As usual, The Mane Land is taking part in the annual SB Nation Mock MLS SuperDraft, in which the MLS team blogs play general manager for the teams that they cover and make a draft selection on their behalf.
This year, the Lions have the third pick in the draft, so Orlando City could potentially get a starter. Before the draft, I listed the top three prospects that Orlando should take. In order, they were Callum Montgomery, Siad Haji, and Frankie Amaya. Any one of these three players could come in and be a rotation option from day one. Luckily, the top prospect was still on the board, and The Mane Land has Orlando City drafting Montgomery.
The Canadian earned numerous awards in his collegiate career, including the following awards this past season: First-team All-American, first-team United Soccer Coaches Association All-Southeast Region, Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, and first-team All-Conference USA. Montgomery was also a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.
The defender played in 73 games for Charlotte, starting in all but three of them. He scored 11 goals and added seven assists. In 2018, Charlotte earned 13 shutouts, and Montgomery was a primary reason why.
At 6-foot-2, Montgomery is the 2019 draft class’ best defender. The towering center back could come into Orlando and rotate with Carlos Ascues, Lamine Sane, and Shane O’Neill in James O’Connor’s three-man back line. He is solid with his feet and a force in the air. He can also play as a defensive midfielder, although Orlando City already has depth there. As you can see in the video below, Montgomery can also find the back of the net.
Although born in Canada, Montgomery will be a domestic player in MLS so he would not cost Orlando City an international spot.
Complete SB Nation 2019 Mock MLS SuperDraft Results
1. FC Cincinnati – Tajon Buchanan
2. San Jose Earthquakes – Frankie Amaya
3. Orlando City – Callum Montgomery
4. FC Dallas – Siad Haji
5. Chicago Fire – Akeem Ward
6. Toronto FC – Dayne St. Clair
7. Minnesota United – Brad Dunwell
8. Houston Dynamo – Griffin Dorsey
9. New England Revolution – Sergio Rivas
10. FC Dallas – John Nelson
11. New England Revolution – Marcello Borges
12. LA Galaxy – Prosper Figbe
13. Philadelphia Union – JJ Williams
14. D.C. United – Logan Gdula
15. Colorado Rapids – Andre Shinyashiki
16. LAFC – Wouter Verstraaten
17. Real Salt Lake – DeJuan Jones
18. Columbus Crew – Ryan Sierakowski
19. New York City FC – Santiago Patiño
20. Seattle Sounders – Hassani Dotson
21. Sporting Kansas City – Camden Riley
22. New York Red Bulls – Peter-Lee Vassell
23. Portland Timbers – Abdi Mohamed
24. Atlanta United – Rece Buckmaster