Orlando City SC has selected forward Cyle Larin from the University of Connecticut with the number one overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
Larin was viewed by most as the premier talent in this year's crop of college players, and he's seemed likely to be the first pick since signing a Generation Adidas contract earlier this month. However, pundits have speculated for weeks that Orlando might trade down from the top spot. In particular, there were rumors that the Montreal Impact or Toronto FC would trade up to acquire the Canadian international.
Orlando City hinted at their intentions on Wednesday though, when they traded forward Jairo Arrieta to DC United for an international roster spot.
"We believe that we've picked the best player in the draft," said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath in a club press release. "Cyle has incredible potential, and we're looking forward to working with him."
In Larin, the Lions add a complete forward who has both the size and speed to contribute in Major League Soccer. He's 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, but possesses the quickness and play-making ability required of strikers in Coach Adrian Heath's system.
Born in Ontario, Larin has already earned three caps for the Canadian Men's National Team. At UConn, he was the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in 2013, and the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2014. He posted an impressive 23 goals and added six assists in only 39 career matches for the Huskies.
In addition to his ability on the field, Larin has also been praised for his character. Huskies coach Ray Reid told the Vancouver Sun:
"As much as I'm going to miss him as a player, if you want the truth, I'm going to miss him as a guy. He's a very good guy."
With four forwards currently on the roster, including Designated Player Bryan Rochez, there's no rush for the 19-year-old Larin to contribute immediately. Still, Larin looks to be a true standout with a nearly unlimited ceiling in Major League Soccer.
What are your thoughts on the selection? Should Orlando have traded down? Let us know in the comment section.