MLS SuperDraft: Orlando City selects forward Derek Dodson at No. 8; add two defenders and goalkeeper


Courtesy of Orlando City

The 2021 MLS SuperDraft went virtual on Thursday afternoon, and Orlando City were quite productive in its selections.

After trading some $100,000 in General Allocation Money,$75,000 in 2021 and $25,000 in 2022, to the Portland Timbers, the Lions moved up to the number eight pick, making it the sixth time in their MLS history that they have had a top 10 pick in the draft.

In the end, the Lions walked away with four draft picks, including selecting forward Derek Dodson from Georgetown with that No. 8 overall pick.

Orlando also selected defender Rio Hope-Gund from Georgetown at No. 19; defender Brandon Hackenberg at No. 22 from Penn State University. The Lions capped their run at the draft by selecting goalkeeper Andrew Pannenberg as the No. 49 overall pick.

Here’s what Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi had to say about selecting Dodson:

“We had a strategy that we wanted to guarantee that a few players would be available when our first pick came. We had, of course, the Generation Adidas guys that we were looking into and seeing, you know, is there is there a possibility for one of these guys but it’s not only that it’s more positional and filling needs.

And we had Dodson in mind, from the very beginning, and funny enough that number eight is where we thought and we thought that he was going to go at number eight, and so that’s why we shot at number eight. We really liked Dodd Dodson a lot since last year since the final when we saw him playing live. And, and we thought that this was a great move to get a guy that we really wanted.”

Head coach Oscar Pareja also commented on Thursday on the club’s draft picks

“Every area is to be improved is especially ours too,” said Pareja. “As coaches we have this mentality to have always progression in the team and hopefully the people who comes in and refreshes and and coming out to the team can can bring that energy to.”

Player Bios 

Derek Dodson 
Position: Forward
Height: 6-0
Weight: 162
Born: Jan. 1, 1998
Hometown: Aurora, Ill.
Citizenship: USA

Rio Hope-Gund
Position: Defender
Height: 6-1
Weight: 170
Born: Aug. 20, 1999
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Citizenship: USA

Brandon Hackenberg
Position: Defender
Height: 6-1
Weight: 175
Born: July 2, 1999
Hometown: Palmyra, Va.
Citizenship: USA

Andrew Pannenberg
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6-3
Weight: 195
Born: Sept. 21, 1998
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Citizenship: USA

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