Orlando City signs academy product Benji Michel to Homegrown Player deal


Orlando City announced Monday that it has signed former academy player Benji Michel as the fifth Homegrown Player signing in club history.

The University of Portland forward bagged 31 goals in 53 appearances for the Pilots, including 11 goals in the 2018 season — 10 of which he scored in his team’s first 11 games.

“We are very excited with the addition of Benji. Central Florida is one of the top areas in the country in talent, and we as a Club need to focus on grooming players like him to make sure they have a pathway in their professional careers,” said Orlando City General Manager Luiz Muzzi in a club release. “Benji is an exciting player; we could not be any happier to have him come back home.”

Prior to his collegiate playing days at Portland, Michel played for the Orlando City u-18 team, scoring 25 goals for the U.S. Development Academy. Additionally, he also played academy soccer for the Montverde Academy.

Michel is the first player to sign a Homegrown contract with Orlando City since Mason Stajduhar signed such a deal with the club after the 2015 season. He joins Stajduhar, Tommy Redding, Tyler Turner, and Harrison Heath as Orlando’s all-time Homegrown Player signings.

(Photo by University of Portland) 

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