Orlando City made a surprise roster move today, waiving its only 2017 MLS SuperDraft pick, Danny Deakin. The move now frees up an international roster spot for the Lions, which could be used sometime soon.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Deakin may soon be signing a USL contract with Orlando City B.
Deakin was the only Orlando City selection in the January draft, where he was picked 64th overall. After sustaining an injury early in preseason, he missed a lot of training with the team, but was signed to the team on March 3. Just a few weeks later, the Englishman was loaned to OCB, along with nine other players for the season. He ended up making just one start in three appearances for the USL side, playing 111 minutes, but registered no goals or assists.
Last year, Orlando did a similar thing with defender Antonio Matarazzo, where he was drafted by Orlando, but not signed by the Lions. Instead, he was picked up by OCB and ended up playing in seven games throughout the 2016 season on a USL contract, logging 325 minutes.
Deakin attended the University of South Carolina for two years after transferring from Mercyhurst University. He originally played for the Sheffield United academy from 2006-12 before making the move over to the United States.
What it Means for Orlando City
Deakin wasn’t going to play for the senior team this year unless a lot of bad things happened or he suddenly blossomed in a way that Jason Kreis couldn’t ignore. If the club can sign him to a USL deal, he can continue to develop at OCB without costing the senior side an international slot and the club maintains his MLS rights. This could mean the club either has another move in mind for now or for the summer transfer window, or the slot itself could be traded for an asset or allocation money.
Should Deakin accept a USL deal from Orlando City, this could be an excellent move for the club, but there’s always a risk of alienating a player or making him feel unwanted unless this was a planned move that was carefully discussed between management and the player in advance.
It will be interesting to see if he signs with the reserve side.