Orlando City nabbed a potential backup goalkeeper for Joe Bendik with the No. 6 selection in Stage 1 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft. The Lions snared Chicago’s Patrick McLain. This provides depth at the goalkeeper position, with either McLain or Earl Edwards Jr. serving as the backup with the other possibly to be moved or loaned to Orlando City B.
The Lions were one of three teams to select a player in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft, with the Houston Dynamo selecting Dylan Remick from Seattle, and the Sounders picking up Bryan Meredith from San Jose.
McLain, 28, is a native of Eau Claire, WI, who had his option declined by the Chicago Fire after the 2016 season. He appeared in only two matches in 2016 – once each with the Fire and on loan with Saint Louis FC in the USL. McLain went the distance in Chicago’s 3-2 season-ending loss at Toronto FC, allowing three goals on six shots on goal, and finishing with three saves. One of those three Toronto goals was from the penalty spot. He kept a clean sheet in his one appearance for Saint Louis FC, making four saves in a 1-0 win over Sacramento Republic.
Upon signing McLain in January, Chicago Fire General Manager Fire Nelson Rodríguez said this about the keeper:
“Perhaps not yet recognized by many, we believe that Patrick is about to become known as an outstanding talent,” said Rodríguez. “He’s excellent with his feet and he also commands his box very well.”
He appeared in 15 matches with the Orange County Blues in the USL in 2014, moving on to Sacramento Republic in 2015, where he took the No. 1 job. He made 29 appearances with Sacramento in 2015, finishing with an 11-8-5 record, 71 saves, and six shutouts across all competitions. McLain finished the USL season with a 1.25 goals-against average.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound product of Cal Poly signed with Chivas USA on March 10, 2012, backing up both Dan Kennedy and Tim Melia without making an appearance. He made his MLS debut on May 5, 2013, entering in the 54th minute against Sporting Kansas City. During the 2013 season, McLain made two appearances with Chivas USA, playing 124 minutes, going 0-1-0, and allowing six goals with four saves. One of the goals against was a penalty.
He was also briefly loaned to the Los Angeles Blues in the USL in 2013.
McLain spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons in USL, appearing in 15 matches for the Orange County Blues in 2014 before taking the full-time starting job for Sacramento Republic FC in 2015. He appeared in 29 matches across all competitions for Republic FC, and recorded 71 saves, six shutouts and racking up an 11-8-5 record in 24 USL contests.
At Cal Poly, McLain twice received second-team All-Big West recognition and set a school record with a .835 save percentage.
Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft will take place next Thursday.