Orlando City announced today that Homegrown goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar has been diagnosed with Localized Ewing Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, and will begin treatment this week. His condition was discovered after a routine exam by team doctors uncovered a cancerous lesion, which prompted further evaluation.
“Fortunately for Mason, we discovered this early, giving him a better chance for a cure and full recovery,” Orlando City Medical Director Daryl Osbahr said in a club press release. “We’re dedicated to working with Mason and his oncologists to fight his bone cancer and begin his road to recovery.”
The 19-year-old joined Orlando City from Chargers SC, starting with the U-18 academy team, where he was named to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Best XI in 2015. In November of that year, he decided to forgo attending the University of South Florida, signing a Homegrown contract with the club instead. Over the past two years, Stajduhar has been loaned down to Orlando City B of the USL, where he backed up Earl Edwards, Jr. and Jake Fenlason this year.The young goalkeeper has struggled with injuries during the early stages of his career. A quad injury kept him out of action for much of this season, though he ended up on the bench for four of OCB’s final six games this past season.
“This is a difficult situation for Mason and his family,” Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis said of the diagnosis. “I speak on behalf of the entire organization in standing behind the Stajduhars through his recovery process. We will respect their privacy during this time and ask that everyone does the same.”
Stajduhar, a native of East Lyme, CT, was Orlando City’s fourth Homegrown signing, following Tommy Redding, Harrison Heath, and Tyler Turner. He signed his MLS Homegrown deal in November of 2015. Prior to that, the 6-foot-2 keeper was part of the club's U-16, U-18, and U-23 academy teams over two seasons. He was named to the U-18 USSDA Best XI team by U.S. Soccer for 2015. That year, he was ranked fourth at his position for his age group by Top Drawer Soccer.
The club will be placed Stajduhar on the team’s Season Ending Injury List.