ORLANDO, Fla. (July 10, 2019) - Orlando City SC will have two players featuring in the 2019 MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer® in forward Benji Michel and goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar. Orlando City’s Academy Director Marcelo Neveleff will coach the Homegrown Team. The Homegrown Team, comprised of some of the league’s most accomplished young stars from the United States and Canada, will take on Chivas de Guadalajara’s Under-20 Team on Tuesday, July 30 at 5 p.m. ET at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. The match will be televised on Univision Deportes Network and Twitter.com.
The MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer® will be part of an exciting night of action at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. As part of a dual-event ticket, fans will be able to enjoy both the MLS Homegrown Game at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge presented by Target at 8 p.m. ET. Tickets are available for purchase at www.MLSsoccer.com/AllStar.
Michel, 21, is in his first season with the Senior Team for City and scored the opening goal in the Lions’ 2-1 win over the New England Revolution in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 matchup, which was the first goal of his senior career. Additionally, Michel has made six appearances and two starts for Orlando in MLS play.
The Orlando-native played for the Orlando City U-18’s before playing three successful seasons at the University of Portland. The forward then signed a Homegrown contract with Orlando City Soccer Club on Dec. 31, 2018. This is Michel’s first Homegrown Game selection.
Stajduhar, 21, has been with Orlando City Soccer Club since 2016 when he signed with the Club as a Homegrown Player. He was sidelined through the 2018 season with Ewing’s Sarcoma and, after successfully recovering from the condition, is now out on loan with Tulsa Roughnecks FC.
Stadjuhar has recorded 33 saves and two clean sheets in 11 appearances with Tulsa while on loan. The young goalkeeper has represented the United States on the U-18 and U-20 National Teams. This is also Stajduhar’s first Homegrown Game selection.
Orlando City SC Academy Director Marcelo Neveleff will serve as the head coach for the Homegrown Team against Chivas. Neveleff previously served as the first team assistant coach for the New England Revolution and was part of the staff to coach the United States at the 2017 Concacaf U-20 Championship.
Joining a list of formidable opponents to participate in the MLS Homegrown Game, Chivas de Guadalajara’s Under-20 team brings an accomplished track record to the match. The club captured the Liga MX Clausura 2019 Under-20 title and features numerous players that have received time with both the Chivas reserve squad and the first team side that has captured three titles over the previous three years. The Chivas U-20 traveling roster will be named at a later date.
2019 MLS Homegrown Team Roster
Goalkeepers: Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake), Mason Stajduhar (Orlando City SC)
Defenders: Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew SC), Daniel Kinumbe (Montreal Impact), Erik McCue (Houston Dynamo), Noble Okello (Toronto FC), Donovan Pines (D.C. United), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids)
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City), Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas)
Forwards: Theo Bair (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Handwalla Bwana (Seattle Sounders FC), Mathieu Choinière (Montreal Impact), Omir Fernandez (New York Red Bulls), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution)
MLS Homegrown Game History
2018: MLS Homegrown Team 1-1 Tigres UANL U-20s
2017: MLS Homegrown Team 2-2 Chivas de Guadalajara U-20s
2016: MLS Homegrown Team 0-1 Mexico U-20s
2015: MLS Homegrown Team 1(4)-1(5) Club América U-20s
2014: MLS Homegrown Team 0–0 Portland Timbers U-23s