Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tommy Redding makes professional debut

(OSJ file photo)
By Mike Gramajo

SANFORD, Fla. — Orlando City’s first-ever Major League Soccer homegrown signee Tommy Redding has officially made his professional debut after injuries has kept the 17-year old defender sidelined for much of the early part of the season. 

“It was a great feeling, finally to able to represent my city,” Redding told reporters after Wednesday’s Open Cup win. “There was a little bit of nerves, but I got past those in the first couple minutes and from there on, the game was easy.” 

Redding, a native of Oviedo, Florida, made his debut during U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday, coming in as a second-half substitute for defender Bradford Rusin. Despite only playing 45 minutes, his performance brought praise from OCSC head coach Adrian Heath. 

“Tommy (Redding) came through and showed a lot of people what he can do,” said Heath. “He looked like he’s been with us for a long time, the kid has a bright future.” 

The United States U-18 international had missed Orlando’s first nine USL PRO league matches after picking up a hamstring injury during preseason. 

However, after intensive days of getting back into the mix of things, Heath nodded his return earlier in the week when he told the Valencia Voice that Redding was fully fit for minutes. 

Heath did confirm on Wednesday night that Redding might see more action when Orlando travel to face Arizona United SC on Saturday during USL PRO league play. 

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