RANGERS are the ideal partner for Orange County SC, according to the South Californian Club’s President of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss.

The Gers announced a strategic partnership with the USL side in December involving a number of exciting football, youth development and commercial activities.

Wyss felt both clubs clicked instantly as they looked to build a working relationship.

He said: “Over the last two years, we have been approached by multiple European clubs and when we met with Rangers it was clear from the first minute that this would be a relationship that will benefit both parties.

“We had talks with teams from the Premier League, from the Bundesliga and from Portugal and even though they were all great clubs, we felt that Rangers was the one for us.

“Over the last couple of years, Rangers have invested in their system under the leadership of Craig Mulholland, and we felt their Academy programme was the ideal partner for us to allow us to send our most talented players there to develop and reach the highest level.

“When you look at the entire club, not only is Rangers one of the most successful and historic clubs in European football history, it is a great club all around from the first team to the Academy, which is world class.

“You put all these pieces together and there was a real willingness from the Rangers leadership to work with us and truly build a partnership that has merits on every single front. That is why we closed the deal with them.”

Three months into the partnership deal and three Rangers Academy players have already made the move to America for the 2020 USL season.

Daniel Finlayson, Cammy Palmer and Matthew Shiels have all joined Orange County on loan, with a number of young American’s making the trip to Glasgow.

Wyss continued: “This partnership is a great opportunity to expose Orange County and the USL to the European market.

“The fans will be familiar with the MLS because of the great players like David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and David Villa that played there and they were closely followed.

“But the USL Championship is the fastest growing second division professional league in the world and it now has very talented international players that are coming to play here.

“It is a great league for the Rangers players that we have here – and other European players – to showcase themselves in the American market and other markets.

“You are looking at a talent pool of hundreds of thousands of players that we can tap into and the beauty of our franchise is that we control the rights of the players 100 per cent.

“We own the players and the franchise so we can do business like any European club. Rangers were keen to tap into the Southern California market so this will be a big asset for them as well.”

“We had three young players training with Rangers in December so we saw youth games, spent a week with the Academy and the Rangers executive staff were over here as well watching the USL games to make sure this was a level they felt their players could develop in.”

Wyss has visited Glasgow, and said Orange County were impressed with the standard of players and coaches.

He added: “I have been over twice for the Celtic games and a European game earlier in the season.

“I was fortunate enough as a young player to play for Switzerland. I was born and raised in Switzerland and played for the youth national teams and played against Scotland a long time ago.

“We have done the proper research and I was very impressed with the standard of the Rangers players and the quality of their coaching staff and the curriculum that we are sharing and building together.”

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