By Daniel Cermak/NPSL.com
Connor Gordon signed with his hometown club, Orange County SC of the USL Championship, late last week.
“It was an awesome experience,” Gordon said. “With the opportunity to sign with the first team and move into the professional level in my hometown city, it’s a blessing.”
Some may think that playing in front of your hometown while representing the local club would come with added pressure. For Gordon, however, it represents the chance to play in front of friends and family.
“There’s pressure in the sense that it’s a higher level,” Gordon said. “But I can stay local and play in front of friends and family, previous coaches, and it’s really just surreal right now.”
Gordon has spent his entire life playing soccer in Orange County, growing up in Huntington Beach and attending Edison High School in Huntington Beach before going to Concordia University Irvine. While with the CUI Eagles, Gordon lit up the scoreboard from the forward position. Gordon ended his CUI career with an unreal 18 goals and six assists in 2018. The breakout senior season earned Gordon D2CCA Third-Team All-American, First Team All-West Region, and First All-PacWest Conference honors.
CUI Director of Soccer and Men’s Head Coach Chris Gould is proud of Gordon’s signing and knows that he will be able to adjust to the professional game.
“He is an incredible talent that has worked for everything he has achieved,” Gould said. “I think with all young professionals, he had to adapt to the new challenges, but given the right opportunities he has the talent to achieve success.”
Part of Gordon’s perfect opportunities was his time with Orange County FC of the NPSL. In the 2017 season, Gordon netted ten goals for OCFC, and later participated in the 2018 NPSL Showcase. Additionally, Gordon started the 2018 season with OCFC and featured in their U.S. Open Cup appearance. Overall, Gordon’s experience with OCFC is one which he is extremely grateful for.
“They helped me learn how to be a professional,” Gordon said of OCFC. “They eased the transition to moving into the professional game because of the times in training and (OCFC Head Coach) Paul (Caligiuri) expected me to play like a professional.”
Caliguri is truly excited for Gordon’s new opportunity.
“Connor played a huge part of the success for Orange County Football Club over the past two NPSL seasons,” Caliguri said. “We are super excited to see his dream of becoming a professional soccer player has come true.”
Now that his dream to play professionally has come true, Gordon is looking forward to fighting for playing time and showing what he can do.
“One of my main goals is to improve as a soccer player and have the best impact I can possibly have,” Gordon said. “Then as a team, we’re looking to win the Western Conference again and win the championship. We have a group of talented guys and anything less than a championship will be seen as subpar.”
With the support of his hometown behind him, look out for Connor Gordon to make an impact with Orange County SC.
Photo Credit: Glenn Feingerts