Orlando City B, the USL team of MLS's Orlando City FC, announced earlier this week that they had signed Ryley Kraft.
Kraft, a US Youth International, spent two years with the Sacramento Republic FC academy program. During those two seasons he made 46 appearances and scored 12 goals.
More recently, Kraft played significant minutes in many of the Republic’s friendlies this offseason, including 45 minutes in a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes and 45 minutes (with an assist) in a 5-0 win over Sacramento Gold.
OCB head coach Anthony Pulis was complementary of Kraft in the club’s press release.
Ryley is a young central midfielder with good potential. He was brought to our attention after the last U.S. U-19 training camp and after doing our due diligence, we feel he will be a good addition to our group. He is technically sound, sees a pass and gets about the field well. He is only 18 so we will have to be patient and give him time to settle and adjust but we're excited to work with him.
To the best of our knowledge, Kraft is the first alumnus of the Republic Academy program to sign a professional contract. While it is unfortunate that this milestone for the academy came with an alum signing with another team rather than the Republic first team, it may be better for Kraft in the long run.
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