Orlando City used the fifth pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft to select forward Daryl Dike from the University of Virginia.
“With our first pick we wanted to have something offensively,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the draft. “We were very excited to have Daryl there. He was the top forward in the college game and he’s going to give us a lot of power up front.”
The Edmond, OK native played two years for the Cavaliers, who made the 2020 College Cup final last month. During his freshman season, Dike appeared in 12 games, though he was injured for four. His five goals placed him tied for the team lead as he was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team. This past season, Dike started 23 games for the Cavaliers, scoring 10 goals and recording eight assists. In total, he scored 15 goals and recorded nine assists in 35 games in college.
“Dike is a very exciting, young player,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said. “One of the youngest players in the draft...Extremely excited that we were able to get him.”
The last name might seem familiar to MLS fans as the 6-foot-4, 220-pound forward is the younger brother of Bright Dike, who starred at Notre Dame from 2005 to 2009. He was selected in the first round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the Columbus Crew.
As many college players do, Dike played in USL League Two during last off-season. With the OKC Energy U-23 team, Dike took part in four games, scoring three goals.
What it Means for Orlando City
The selection of a forward by Orlando City was expected and signing a Generation Adidas contract two days ago helped Dike’s cause. As a Generation Adidas player, Dike will not count against Orlando City’s salary budget while on his rookie contract.
Dike is now technically the sixth forward on Orlando City’s roster, though this move provides a greater ability to play Chris Mueller in the midfield. He joins a forward group that includes Tesho Akindele, Dom Dwyer, Benji Michel, and 2019 first-round draft pick Santiago Patiño.
Here are some highlights of Dike at Virginia: