Three months following the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, Orlando City has finally locked down their eighth overall pick, forward Derek Dodson. He has signed a one-year First Team contract, with Club options in 2022, 2023 and 2024. He will be added to the team’s supplemental roster.
“We’re excited to add Derek to the group now after allowing him to return to Georgetown for a majority of his senior season,” said Orlando City SC EVP Luiz Muzzi in a statement. “A team captain there this year and in 2019, he’s shown himself to be someone that leads from the front, has a great appetite for goal and comes in ready to put in the work for the season ahead.”
Following being drafted in January, Dodson returned for his senior season of collegiate soccer, rather than join the Lions right away. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his final season was postponed from 2020, as was his teammate Rio Hope-Gund.
During his senior season, Dodson played in seven matches, scoring two goals and adding three assists. The forward stayed on with Georgetown University one extra game compared to Hope-Gund, who left to join the Lions on April 3rd, while Dodson stayed until April 10th.
The Aurora, Illinois native Dodson played in 72 matches for the Hoyas over his four year career, scored 32 goals, including one in the team’s 2019 NCAA National Championship vs Daryl Dike‘s University of Virginia, while providing 14 assists. The forward also captained the team for his final two seasons, while piling up individual accolades, such as First Team Big East three times and 2017 Big East Freshman of the Year.
Orlando City roster (as of April 28, 2021):
Goalkeeper (3): Pedro Gallese, Mason Stajduhar (HG), Brandon Austin
Defenders (8): Kyle Smith, Ruan, João Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, Rio Hope-Gund, Michael Halliday (HG)
Midfielders (9): Oriol Rosell, Jhegson Sebastián Méndez, Andrés Perea, Mauricio Pereyra (DP), David Loera (HG), Jordan Bender (HG), Júnior Urso, Joey DeZart, Raul Aguilera Jr (HG)
Forwards (10): Nani (c, DP), Chris Mueller, Tesho Akindele, Benji Michel (HG), Matheus Aiás, Alexander Alvarado, Alexandre Pato, Silvester van der Water, Wilfredo Rivera (HG), Derek Dodson
DP – Designated Player
HG – Homegrown Player
Out on Loan
Daryl Dike – Short term loan to Barnsley
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