Orange County Soccer Club coach leaves for native Denmark

Head Coach Morten Karlsen greets the press on media day for the Orange County Soccer Club.
Morten Karlsen greets the press on media day for the Orange County Soccer Club earlier this year.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)
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Morten Karlsen is heading back home to his native Denmark.

The Orange County Soccer Club coach has left to become the new manager of Lyngby Boldklub in the Danish Superliga, the team announced Tuesday.

OCSC has received an unspecified amount of compensation for the move.

Assistant coach and IDP Manager Paul Hardyman, who has been with the club since the 2021 title winning year, will take over as Orange County interim head coach.

“I’d just like to thank the fans here in Orange County,” Karlsen, 45, said in a statement. “They have been so supportive of me and the boys since the first day I arrived. We’ve created some great memories together and I don’t think we would have the run we did last year without the support you gave us.”


He also thanked team owner James Keston and general manager Peter Nugent for the chance to coach Orange County.

“The club is in great hands and I will always have Orange County in my heart,” Karlsen said.

Karlsen took over head coaching duties for Richard Chaplow last May, in the middle of the season. He became the first coach to win the USL Championship Coach of the Month award in consecutive months in July and August. The team ended up finishing the regular season in second place in the Western Conference, losing in the second round of the playoffs to eventual champion Phoenix Rising FC. Karlson signed a multiyear contract.

Orange County is currently 6-6-3, eighth place in the Western Conference this season. Karlsen’s overall record with the Black and Orange was 22-13-6.