ORLANDO, Fla. (December 6, 2016) – Orlando City B has signed midfielders Paul Clowes, Austin Martz and Jordan Schweitzer, as well as forward Ben Polk, to United Soccer League (USL) contracts for the 2017 season, pending USL and federation approval.
A former Orlando City U-23 player, Clowes joins OCB after spending the majority of the 2016 USL season with the Charlotte Independence. The 22-year-old Cheshire, England, native made his professional debut on March 26 while with the Richmond Kickers. A Manchester City youth product, Clowes played four years at Clemson University, scoring four goals in 86 appearances. In his 2015 senior season, Clowes was selected to the All-ACC First Team, the College Cup All-Tournament Team and was named ACC Midfielder of the Year.
“Paul is a very efficient distributor of the ball. He understands his role within the team very well and has excellent leadership qualities,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said.
Martz signs with OCB following a successful season with the Wilmington Hammerheads. The 24-year-old Pennsylvania native was third on the team with four goals and two assists in 26 appearances in his second year as a pro. In 2015-16, the former Georgetown Hoya played for Pembroke Athleta FC in its first-ever season in the Maltese Premier League.
“Austin is a very quick and dynamic wide midfielder who is excellent in 1-v-1 situations,” Pulis said. “He will give us a different attacking outlet and will certainly be a threat to the opposition’s back line.”
Schweitzer, 22, joins OCB after a successful season with Seattle Sounders FC 2. The first-year pro was third on the team in scoring, posting four goals and two assists in 22 appearances. In four years at the University of Denver, the Washington state native made 70 starts and was a three-time All-Summit League First Team selection.
“Jordan had a great year in Seattle and we fought off a lot of competition to land him,” Pulis said. “He’s a strong, competitive player who has a great range of passing.”
Polk, 24, joins OCB from Portland Timbers 2, where he scored one goal in 25 appearances in 2016. Polk, who was born in Arizona but grew up in Banbury, England, played collegiately at Genesee Community College and Herkimer College in Upstate New York. The striker then committed to play for Syracuse University in 2015, scoring 12 goals and adding five assists in one season for the Orange before Portland selected him with the 20th overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.
“Ben has a fantastic work ethic and presses really well, which will be important to us,” Pulis said. “He is a very good finisher and has genuine potential to be a big player for us this year.”
Name: Paul Clowes
Weight: 150 lbs.
Birth Date: Dec. 27, 1993
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Name: Austin Martz
Weight: 160 lbs.
Birth Date: May 31, 1992
Birthplace: Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Name: Jordan Schweitzer
Weight: 165 lbs.
Birth Date: April 19, 1994
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas
Name: Ben Polk
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birth Date: Sept. 19, 1992
Birthplace: Phoenix, Ariz.