Orlando City used its second selection in the second-round of today’s 2020 MLS SuperDraft (No. 39 overall) to pick up redshirt senior defender/midfielder Jonathan Dean out of UCF.
A 5-foot-8 native of Macon, GA, Dean made 20 starts for UCF in 2019, playing 1,902 minutes. He didn’t score a goal but did chip in six assists with eight shots (four on goal). He served as captain of the Knights, playing three seasons at UCF after transferring from Wofford College. He was sidelined due to injuries in 2017 and 2018, earning a redshirt for the latter after only appearing in five matches and tallying one goal — a game-tying effort against Virginia Tech — and one assist.
He played only eight times (seven starts) during the 2017 season, without a goal or assist in 692 minutes, although he did earn American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 11 of that year. In 2016, Dean contributed four assists in 15 starts, playing 1,337 minutes his sophomore campaign.
Dean, 22, was named to the All-SoCon Freshman Team following his freshman season at Wofford College, where he scored one goal and added five assists while taking nine shots.
What it Means for Orlando City
As the draft moves deeper, the odds grow longer of players sticking with the club. However, Dean has shown some versatility in his collegiate career and guys who can fill in at multiple slots can provide good value to the club, as we’ve seen with guys like Kyle Smith.
Dean seems to be a leader type and helped his club finish 6-0-1 in the AAC in 2019 (15-3-2 overall), earning a berth in the NCAA men’s soccer tournament. If he can stay healthy and continue to develop, there’s a good chance he can find MLS minutes down the road.