Orlando City Lions Press Release
U23s standout to retain amateur status while gaining experience with pro team
** Defender Oumar Diakhite Photo Credit: Orlando City**
Orlando, Fla.—Orlando City SC announced Friday that Defender Oumar Diakhite will join the Lions for the 2013 season under a USL Amateur Player agreement. The Orlando City U23s standout has been training and playing for the pro squad throughout the 2013 preseason and will earn an opportunity to gain more experience by spending minutes with the pro team while also retaining his eligibility for the U23s.
“It’s a dream come true and I’m very happy to be a part of the team,” said Diakhite. “It’s my first contract, so I think this’ll help me in many ways in my development. The U23s and Montverde prepared me, and I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Diakhite, a native of Dakar, Senegal, was a key piece on the Orlando backline during the 2012 PDL season. The defender played 15 out of a possible 16 matches for the U23s, totaling 1,350 minutes played in 2012 – good for second best on the squad. Along with his defensive prowess, Diakhite scored four goals in the team’s run toward obtaining the Southern Conference Championship. He was named to the 2012 PDL All-Southern Conference team for his efforts, catching the eye of Orlando Head Coach Adrian Heath in the process.
“Oumar is just 19 years old and has bags of potential,” Heath said. “He’s big, strong and athletic and has all the tools to become a great player. We are giving him that opportunity to grow.”
The defender has played in multiple matches throughout the 2013 preseason, including starts against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the first leg of the I-4 Derby on March 9 and in Orlando’s 7-0 win over Stetson University in the club’s collegiate friendly series.
Diakhite attended high school powerhouse Montverde Academy under Head Coach Mike Potermpa in 2011-12 where he was part of the National Championship team. He was named to the 2012 Berkeley Prep Invitational All-Tournament Team and was a Montverde Academy Soccer Tournament First Team All Tournament selection.
Coming out of Montverde, the Senegal native was named to the Orlando Sentinel All-Central Florida squad. Diakhite will be with the team as they kick off the 2013 USL PRO regular season on the road Sunday against expansion franchise Phoenix FC in Tempe, Ariz. Kickoff is set for 10:30 p.m. EST. For more information, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.