COUNTRY: United States
CLUB: Orlando City SC
YEARS PRO: 3
The trajectory of Tommy Redding’s career has been on the rise since the 19-year-old defender became the first Homegrown Player signing in Orlando City SC history in March 2014. Redding debuts on MLSsoccer.com's 24 Under 24 at No. 23. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound, US Under-20 international was installed as a starting center back for the Lions in the opening game of the 2016 season, and has been a consistent presence in the starting XI.
Orlando City head coach Jason Kreis, who took over for Adrian Heath in July, called Redding “a potential top, top central defender in MLS,’’ and has made the commitment, as Heath did before him, to make sure the youngster gets the minutes he needs to develop.
What the technical staffers say:
"I think he’s got a very bright, bright future. He connects very well out the back, he’ll win the important challenges. I think when you look at Orlando’s lineup, he’s obviously doing something right in the respect that he’s stayed there when other players have left or been brought in or rotated around."
"He has the athleticism to be a top center back in the league, I believe that. I see flashes, again his sample size is small, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I see flashes of Eddie Pope. He’s as fast as the guy he’s covering, he can win balls, use his body really well and he’s smart for a young guy. From the people I’ve talked to, he’s willing to learn and listen and eager to get better each day. So high ceiling, still very early though and that position is tough. It’s a tough one for young guys too, because it’s highs and lows. I feel like at the center back spot, you’re accountable on almost every goal that’s scored, so he’ll have to have good people around him helping him out."
"He’s got a lot of really nice physical tools, he’s got some good instincts and some good feet. He just needs to continue to develop. I think it’ll be important to see how he develops under Jason [Kreis. You look at young center backs, you can have players who play one game their rookie year, seven their second and then in their third year, they can emerge as a team’s best defender. We’ll see if Tommy can kind of get a progression of games consistent within MLS in the right system that benefits him as a player.”