Orlando City signed its third homegrown player of the year on Wednesday, announcing the addition of academy defender Michael Halliday to the MLS first team.
“Michael is another example of the vision we have for the future of the Orlando City development pyramid, making the journey from the academy to our MLS side,” said Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi in a statement. “After starting out in our academy and signing with Orlando City B, Michael has been able to train with our first team, including during our time in Mexico this preseason. He has continuously showcased his potential and we are very excited to see him continue to grow as a member of our club.”
Halliday is the eighth all-time homegrown player for Orlando City, and the third signed after David Loera and Jordan Bender signed similar contracts earlier this year.
The defender is also the youngest player ever to sign with the Lions at 17 years, 5 months and 23 days of age.
Halliday was previously signed to OCB, but never made an appearance due to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the start of the 2020 USL League One season.
The Apopka native was originally part of the Orlando City Youth Soccer setup before joining the U-13 Development Academy in 2016, featuring most recently for the U-18/U-19 development squad.
So happy for Michael. Another former @OCYouthSoccer player turning Pro for his hometown club.
— Paul Shaw (@paul10shaw) July 15, 2020
Halliday is not with the first-team inside the MLS quarantined bubble at Walt Disney World, but will officially join the Lions after the MLS is Back Tournament, according to club sources.
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