ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City SC announced on Friday it had signed creative midfielder Pierre Da Silva to an MLS contract. Da Silva becomes the first player to make the move from the Pro Academy to Orlando City B to the First Team. At just 18 years old, he is the youngest player on the team.
“I’m proud of everyone in the Club who has helped Pierre get to where he is today,” Orlando City SC Chief Executive Officer Alex Leitão said. “Pierre’s addition is a testament to the quality, competitiveness and benefits of playing with OCB and the clear path we have laid out for Academy players to reach the MLS level.”
Da Silva joins Tony Rocha and Mikey Ambrose as players who earned promotions to Orlando City SC from OCB, the club’s USL affiliate.
Da Silva was named as the No. 15 player in the 2016 USL 20 Under 20, which highlighted a strong first professional season for the U.S. U19 international. Da Silva made 23 appearances and led the side to the USL Cup Playoffs in its inaugural season with a team-leading five assists to go with two goals. His outstanding first year as a pro earned him the OCB Coaches’ Award at the annual Orlando City SC Awards Gala.
Prior to joining OCB, Da Silva featured for the Orlando City Pro Academy U-17/18 team in 2015 after playing in the U.S. Soccer U-17 Residency Program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
“Pierre showed his skill and work ethic time and again last season with OCB, when he trained with the First Team and during his time with the national team,” Lions General Manager Niki Budalic said. “His work rate and creativity up the wing always gave us options up the pitch. I’m proud that and OCB has produced another MLS-caliber player and I’m excited to see him succeed with the First Team.”
The Port Chester, N.Y., native of Peruvian and Brazilian descent has scored four goals in 32 appearances for United States youth national teams. In November, Da Silva was called up to the U.S. U-19 national team training camp in Sunrise, Fla., and represented the United States at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.