Midfielder Damian Rivera is the latest Academy player to sign a professional contract, it was announced on Friday. Rivera signed a Homegrown deal with the New England Revolution, where he's been a member of the academy since the 2016-17 season.
“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 release. “We look forward to seeing him continue to develop and grow with the Revolution.”
Since joining the academy setup, Rivera's made a combined 90 appearances, including 67 starts, and scored 41 goals across various age groups, from U14 through U19. He has eight goals in nine games for New England's U19 team so far during the current 2019-20 campaign, including four tallies against D.C. United. Previously, he had been committed to play college soccer at Providence.
“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 in a release. “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.”
He joins Diego Fagundez, Scott Caldwell, Zachary Herivaux, Isaac Angking, Nicolas Firmino and Justin Rennicks as active Homegrown signings on the first team roster.