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Orlando City signs forward Benji Michel to Homegrown contract

Benji Michel (Photo courtesy of the University of Portland)

University of Portland forward Benji Michel has been signed as Orlando City’s fifth Homegrown player, the club announced on Monday. 

Pro Soccer USA on Saturday reported a deal was in the works to bring Michel back to Orlando. 

Michel, 21, is an Orlando native who played at Montverde Academy and for Orlando City’s development academy. He recorded double-digit goals during each of his three seasons at the University of Portland, scoring 10 goals during his freshman and sophomore years and 11 goals in his junior year.

Michel was a 2018 United Soccer Coaches second team All-American. During three seasons at the University of Portland, Michel appeared in 53 games with 51 starts. He scored the game-winning goal during Portland’s 1-0 victory over UCLA in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

“We are very excited with the addition of Benji,” said executive vice president of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi in a statement.

“Central Florida is one of the top areas in the country in talent, and we as a club need to focus on grooming players like him to make sure they have a pathway in their professional careers. Benji is an exciting player; we could not be any happier to have him come back home.”

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