The San Diego Loyal SC announced it had signed 15-year-old Loyal Select goalkeeper Duran Ferree to his first-ever professional contract, making him the first local product to move through the SD Loyal development pathway to a professional contract.
Team officials said his contract is pending league and federation approval. The 4S Ranch native was a standout player at San Diego Surf Soccer Club before joining the inaugural Loyal Select program on April 22, 2021, the team announced.
After a “standout season” with Loyal Select, Ferree signed a USL Academy contract on Jan. 28, ahead of the 2022 USL Championship season. Training every day with the first team, Ferree has continued to reach new heights and saw his first inclusion in the SD Loyal 18-man roster on April 30, 2022, at Tampa Bay Rowdies.
“Since we established the Loyal Select program and have now signed seven youth players to USL Academy contracts, our objective has remained unchanged — our goal has always been to provide a platform for our region’s top youth players to maximize their development and reach their highest potential to ultimately one day play for SD Loyal,” Donovan said. “Duran is the first of many talented players that our club will continue to develop and sign to a professional contract.”
The Loyal Select academy program is supported by Rady Children’s Hospital to give top youth players representing regions and clubs all around San Diego county the opportunity to train and compete in a professional environment and provides a clear path to the SD Loyal first team.
According to the Loyals, Loyal Select players get the unique opportunity to compete in a full USL Academy League season, facing elite talent from across the country.
“San Diego has never before had a professional pathway for its elite youth soccer players,” said SD Loyal President Ricardo Campos in a statement. . “The dedication from our coaching staff, led by Landon Donovan to develop the next generation of local talent is unmatched.”
Ferree posted two clean sheets in 2021 and has so far allowed zero goals in six starts in 2022 as a member of Loyal Select. According to the team, he was selected as the ECNL Boys Southwest Conference U16 Player of the year during the 2021-2022 youth soccer season, and All-Conference First Team selection.
He also helped lead San Diego Surf to the U15 Boys Dallas Cup Championship at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
“This has been an incredible journey for me and my family,” Ferree said. “It’s a dream come true to be able to play professional soccer for my hometown club and it’s an honor to represent San Diego Loyal. From the club to the staff, SD Loyal is the right place for me to continue developing into the best player I can be.