Orlando City opted to go with offense with its first selection in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, selecting Notre Dame forward Jack Lynn with the No. 18 overall pick. The 18th selection was Orlando City’s natural first-round pick based on 2021 finishing order in the league.
With Lynn’s help, Notre Dame made a deep run in the NCAA tournament this past season, bowing out to eventual national champion Clemson in penalties in the College Cup. Lynn scored a goal in that match against Clemson, which finished 1-1 before the Tigers won 5-3 in the penalty shootout.
Lynn, a 6-foot-2 striker, played four years with the Fighting Irish, appearing in 79 matches (57 starts) and scoring 31 goals and adding eight assists in his collegiate career. He put 81 of his 184 shots on target, scored 12 game-winning goals and went a perfect six for six from the penalty spot with Notre Dame.
A first-team 2020-2021 All-ACC first team selection, Lynn was part of one of the best leagues in collegiate soccer. During the 2019-2020 season he received second-team All-ACC honors. Lynn got on the field early in his career, playing in all 21 of his team’s games as a freshman in 2018.
What It Means for Orlando City
The Lions will need to rebuild the attack for 2022, although Lynn will not likely be under any pressure to step in and provide lots of minutes in his first season. The young forward is known for his work ethic and for showing up in big moments, and he comes from good bloodlines, as his father, John, was a college soccer player at Saint Louis.
With Orlando moving on from Derek Dodson, Lynn will become the team’s developmental forward. But the Lions still have to find a replacement for Daryl Dike and — despite rumblings that it is close — still have yet to officially re-sign Alexandre Pato. There is more to do at the striker position for the Lions this off-season, but Lynn could develop into a solid forward for Orlando.
Orlando City has two picks remaining in the draft at this point. The Lions are slated to pick at No. 46 in the second round and No. 74 in the third round.