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Orlando City’s Five Best MLS SuperDraft Picks

Who makes the cut for Orlando’s five best SuperDraft selections?

New York City FC v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

With the next MLS SuperDraft right around the corner next Wednesday, now feels like a good time to look back at Orlando City’s previous draft picks and pick the five best ones. I’m making my picks and rankings based on the value the player provided compared to where they were picked, how well they produced for the Lions, and what sort of transfer fee, if any, was received when they eventually departed the club. Let’s have at it.

No. 5 — Earl Edwards Jr.

We begin our list with the Landlord, who Orlando City picked in the third round of its first ever MLS SuperDraft all the way back in 2015. For a pick that late in the draft he provided some pretty great value for the Lions, as he was a backup at the club for four years and even had a stretch of starts in the summer of 2018 when James O’Connor took over as head coach. He ultimately made 16 regular-season appearances and eight appearances in the U.S. Open Cup, and kept two clean sheets in the cup competition. He ultimately left the club at the end of the 2018 season, with Orlando getting a second-round draft pick from D.C. United in exchange for his services. Edwards currently plays for the New England Revolution.

No. 4 — Kamal Miller

Orlando City took Kamal Miller with the third pick of the second round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. He proved to be a useful player during the two years that he spent with OCSC and was very good value for where he was taken in the draft. He made 28 regular-season appearances for Orlando as well as two playoff appearances and he also played in all four of the Lions’ knockout games at the MLS is Back Tournament. It was unfortunate that his best fit wasn’t in a back four, but he still showed himself to be a versatile and capable defender and in his 2020 Season in Review piece I even wrote about how he was an excellent option to have on Orlando’s roster. That wasn’t to be however, as OSCSC lost him in the expansion draft shortly afterwards, and he eventually ended up with CF Montreal. While it hurt to lose him for nothing, he’s become a nailed-on starter for both Montreal and the Canadian national team, and went the full 90 at all three of Canada’s World Cup games a couple weeks ago.

No. 3 — Chris Mueller

The Lions selected the man who would become the Money Badger with the sixth overall pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, and it proved to be a wise selection. Cash spent four years with Orlando City, making 112 regular-season appearances with 21 goals and 24 assists, three MLS Cup playoff appearances, seven U.S. Open Cup appearances with one goal, and appearances in each of the four MLS is Back Tournament knockout stage games. He even scored a call-up to the United States Men’s National Team on the back of his 10-goal, seven-assist 2020 season, and he had at least nine goal contributions in each of his four years in purple. Cash left the Lions after the conclusion of the 2021 season to join Hibernian, and like Miller, Orlando lost him for nothing as he joined Hibs as a free agent. He’s now back in MLS with the Chicago Fire.

No. 2 — Daryl Dike

Orlando took Daryl Dike with the fifth overall pick of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, and if picking Mueller was wise, then taking Dike was positively inspired. He didn’t make his first start until late August, but he proceeded to score in that start and never looked back from that point. He went on to make 35 regular-season appearances and banged in 18 goals and added seven assists in the process. He also started three playoff games for the Lions and notched one goal. Dike’s combination of physicality and pace made him a nightmare for MLS defenders, and his play with Orlando City also earned him several call-ups to the USMNT. He transferred to West Brom for a tidy $10 million fee back on Jan. 1, and he recently made a successful return from injury for the Baggies. Between his goal contributions, meteoric rise, and the transfer fee the Lions collected for him, Dike is an easy pick for the second spot in these rankings.

No. 1 — Cyle Larin

Sometimes teams overthink the draft, but Orlando did not fall into that trap when it took Cyle Larin first overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. The Canadian striker went on to bag 43 goals and six assists in 87 regular-season appearances for OCSC, as well as one goal in three appearances in the U.S. Open Cup. The production he gave the club during his three years as a Lion was undeniable, and after scoring 17 goals during his rookie season, it simply became a question of how long he would stay in Orlando. Unfortunately, he eventually left the club under rather acrimonious circumstances to join Besiktas, putting OCSC fans through a rather arduous transfer circus in the process. He’s been successful since then though, and like Kamal Miller, has become a key player for the Canadian national team. Despite the nature of his departure, the numbers he put up combined with Orlando getting a decent-ish transfer fee for him, means that he takes the top spot.

Did I get the order of my rankings correct? Was there anyone I missed? Be sure to have your say down in the comments.