Orlando City SC made a major front office hire on Tuesday, announcing that they’ve added Portuguese soccer executive Armando Carneiro as the club’s Chief Soccer Officer.
Carneiro, 53, comes to Orlando from Portuguese club SL Benfica, where he served as the general director of Benfica’s academy from 2010-2015. He’ll oversee all soccer operations and staff for the club’s three professional teams – Orlando City in MLS, the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League and Orlando City B in the USL – along with Orlando City’s academy, and report directly to club founder and owner Phil Rawlins.
“Our goal is to be one of the best clubs in the world, both in the men’s and women’s games. Therefore it is imperative that we bring in someone with worldwide soccer experience to guide our success,” Rawlins said in a statement released by the club. “Armando has a wealth of experience in international soccer. We are thrilled to have been able to attract someone with his track record to join our organization and to help us move Orlando City to the next level in the global soccer scheme.”
Benfica’s academy grew tremendously under Carneiro’s direction, achieving 30 youth championships, a top-three rank for academy programs around the world and placing 55 players on various national teams across all age groups.
Carneiro will assume his role pending approval from the Department of Homeland Security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“Orlando City is at a very exciting stage, coming off a strong first year in MLS and with the launch of the Orlando Pride and OCB teams,” Carneiro said in the statement. “I am excited for the opportunity to help direct the growth and contribute to the overall success of the Club well into the future. I look forward to working with the entire technical staff – from the first team through the academy – to further strengthen Orlando City’s performance.”