The New England Revolution made its first acquisition of the off-season on Tuesday by signing midfielder Nicolas Firmino, a native of Brazil, to a homegrown contract.
Firmino, 17, currently resides in the Boston suburb of Somerville and has been in the Revolution Academy for almost five seasons.
In his time with the academy, Firmino has established himself as a dangerous goal scorer with plenty of upside. He has 35 goals in 90 appearances for the Revolution Academy, where he has played on the U-14, U-16, U-17, and U-19 teams.
“Nicolas has grown tremendously over his four-plus years developing in our Academy, distinguishing himself by both his technical abilities and maturity on and off the field,” General Manager Michael Burns said in a statement. “After closely tracking his progress in the Academy, and with the success he has had in first team training sessions over the last year, we are confident that Nicolas is ready to take this critical next step in his development.”
During the 2017-18 campaign with both the U-17 and U-19 sides, Firmino made 28 appearances and scored 16 goals. He earned the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Best XI of the Eastern Conference honors.
Firmino is the Revolution’s fifth homegrown signing of all-time; he joins Diego Fagundez, Scott Caldwell, Zachary Herivaux, and Isaac Angking in earning promotions to the first team.
However, Firmino is no stranger to first team action. He joined the Revs for preseason last year in Tucson, Arizona and also accompanied the team to away matches in Minnesota and New York in July.
“It’s a blessing to be taking this important step forward in my career and I look forward to taking full advantage of this opportunity with the Revolution,” Nicolas Firmino said. “I believe that my time in the Academy and the key experience I gained training with the first team over the last year have prepared me to compete at the professional level. I would like to thank Michael Burns, Brad Friedel, Bryan Scales and the Academy coaching staff, and the entire Revolution organization for believing in me.”