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Inside Milan Iloski’s groundbreaking move from the USL to Nordsjaelland

Orange County’s Iloski becomes one of the first USL stars to move to Europe in his prime.

6 min read

Player development is core to the mission of the USL, the organization that governs much of lower-division soccer in the United States including the second-division USL Championship. Though there’s still much work to be done, the USL has begun to build a pipeline for young prospects to move to Europe as U.S. youth national team players like Joshua Wynder find homes across the Atlantic.

What’s rarer than a young USL player moving abroad is for a star in the prime of his career to make a similar jump. In joining Denmark’s FC Nordsjaelland, still alive in the Europa Conference League, Milan Iloski is here to break the mold.

Sources told Backheeled that Nordsjaelland will pay Orange County SC a fee well into the six-digit range for Iloski, who will join the Danish club in January of 2024 after the conclusion of the current USL Championship season. Sources also indicate that the deal includes a sell-on clause but few other bonuses or incentives; most of the money is guaranteed.

Since joining Orange County SC ahead of the 2022 USL Championship campaign, the 24-year-old Iloski has 34 goals, more than any other player in the league. He won the Golden Boot in 2022 and has led Orange County into title contention in 2023. Iloski is naturally right footed but plays on the left wing, often cutting inside to find shooting angles. He has an excellent first touch, turns on a dime, and uses his threat as a scorer to open space for his teammates.

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