Pierre da Silva‘s career progression can be described by one song: Started From The Bottom. That’s exactly what the former academy player did. Now, he’s at one of many tops.
On Friday, Orlando City SC announced that da Silva was signed to a Major League Soccer contract. The 18-year-old is the first player to progress through the academy to Orlando City B and ultimately to the club’s first team.
“I’m proud of everyone in the club who has helped Pierre get to where he is today,” City CEO Alex Leitã0 said, per the release. “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.”
In the 2016 United Soccer League season, da Silva started 18 of his 23 games. He led OCB with five assists and scored twice. He was awarded the OCB Coaches’ Award at the end of the season.
“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, per the release. “His work rate and creativity up the wing always gave us options up the pitch. I’m proud that OCB has produced another MLS-caliber player, and I’m excited to see him succeed with the first team.”
da Silva has scored four times in 32 games for the United States youth national teams. He was invited to join the U.S. U-19 national team at training camp in November.
Orlando City will begin the 2017 campaign with a bout against New York City FC on March 5 at 5 p.m. in Lions’ new soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando.