/20, 12:05PM EST


Former FC Cincinnati standout returns to Championship after spending past two seasons in Europe

IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC announced a significant addition to its forward line on Wednesday morning.

And, it’s someone who is at least slightly familiar with his new permanent surroundings.

2016 USL Championship Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot-winner Sean “Ugo” Okoli was unveiled as the newest signing for Head Coach Braeden Cloutier’s side, having previously competed briefly for the club when it was known as the Orange County Blues in the 2014 season.

For Okoli, the return to the United States after two seasons in Europe with FC Jerv in Norway and Pinzgau Saalfelden in Austria is an opportunity to put into action everything he’s added to his game since his time at FC Cincinnati.

“It’s great to be back in the USL and playing for Orange County,” said Okoli. “I really learned a lot oversees and I came back because I believe OCSC is the best opportunity for me. I’m going to do everything I can to help the team win a championship.”

A former Seattle Sounders FC Homegrown signing, Okoli made three appearances and recorded one assist in his prior loan stint in Orange County. Two years later, however, he had his breakout moment with 16 goals in 29 regular-season appearances for FC Cincinnati to earn the Championship’s Golden Boot and the Most Valuable Player award.

In 2017, Okoli signed with New York City FC of Major League Soccer, where he recorded one goal in 16 appearances and three starts. Following the departure of former Orange County forward Michael Seaton this offseason, though, Okoli’s arrival at Championship Soccer Stadium for the 2020 campaign could prove an ideal replacement alongside Thomas Enevoldsen and Darwin Jones in OCSC’s attacking corps.

“I couldn't be happier that we have come to terms with Ugo,” said Cloutier. “He has proven himself at the Championship level, with his time at Cincinnati, and we know that he can score goals. Ugo is a very strong center forward that can hold it up, link it and look to get in behind defenses. He's going to be a huge asset to our club this season.”

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