Orlando City Homegrown players Thomas Williams and Mikey Halliday have been called into training camp for the United States under-20 national team. Both defenders will join head coach Mikey Vargas and a host of other talented MLS youngsters at Bradenton’s IMG Academy from Jan. 24. till Feb. 2.
Halliday signed as a Homegrown Player for Orlando City in the summer of 2020. He started with OCB in USL League One where he played seven times and registered an assist. Last season, he made his MLS debut and played six times for the Lions as both a right and left back. He has no appearances with the USYNT.
Williams signed his Homegrown contract this past summer and has yet to play for Orlando City in MLS. He did log 13 appearances in USL League One with OCB back in 2020. He also made three appearances for the US u-17s. He is also the youngest Homegrown signing in Orlando’s history.
This call-up is another positive for these two in their career, and further validation for Orlando’s revamped academy system the last several years. Halliday is already becoming a trusted first-team player while Williams is one of the most highly-touted young players at the club. If they can perform well with the u-20s, that further builds their reputations and builds a strong foundation for the season ahead.
Halliday will likely play a role for Orlando City in the 2022 MLS campaign as fullback depth behind Joao Moutinho and Ruan. Last year he played 382 minutes, and I expect he will easily surpass that this season. Williams is further away from meaningful MLS action, sitting behind Antonio Carlos, Robin Jansson and Rodrigo Schlegel, but if an injury happens or he really develops, he could be called upon this season. Regardless of their immediate impact, both players look to have a fine future in MLS and might have the potential for even bigger heights in the future.