Rey Ortiz signed the first professional contract of his career with FC Cincinnati this morning. After being selected with the No. 29 overall selection in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, and impressing the club in preseason, Ortiz will occupy an international roster spot for FCC in 2020.
It’s been a thrilling couple months for the Acapulco, Mexico native. Since January he’s been drafted into MLS, played for his new club in multiple preseason matches, and earned his first contract as a professional soccer player. Ortiz, 23, has clearly worked hard in camp, where he often played on the left-wing. His pace and passing were on full display, as he provided two assists in his first scrimmage against Phoenix Rising FC back in January. FCC General Manager Gerard Nijkamp noticed.
“We feel Rey has earned a contract with what he has shown throughout preseason,” Nijkamp said in the club’s press release. “He had an opportunity to showcase his ability and we believe he has adapted well to the professional environment, both on and off the pitch.”
Before being drafted by FCC, Ortiz played soccer for the University of Portland where he studied for four years (2016-2019). He appeared in 64 matches, starting 50 of them, where he scored 14 goals and recorded 26 assists. Ortiz was named to the 2019 All-West Coast Conference First Team in his senior year.
Ortiz came up as a member of LA Galaxy’s Youth Academy, starting in 2013. In his first year with the academy, he notched 12 goals in 24 appearances. By 2015, Ortiz worked his way up to LA Galaxy II, the Galaxy’s USL team, where he provided an assist in two appearances.
The immediate future for Ortiz has not been determined. He would occupy an international roster spot for FCC, and the club currently has one more international than they have spots for. The Orange and Blue have until Feb. 28 to finalize their roster decisions. Ortiz joins a slew of new international signings including Siem de Jong, Adrien Regattin, Jürgen Locadia, and Yuya Kubo. With those players in front of him, he may not make the final roster.
We will soon see if Ortiz is sent out on loan for the season, or if another team member may be traded before the deadline. It is also possible for FC Cincinnati to pick up an international spot via trade or purchase from another MLS club. While possible, it seems improbable they go that route. Regardless, this is a great day for the rookie and should be an exciting start for a long career.