Damian Rivera - New England Revolution - With Academy
Courtesy of New England Revolution

New England Revolution sign Homegrown midfielder Damian Rivera

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

The New England Revolution bolstered their squad for 2020 on Friday, signing 16-year-old midfielder Damian Rivera to a Homegrown Player contract. Born in December 2002, the 16-year-old becomes the youngest current member of the first team, and the club’s second-youngest Homegrown Player signing to date.

“Of the many talented players we’ve observed in the Revolution Academy system, Damian was among the first who distinguished himself as a player with the tools needed to succeed at the professional level,” sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing him continue to develop and grow with the Revolution.”

Rivera, who has also gone by the nickname “Tico”, joined the Revolution Academy ahead of the 2016-17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. He has since made a combined 90 appearances, including 67 starts, and scored 41 goals across the U-14, U-16, U-17, and U-19 levels.

In the current 2019-20 campaign, Rivera is pacing the U-19 side with a team-high eight goals in only eight appearances, highlighted by a four-goal outing at D.C. United on Oct. 19.

“I’m really happy for this opportunity. It’s a special moment for me to join the Revolution, the club I grew up watching in Rhode Island,” Rivera said. “The Academy program and coaches have played a huge role in helping me get to where I am now, and now I’m looking forward to preseason, elevating my game, and seeing what I can contribute to the team.”

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