Orlando City SC has signed goalkeeper Joe Bendik to a three-year contract extension, which will commence after the 2017 Major League Soccer (MLS) season. The 2016 Orlando City SC Fans’ and Players’ Player of the Year is now under contract through the 2020 MLS season.
“We’re excited to be able to sign Joe for three more years,” Lions General Manager Niki Budalic said. “Joe was among our best players last season and will be a big part of our future. He has been an outstanding professional and earned this extension.”
Bendik signs the extension following a career season in 2016. After being acquired from Toronto FC in December 2015, Bendik played every minute in goal for the Lions and finished second in MLS with 114 saves. Bendik also won MLS Save of the Week 11 times and took home Save of the Year honors for his back-to-back stops against Sporting Kansas City on May 15.
A fan favorite, Bendik’s outstanding season was recognized at Orlando City SC’s annual Awards Gala, where he was honored with both the Fans’ and Players’ Player of the Year awards.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper continued his outstanding 2016 campaign with an MLS Team of the Week performance on Sunday, March 5, recording seven saves to secure a clean sheet victory on the season opener against New York City FC.
After two years playing professionally in Norway, Bendik began his MLS career in 2012 with the Portland Timbers. Toronto traded for Bendik in December 2012 and he quickly secured his role as the starting goalkeeper, starting 33 matches and posting four shutouts. Bendik played 40 matches for the Reds over the next two seasons.