IRVINE, CA (FEBRUARY 22, 2023) - Orange County Soccer Club has agreed a long-term partnership with Dutch Eredivisie giants Feyenoord, which lays out a collaborative and mutually beneficial approach to player loans, development and talent identification—adding value and impacting growth for both teams.
The partnership—the first of its kind between a USL Championship team and a continental European side—will work collaboratively to identify talent and recruit players in the Americas, Africa & Asia, bringing them in first to Southern California ahead of a potential move to The Netherlands.
Feyenoord, historically one of the most successful and celebrated clubs in Europe, will also host select Orange County SC players at its renowned facility in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for the purpose of training, personal development and potential future transactions. The partnership will also allow both clubs to explore loan opportunities, creating a potential pathway for Feyenoord’s players to bolster Orange County SC’s first-team roster.
“We take a lot of pride being recognized as a club that is on the forefront of player development in the U.S. and are excited to partner with Feyenoord, which is a very well-respected club in world football,“ said Oliver Wyss, President of Soccer Operations and General Manager. “This milestone partnership validates our extensive investment into player development and will elevate our already very successful pathway to new levels. Collaborating and learning from Feyenoord’s innovative ways will improve the technical side of our club and set us up for long term success both on the field and in the global transfer market.”
“We are very happy to establish this partnership with Orange County SC,” said Dennis te Kloese, CEO of Feyenoord. “Having been a soccer executive in the United States for a considerable amount of years, I know OCSC and its ambitious approach very well.
“Feyenoord shares Orange County’s drive to improve and we look forward to establishing a healthy cooperation between both clubs, exchanging knowledge on player development, digital innovation and scouting.”
Orange County SC won its first USL Championship title in 2021 and is dedicated to being the leader in professional player development in the United States. The club has forged an enviable reputation within U.S. soccer for developing and progressing young talent, notably with teenage center back Kobi Henry. After becoming one of the first active USL players to be called up to the full US Men’s National Team, Henry shattered the USL Championship transfer record with a historic move to French Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims in June 2022.
Orange County’s pro pathway model pairs talented young prospects with seasoned professionals. Ahead of the 2023 season, veteran Scotland international striker Marc McNulty has signed with the club.
With 15 Dutch Eredivisie titles, 13 domestic cups and multiple pan-European trophies on its honor roll, Feyenoord is one of Europe’s biggest and most storied soccer clubs. Its youth program is one of the most revered in Europe, producing internationally acclaimed players such as Robin van Persie, Nathan Ake, Stefan de Vrij and Georginio Wijnaldum.
The strategic partnership will allow Feyenoord to benefit from Orange County SC’s league-leading pro player pathway and scouting network, while enabling Orange Country SC to learn from Feyenoord's decades of experience in training and player personal development.
"This is more than just a basic partnership, this gives both clubs the opportunities to share knowledge on player recruitment, player development and much more," said USL Technical Director Mark Cartwright. "The potential to have players from Feyenoord ply their trade here in the USL will only help continue to raise the quality of play here in our league."
The Feyenoord deal complements OCSC’s existing partnership with Glasgow Rangers, giving the club a continental European partner to sit alongside its British one.
About Orange County Soccer Club
Orange County Soccer Club (OCSC) is Orange County’s only professional soccer team and a founding member of the United Soccer League (USL). It was purchased by Club owner and Chief Investment Officer of LARO Properties, James Keston, in 2017. OCSC, which plays its home games at the 5,500-seat Orange County Great Park Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, CA, won its first USL Championship in 2021. OCSC is dedicated to being the leader in professional player development in the United States, providing a pathway to professional soccer and to the top leagues around the world.
OCSC, alongside its sister organization, the 501c3 Orange County Soccer Club Community Foundation, are committed to creating a world-class soccer organization that focuses on the fans, players and youth clubs of Orange County.
For more information visit orangecountysoccer.com and uslsoccer.com.
Feyenoord was founded in 1908 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and plays in the top tier in Dutch soccer, the Eredivisie. It has won 15 Eredivisie titles, most recently in 2016-17, when it finished a single point above arch rivals Ajax. Feyenoord won the European Cup (the biggest prize in domestic soccer, now known as the Champions League) in 1970, and has twice won the competition now known as the Europa League, most recently in 2002.
Visit feyenoord.com for more information
Orange County SC Media Contact - Red Knot Communications