The New England Revolution added a teenager to their squad on Friday.
The Revs' signed midfielder Damian Rivera of Cranston, R.I., to a homegrown player contract ahead of the 2020 season.
Rivera has spent more than three years developing in the Revolution Academy, and becomes the seventh Academy product to ink a promotion to the first team. The 16-year-old now is the Revs' youngest player and is the second-youngest homegrown signing in franchise history.
Revolution coach Bruce Arena detailed the decision to ink the youngster to a deal.
“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,” Arena said, according to revolutionsoccer.net. “We look forward to seeing him continue to develop and grow with the Revolution.”
Rivera has notched 41 goals through 90 starts across the U-14, U-16, U-17 and U-19 Revolution Academy teams. He's leading the U-19's with eight goals through eight games, including a four-goal game against D.C. United on Oct. 19.
Rivera is more than happy to join the Revolution, and is excited for the coming season.
“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.”
Check out some of Rivera's highlights:
Rivera joins Diego Fagundez, Scott Caldwell, Zachary Herivaux, Isaac Angking, Nicolas Firmino and Justin Rennicks as the only Revs' Academy players to advance to the first team. Fagundez was the youngest player to be signed to the first team at just 15 years old.
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