After spending the last six months with Montverde Academy and Orlando City Academy, Laval’s Nathan Simeon has signed his first professional contract.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me to learn, to grow and try to improve by playing with more mature experienced players,” said Simeon. “It also means that I’m starting to see the results of my continuous hard work and that I have to stay focused to achieve my goals.”

The 19-year-old defender will join Orlando City B ahead of their 2019 season in USL League One.

During the 2018-2019 season, Simeon played 14 games with the Developmental Academy and even started in nine of the games.

“When I was offered the contract it was a surprise to me,” said Simeon. “People around me would sometimes mention the possibility of me signing with Orlando City B and of course I had the hope of one day being offered this opportunity, but I wasn’t expecting it.”

It’s been a challenge for the budding pro, leaving home for the first time and being alone in a new country and environment.

“My family played a huge part in helping me deal with the changes,”

said Simeon. “Their support drives me to keep working everyday.”

The 5-foot-10 newly turned pro was first seen by Orlando City while attending the Ribeiro-Moojen Combine. Since 2012 the combine has helped 85 soccer players both male and female receive scholarships in the United States and Canada. Simeon played out of St Laurent soccer club run by former Montreal Impact Rocco Placentino.

“I can’t begin to thank the Ribeiro-Moojen combine enough. They deserve a lot of credit and respect as their work is remarkable,” said Simeon. “They bring in players and give them a chance to shine in front of coaches and scouts. The combine has been a blessing in my life as it got to where I am today.”

He’s now well on his well to realizing his full dream and potential.

Simeon is a calm minded center back who is extremely gifted athletically and uses his speed to his advantage on the pitch. Time is still on his side and he’s now just one step away from one day playing with Orlando City FC of MLS.

“One day I aspire to be in the big leagues,” said Simeon. “But for now I’m focused on helping my team win and also making the most of every opportunity to learn, improve and to grow as a player and person.”

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