Transfer Tracker

Official: Orlando City sign forward Benji Michel to Homegrown contract

Benji Michel - Orlando City SC - in action for University of Portland


Orlando City's busy finish to 2018 rolls on, with the team officially announcing on Monday the signing of forward Benji Michel to a Homegrown contract, confirming a report from Pro Soccer USA's Jordan Culver on Saturday and earlier reporting from Friday.

"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 SC EVP of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi in a team statement. "Benji is an exciting player; we could not be any happier to have him come back home."

Michel, 21, was a standout at the University of Portland, where he played for three years, scoring 31 goals across 53 games (51 starts), hitting double digits in each season. A Second Team All-American in 2018, Michel also played for Orlando's academy and the Monteverde Academy in Central Florida.

The move comes on the heels of Friday's signings of midfielder Sebastian Mendez and left back Danilo Acosta, as well as Thursday's sale of Yoshi Yotun to Cruz Azul in a deal reported to be worth $4 million.

This article has been updated from its original version on Dec. 29, 2018.