HOUSTON – After the FC Cincinnati academy's loaded Under-19 team made an attention-grabbing run in this week's MLS Next Cup playoffs, one of that team's top players has signed a professional, first-team contract.
The 17-year-old Arquimides Ordonez, a forward and winger nicknamed “Quimi,” became the second FCC academy product to sign a professional contract with the club, team officials announced on Saturday.
The contract was signed Friday by the 6-foot-2, 160-pound Fort Thomas, Kentucky native, and is for three years, with two one-year options.
“We are delighted to sign 'Quimi' as our second FC Cincinnati Academy product to a first-team contract as a Homegrown Player,” General Manager Gerard Nijkamp said in a news release. “We saw continued growth from Ordonez throughout the 2021 season, as he spent time training with our first team roster, and in the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. Based on his performances and ability to adjust to a professional environment, we feel he has earned this opportunity within our roster.”
Ordonez was one of a handful of academy players that trained with FCC's first team throughout 2021.
A product of Kings Hammer Academy and Cincinnati United Premier, Ordonez joined the FCC academy for its inaugural season (2019-20).
Ordonez made a combined eight starts for the U19 roster during the 2021 MLS NEXT season. He played three times during the MLS NEXT Cup playoffs, which saw FC Cincinnati advance to the quarterfinal round.
FC Cincinnati's U19 team on Tuesday lost to Colorado, 1-0. Nijkamp was in attendance for the match.
Ordonez joins goalkeeper Beckham Sunderland, who played with Ordonez at MLS Next Cup playoffs, as the only academy players signed professionally by FC Cincinnati.
Sunderland signed for FCC in October 2020.
Under the direction of Larry Sunderland, FC Cincinnati's director of player development, the club's academy is nearing the start of its third year in operation.