15-Year-Old Goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes Signs Professional Contract with USL’s Orange County SC
Dreams come true for talented and hardworking players — Standout Southern California keeper joins Orange County SC, becoming the youngest player ever to sign with the club.
Soccer News: Orange County Soccer Club announced today the signing of talented 15-year-old goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes to his first professional United Soccer League contract. Cervantes joins Orange County SC from Irvine-based powerhouse youth club Pateadores SC.
“The signing of Aaron is a huge first step towards creating the ‘pathway to professional soccer’ in Orange County that I have spoken about since the day I purchased the team 18 months ago,” said Orange County SC Owner James Keston.
“We expect Aaron to be the first of many young Southern California players with world-class talent to be signed by OCSC and given the opportunity to prove themselves against top-level professionals. We did not sign Aaron to join an Academy or to sit on the bench…we signed him because we expect him to earn a spot and play on our first team,” Keston added.
A Southern California native from Chino Hills, Cervantes joins LA Galaxy II’s Efrain Alvarez and Bethlehem Steel FC’s Thomas Romero as one of the youngest players in league history to sign a professional contract. Cervantes will turn 16 on March 20.
Alvarez and Romero were 15-year-olds when they made their professional debuts.
“Aaron is an incredible talent whose ability as a goalkeeper and maturity as a young man are way beyond his years,” said Orange County SC General Manager & Executive Vice President Oliver Wyss.
Wyss is a strong promoter of player development and creating opportunities for talented youth soccer players.
“Aaron is a landmark signing for our club and he represents exactly the type of player we are looking for as we continue to build the pathway to professional soccer here in Orange County,” said Wyss. “Aaron will flourish in our professional environment both on and off the field and has a very bright future ahead of him!”
Cervantes began his soccer career playing for the LA Galaxy youth academy and had multiple call-ups to the U.S. Soccer Youth National Team training camps.
After joining the Pateadores Youth Soccer Club in the summer of 2017, and a strong start to his Academy season, Cervantes was most recently called up to the U17 Men’s National Team nine-day training camp at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center last month.
“It is very exciting to be working with such a young talent like Aaron! I had the privilege to work with him for two years when he was 11-12 years old. I am very proud of the progress he has made in such a short period of time. You could see his potential with his work rate and dedication,” said Orange County SC Head Coach, Braeden Cloutier.
“Even though he is only 15, he fits right in with the senior experienced pros! He is just at the beginning of this amazing journey and still has a tremendous amount to learn, but if he continues to work hard and learn from Victor and Frans, the skies the limit for him!”
Orange County SC will kick-off its 2018 season with its home opener at Championship Soccer Stadium at the Orange County Great Park this Saturday, March 17 at 7:00 PM.
Orange County Soccer Club is Orange County’s only professional soccer team and is part of the United Soccer League (USL), the fastest growing Division II professional soccer league in the world.
The USL is comprised of 34 teams across the United States. Orange County SC plays its home games at the Orange County Great Park’s Championship Soccer Stadium, located in Irvine, CA. Nestled in the heart of the Great Park, Championship Soccer Stadium has a capacity of over 5,000 for Orange County SC matches. Orange County SC is also the official affiliate partner of the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), the newest Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.
Orange County SC was one of 12 founding members of the USL during its inaugural 2011 season. The Club, formerly called the Orange County Blues, won the 2015 Western Conference Regular Season Championship and reached the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the USL Playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Team owner and Chief Investment Officer of LARO Properties, Keston, purchased and re-branded the team in 2016.