Orange County SC has exercised its contract option for the 2023 season on defender Alex Villanueva, who led the club in minutes played in the 2022 season. | Photo courtesy Liza Rosales / Orange County SC
IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC announced on Tuesday the club had exercised its contract option on defender Alex Villanueva for the 2023 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.
The 20-year-old led Orange County with 2,775 minutes of action in his first season at Championship Soccer Stadium, scoring two goals and notching three assists. He also led the team with 40 interceptions, posted a 78.6 percent passing accuracy rate and won 51.3 percent of duels while making 50 clearances and winning 29 tackles.
A former signing by Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer, Villanueva joined Orange County ahead of the 2022 season having made two appearances in the top flight and an additional 14 appearances for the Tacoma Defiance in the USL Championship. A native of Maple Valley, Wash., Villanueva also has prior experience with the United States U-17 Men’s National Team.
Orange County also announced the return of forwards Korede Osundina and Bryce Jamison, both of whom were previously under contract for the 2023 season. Both current United States Youth National Team players, Osundina recorded a pair of assists and 11 chances created in 19 appearances for the side this past season, while Jamison notched his first goal in the Championship and made four appearances after signing late in the regular season.
Both Osundina and Jamison joined the professional ranks with OCSC from the Barca Residency Academy in Arizona.