Orlando City B (OCB) and the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (SIMA) are proud to announce that U.S. National Team member and Orland City Development Academy (OCDA)/SIMA product Jordan Bender is the very first student-athlete to sign a professional contract as part of the Next Generation Youth Movement of Orlando City SC. Bender, a native of Lake Mary, Florida, is currently a senior at Montverde Academy and the captain of the OCDA Under 19 team, while also training full time with the SIMA program.
At just 17 years old, Bender will graduate from Montverde Academy in May of 2019 and begin his collegiate studies in August as part of his agreement to play professionally for OCB.
“This is a really exciting moment for us," said OCB general manager Mike Potempa. “Our first movement shows that we strongly believe in the holistic approach offered at Montverde Academy as well as the methodology of our Development Academy. Jordan is a player with tremendous ability and we are extremely pleased to have him on board as we build the roster for the upcoming season.”
Argila and Potempa are looking for talent that can easily transition to first team minutes. Bender was a key selection to occupy a roster position as a young talent.
“Jordan is a young talent from our Academy who we believe has the potential to play for the first team of Orlando City SC in time,” said OCB Head Coach and former SIMA Director of Methodology Fernando de Argila Irrurita. “He is young and needs to keep his head down and work hard to earn his opportunity.”
Montverde Academy is home to the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (SIMA), the Orlando City Development Academy (OCDA), and Orlando City B (OCB) in USL League One to service talented athletes from the ages of four through 19 years old according to one line of methodology and development. All training sessions and home matches will be held on the campus of Montverde Academy and the inaugural 2019 season for Orlando City B in USL League One will begin in March 2019.
“I am very happy to have this opportunity,’ said Bender. “Now it is time to work even harder.”