Salvadoran standout Ceren inks Orlando City pact

El Salvador international Darwin Ceren (# 7) signed with Orlando City SC on February 6, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)

ORLANDO, Florida – El Salvador international Darwin Ceren has signed with Orlando City SC (OCSC), it was announced Thursday.  The midfielder -- OCSC’s third Major League Soccer (MLS) signing before it officially starts league play in 2015 -- will join the club for its 2014 USL PRO season. 

“We’re extremely delighted that Darwin is joining us as our third MLS signing,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins.  “We fought very hard to get him here, as several other MLS clubs were also interested.”

Ceren, who previously played for Salvadoran side Juventud Independiente, enjoyed a stellar 2013.  He started in each of El Salvador’s eight competitive matches, as the Cuscatlecos captured third place at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana and progressed to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals.

With Juventud Independiente, the 24-year-old appeared in 83 games (scoring 15 goals) and was pivotal to the club’s recent successes.  La Juve advanced to the Primera Division semifinal phase in last year’s Clausura and Apertura seasons, after finishing fourth and second, respectively, in the table.

“I’ve traveled a lot throughout the past few years and even though I’ve never been to El Salvador, it was definitely worth the journey,” commented head coach Adrian Heath, who traveled to Central America to scout Ceren.  “Darwin is at the right age, he’s the captain of his country and an all-around great kid, so I’m very pleased that we were finally able to get this deal finalized.”

On November 19, 2013, OCSC was named MLS's 21st franchise.