Orlando City announced their third Homegrown Player signing of the season on Tuesday, adding 16-year-old defender Thomas Williams to a contract that will run through the 2024 season, with an option for 2025.
“We are really excited to get Thomas signed with the Club,” said EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi in a club release. “Now our youngest player in Club history, he’s trained with the First Team in the last two preseasons starting from when he was just 15. A left-footed defender that has great skill on the ball and untold potential, we believe Thomas will be an important addition to the Club for a long time to come.”
At 16 years, 10 months and zero days, Williams becomes the youngest Homegrown signing in club history, surpassing Tommy Redding, who was signed as a 17-year-old by Orlando City prior to the 2014 USL season.
Williams has been in the Orlando City system since joining the academy in 2015, working his way through the ladder, which included a stint with Orlando City B in 2020, where he made 10 starts in 13 appearances, a total of nearly 900 minutes, during the club’s final USL League One campaign. The Titusville native has made five starts and added a goal to his tally in 2021 with the academy’s U-17 side.
Williams brings the total of current Homegrown on the roster to eight, as he joins defender Michael Halliday, goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar, midfielders Raul Aguilera, Jordan Bender and David Loera, along with forwards Benji Michel and Wilfredo Rivera. Every player expect for Stajduhar, who joined Orlando in 2015, has been signed by the club under the direction of Muzzi, who brought in a new development-focused initiative when he took over control of the soccer operations at the end of 2018.
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