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FC Cincinnati Sign Academy Player Stefan Chirila as a 2025 Homegrown Player

May 21, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

FC Cincinnati have signed FC Cincinnati Academy U17 forward Stefan Chirila [stef-ON chur-ILL-uh] as a Homegrown Player, the club announced today. Chirila will sign an MLS NEXT Pro contract for remainder of the 2024 season with FC Cincinnati 2 before being added to the first team roster in 2025. Chirila signs a contract through 2028, with an option for 2029.

Chirila, 17, becomes the second youngest FC Cincinnati Academy player to sign a first team contract and the eighth player to make the move from academy to first team. Cincinnati previously acquired Chirila's MLS Homegrown Priority from the Philadelphia Union.

"We're proud to have signed Stefan to his first professional contract," said Chris Albright, FC Cincinnati General Manager. "Stefan's success is a testament to his hard work, as well as the work done by our Academy staff and MLS NEXT Pro staff. He already possesses great instincts around goal, and we're excited for his continued development at FC Cincinnati."

Chirila shined in the FC Cincinnati Academy system, scoring 41 goals across all youth competitions during the 2023-24 season. At the 2024 Generation adidas Cup at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, Chirila led the U17 side to an unblemished group stage record (3-0-0) and advancement into the knockout stages of the competition for the first time in FC Cincinnati Academy history.

Chirila scored five goals for the U17s at the Generation adidas Cup and took home the competition's Golden Boot for the U17 age group. Chirila was also named to the Generation adidas Cup Best XI, with players from both the U15 and U17 age groups representing the tournament's brightest young stars.

At the MLS NEXT Pro level, Chirila has appeared in seven matches for the Orange and Blue, including his pro debut in the team's opening match of the 2024 season. Since making his debut against Chicago Fire FC II on March 17, Chirila has gone on to score four goals, including match winners against Columbus Crew 2 and New York Red Bulls II, and added two assists.

Chirila's recent performances at the MLS NEXT Pro level have earned the young attacker MLS NEXT Rising Star in consecutive weeks (Matchweek 9, Matchweek 10). Chirila's goals against Crew 2 and Red Bulls II have propelled FC Cincinnati 2 up the Eastern Conference standings as the club sits one point behind Philadelphia Union II for the top spot in the conference.

TRANSACTION: On May 21, 2024, FC Cincinnati sign FC Cincinnati U17 Academy forward Stefan Chirila as a Homegrown Player on a contract that runs through 2028, with an option for 2029. Chirila signs an MLS NEXT Pro contract for the remainder of the 2024 season. Cincinnati previously acquired Chirila's MLS Homegrown Priority from the Philadelphia Union.


Pronunciation: stef-ON chur-ILL-uh

Position: Forward

Height: 6' 1"

Birthdate: January 15, 2007

Birthplace: Allentown, Penn.

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