Michael Collins Named President and General Manager of Orange County's NASL Club

New professional club will play in NASL, beginning with 2018 Spring Season
Orange County Staff | May 23, 2017

The new professional soccer club in Orange County, which was introduced on May 10 as a member of the NASL, has made its first key hire. Michael Collins, a former professional player, will serve as the club’s president and general manager.

Following a 17-year professional playing career, Collins embedded himself in the Southern California youth soccer community. He holds over 20 years of experience working at the region’s largest clubs in various executive and technical capacities.

“I have tremendous respect for club owners Bronwyn and Pete Capriotti and their commitment to local soccer,” Collins said. “We are going to build a club that is fan-first, player-centric and community-oriented. I’m really looking forward to developing connections with the local communities. I’m thrilled about the opportunity to lead this club in an incredible era of soccer in this country.”

Collins will be working closely with ownership to oversee the club’s overall operation. He has already started working on the club’s official summer launch, including engaging candidates to fill open positions in the front office and technical staff. The club has signed a letter of intent to play its home games at California State University, Fullerton’s Titan Stadium.

“Bronwyn and I are thrilled to bring in someone with Michael’s level of knowledge and expertise,” Pete Capriotti said. “He has dedicated his life to soccer and has nearly 40 years of experience at all levels of the sport, so we feel fortunate to have him leading the charge.”

Lining up as a midfielder, Collins played in the professional ranks from 1980-1997. He suited up for a number of well-known teams throughout his career, including a pair of Southern California sides: MISL’s Los Angeles Lazers and San Diego Sockers. Collins was a member of the U-20 U.S. National Team and in 1988 he was capped twice by the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Collins, who hails from Long Island, New York, grew up watching the New York Cosmos, and fondly remembers his special connection to the legendary club.

“I served as a ball boy for the Cosmos at Hofstra back in 1972, so the NASL represents my very first taste of professional soccer,” Collins said. “I look at the NASL as the starting point for the professional game in our country, and I think the league, in its modern form, is the future of our game as well. The NASL is the best environment for players to develop their careers, and helping them achieve this will be central to our club’s activities. It’s rewarding to help players grow and watch their careers flourish.”

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