FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution have signed midfielder Nicolas Firmino as a Homegrown Player. The Somerville, Mass. resident and Mantena, Brazil native joins the first team as the club’s fifth ever Homegrown Player signing after four and a half seasons in the Revolution Academy.
Firmino, 17, has been one of the Revolution Academy’s most productive players since joining the program at the Under-14 level before the 2014 fall season. In more than four seasons with the Revolution Academy, the Brazilian attacking midfielder, who has also gone by the name Elio, scored over 35 goals in more than 90 appearances. He has contributed at four different age groups during his tenure, debuting with the U-14s before stints at the then-U-16, U-17, and U-19 levels.
“Nicolas has grown tremendously over his four-plus years developing in our Academy, distinguishing himself by both his technical abilities and maturity on and off the field,” General Manager Michael Burns said. “After closely tracking his progress in the Academy, and with the success he has had in first team training sessions over the last year, we are confident that Nicolas is ready to take this critical next step in his development.”
“It’s a blessing to be taking this important step forward in my career and I look forward to taking full advantage of this opportunity with the Revolution,” Nicolas Firmino said. “I believe that my time in the Academy and the key experience I gained training with the first team over the last year have prepared me to compete at the professional level. I would like to thank Michael Burns, Brad Friedel, Bryan Scales and the Academy coaching staff, and the entire Revolution organization for believing in me.”
In his first campaign with New England, Firmino totaled 21 games played for the U-14s and notched three goals with two assists as an Academy rookie. He built on the debut season with 20 appearances, 15 starts, eight goals, and two assists during the 2015-16 season, which he split between the U-14 and U-16 squads. The next season, Firmino played with both the U-16s and U-18s and tallied five goals overall. During the 2017-18 campaign with both the U-17 and U-19 sides, Firmino started 25 of his 28 appearances and recorded a personal-best 16 goals, earning him “Best XI of the East Conference” honors from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Most recently, he completed the 2018 fall season with six appearances and four goals, all for the U-19s.
While in the Academy, Firmino benefitted from multiple training stints with the first team before and during the 2018 season. He had the opportunity to join the MLS squad for 2018 preseason training in Tucson, Ariz., and also accompanied the first team on trips to Minnesota and New York in July 2018. Prior to joining the Revolution Academy in 2014, Firmino played for FC Blazers of the Greater Boston area, where he helped the club win the Paul Irwin Cup.
Firmino becomes the youngest current member of the Revolution first team and the second-youngest Homegrown Player ever to sign with the club after Diego Fagundez did so at the age of 15. Firmino joins all four previous Homegrown Player signings on the active roster, including the club’s most recent Academy product, 18-year-old Isaac Angking (Providence, R.I.). In 2019, Angking will be entering his second professional season, while Fagundez (Leominster, Mass.), Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), and Zachary Herivaux (Brookline, Mass.) will be playing in their ninth, seventh, and fifth professional campaigns, respectively.
TRANSACTION: New England Revolution sign midfielder Nicolas Firmino as a Homegrown Player on Nov. 27, 2018.
Weight: 155 lbs.
Date of Birth: Jan. 30, 2001 (Mantena, Brazil)
Hometown: Somerville, Mass.
Last Club: FC Blazers
How Acquired: Signed as a Homegrown Player on Nov. 27, 2018.