Transfer Tracker

FC Cincinnati sign midfielder Malik Pinto to professional contract

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FC Cincinnati have signed midfielder Malik Pinto to his first professional contract, the club announced Friday. The 20-year-old's deal runs through 2024, with options for 2025 and 2026.

Pinto joined Cincy's academy three years ago while enrolled at Princeton University, playing for the U-19s during 2020-21 while also training with the first team after the NCAA season was canceled. He continued training with the club over the next two summers.

Formally, Pinto went through waivers after not being picked in the MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, then Cincy signed him on a first-come-first-serve basis.

“Malik is a promising young player that we feel can develop quickly in our environment,” general manager Chris Albright said in a release.

“From his time within our academy to his time at Princeton, he’s shown great work ethic, ability to cover ground, and game understanding. I’d like to welcome him back to Cincinnati as he begins his professional career.”

Pinto scored two goals and provided six assists during his two seasons with the Tigers, appearing in all 34 of the team's matches (30 starts). He was named Second-Team All-Ivy in 2021 and an All-Ivy Honorable Mention in 2022.