Pierre Da Silva - Orlando City SC

Orlando City SC announced the signing of Pierre Da Silva to a Major League Soccer contract on Friday, making the creative midfielder the first player to climb from the Lions' academy to their Orlando City B reserve side to the first team. At just 18 years old, he is the youngest player on the senior squad.

“I’m proud of everyone in the club who has helped Pierre get to where he is today,” Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão said in a club release. “Pierre’s addition is a testament to the quality, competitiveness and benefits of playing with OCB and the clear path we have laid out for academy players to reach the MLS level.”

Da Silva joins Tony Rocha and Mikey Ambrose as players who earned promotions to the first team from OCB, the club’s United Soccer League affiliate.

A native of Port Chester, New York, Da Silva spent the 2016 season with OCB, where he made 18 starts among 23 appearances and was a force along the left wing. Da Silva led the team with five assists to go with two goals, including a late-game equalizer against New York Red Bulls II on June 19. His solid first year as a professional earned him the OCB Coaches’ Award at the annual Orlando City SC Awards Gala.

Prior to joining OCB, he featured for Orlando City's U-17/18 academy team in 2015 after playing in the US Soccer U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

“Pierre showed his skill and work ethic time and again last season with OCB, when he trained with the first team and during his time with the national team,” Lions general manager Niki Budalic said. “His work rate and creativity up the wing always gave us options up the pitch. I’m proud that OCB has produced another MLS-caliber player and I’m excited to see him succeed with the first team.”

Da Silva has scored four goals in 32 appearances for US youth national teams; in November, he was called up to US U-19 national team training camp and represented the United States at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.