Orlando City SC is close to finalizing a contract with U.S. under-18 national team defender Tyler Turner, according to a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations.
The signing could be announced as early as Thursday afternoon and will carry through the club's transition to MLS in 2015. He will become Orlando City's fourth MLS signing, joining Salvadoran captain Darwin Ceren, former Cuban international Yordany Alvarez and midfielder Kevin Molino.
Turner, who will turn 18 on March 4, is from Connecticut but played with the IMG Academy soccer program in Bradenton. He was named to the U.S. under-18 national team for the Limoges Tournament in France in October 2013, and was also called up for the Copa del Atlantico in Spain from Jan. 30-Feb. 8, starting twice and coming on as a substitute in the tournament opener against Spain.
The 5-foot-11, 155-pound outside back is rated the No. 11 overall player in the 2014 class by Top Drawer Soccer and the No. 2 defender in his class.
Turner started at outside back for Orlando City in a 4-4 draw with the Columbus Crew on Wednesday night and has trained through portions of preseason with the club.