The New England Revolution have signed the first Homegrown Player of the Bruce Arena era. New England tapped Cranston R.I. native Damian Rivera who signed a Homegrown Player contract on Friday with the team.
“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.”
Rivera, 16-years-old, is the youngest member on the first team and the second-youngest ever Homegrown Player to sign with the team. Rivera has spent the last three years developing in the Revolution Academy and is the seventh Homegrown signing overall in the franchise’s history. He will be apart of the USMNT U-17 squad this November partaking in a training camp.
“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. “We look forward to seeing him continue to develop and grow with the Revolution.”
Revolution Sporting Director Bruce Arena and Damian Rivera, Photo Credit: New England Revolution
During the 2019-20 season, Rivera has played on the U-19 Academy squad leading them with a team-high eight goals in just eight matches. Four of his goals came in one match on October 19th. In totality, Rivera has appeared in 90 matches in the Academy scoring 41 goals in 67 starts.
Rivera was apart of R.I. club Bayside FC which also was the team that helped develop Isaac Angking. For that reason, the Revolution are donating $10,000 to Bayside FC who operate out of East Providence.
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