[MLS 2015] Orlando City has made highly rated central defender Tommy Redding the expansion club’s first MLS homegrown signing for its 2015 season. Redding, only 17, will be eligible to play for Orlando in its USL PRO title defense.
“From the beginning, we’ve made no secret that the youth development aspect of our club is very important to us,” said CoachAdrian Heath said in a statement on Redding’s signing. “Tommy has a lot of upside and is highly regarded by many in the soccer world, so we’re very pleased that he’s decided to begin his professional career with us.”
The 6-foot-2 Redding, who only turned 17 in January, played for the USA in 2013 Under-17 World Cup qualifying in an age group one year older. He played for the U.S. U-18s on their trip to France, where they took second at the Limoges Tournament in October and was one of five players from that team recalled for the Copa del Atlantico in Spain this winter. He's eligible to play for the USA at the 2015 and 2017 Under-20 World Cups.
Redding is the second Orlando signing from the U-18s after Tyler Turner.
“We believe in our youth program and we believe in giving youngsters a chance,” added Heath. “We have two young players in our first team squad now, and hopefully they’re the first of many more.”