Orlando City

New Homegrown defender Tahir Reid-Brown living the dream after signing for first team


ORLANDO, Fla. — Last week, Orlando City SC's newest signing Tahir Reid-Brown was walking around Inter&Co Stadium with his family, getting ready to do a photo shoot with his new jersey around the stadium.

His excitement was extremely evident, officially getting to join the MLS side that he has grown up cheering for and watching. Joining the Orlando City Academy at 14 years old, the defender was able to rise up the ranks in just three years, going from Academy, to Orlando City B and now the first team.

"It means a lot because when you make it this far, it means that you're part of the 1%, and not many kids or people in life get to be a part of that," Reid-Brown told OrlandoCitySC.com. "It's amazing because I'm doing what I've loved from when I was young. It just shows that tiny kid out there, if you just put your mind to it and stay humble, then anything's possible."

For the 17-year-old, the rise up the ranks has been a natural progression, with a professional environment and feeling at every level he played at in his journey. The culture that was laid out when he joined in 2020 has been one of the biggest helps for his breakthrough to the first team.

"Since the days of being in the Academy, it's been the culture," he said. "You feel like you're professional from the moment you step on the field and just being able to migrate through all the different teams, you feel that professionalism from the coaching staff, from the senior players and even the young players, so it's always been a professional feeling from the day I was in the Orlando City Academy, but now signing with the first team, it feels just surreal to have it official."

From his 2023 MLS NEXT All-Star Game nomination, to his U.S. Under-17 Youth National Team call-up for the 2023 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, the Orlando native has always made sure that despite all the accolades and accomplishments he has earned in his still very young career, he has remained humble and let all his hard work on the field speak for him.

"It's one of those things where when you work hard and you stay humble, things come at you fast," he said. "You got to stay even more humble and remember why you're here and remember what brought you here. Being cocky and doing all this stuff that you're not supposed to do won't help you. Staying humble, staying on the grind and working hard is what gets you further. So I'm just carrying that and making sure that I never get too above myself and always stay grounded."

Now, as Reid-Brown prepares for his first MLS preseason, the fullback has set his sights on making his debut at the very stadium he walked around this past Friday.

"I can't wait for my debut," se said. "I can't wait to walk in the tunnel with the boys or even subbing on for however many minutes I get. Now that's the goal, and I just gotta keep on going."