After leaving the first two rounds of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft empty handed, Orlando City SC made its first and only selection in the event this afternoon. The Lions picked 23-year-old England native midfielder/forward Danny Deakin out of the University of South Carolina at No. 64 in the third round. Previously, the MLS website had shown Orlando City with a fourth-round pick at No. 74 but that selection was traded away to Real Salt Lake in October of 2014 when the club signed Yordany Alvarez. RSL passed on the selection.
“Going into this round we hoped Danny would be available and were happy he was still on the board,” Lions General Manager Niki Budalic said in a club press release. “His attacking capabilities, his vision and his passing ability will be an important asset to us this coming season.”
Deakin played 20 matches in 2016, recording seven goals and six assists for the Gamecocks — finishing second on the team in goals and first in assists. For his performance, he was named First Team All-Conference USA for the second straight season. He spent part of the season with the National Premier Soccer League’s Detroit City FC, where he scored one goal and had two assists over nine matches.
In 2015, the midfielder/forward started all 21 matches and scored 11 goals with South Carolina. He also amassed a handful of honors, as First-Team All-Conference USA, First-Team NSCAA All-Southeast Region, C-USA Academic Honor Roll, and 2015 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
Born in Sheffield, England, the 5-foot-9 player started his development at Sheffield United’s academy, between 2006 and 2012, before moving to the United States. Deakin played his first two college years at Mercyhurst (PA), before transferring to South Carolina.
During his time as a Daktronic, between 2013 and 2014, Deakin appeared in 45 games, scoring 24 goals and adding 23 assists. He was also a two-time first-team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, two-time ECAC All-Star, and a two-time NSCAA All-Atlantic Region player.
Here are video highlights of Deakin in action: