Orlando City Shines In MLS SuperDraft, Picks Up 3
By Space Coast Daily // January 16, 2015
ABOVE VIDEO: It was a truly special moment. Cyle Larin couldn’t attend this year’s SuperDraft because he is competing with the Canadian’s U-20 mens national team in Jamaica. So, he and his teammates huddled around a laptop before their game against El Salvador to see where the pride of Canada would go.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Orlando City Soccer Club selected three players in the first two rounds of the 2015 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft today, choosing Canadian National Team Striker Cyle Larin as the number one overall pick.
In 2014, Larin finished first in goals (9) for the University of Connecticut – notching 21 points in 16 fixtures.
The former Huskie is no stranger on the international stage – making his senior team debut for Canada against Bulgaria last May and earning three caps for the first team thus far – most recently against Colombia.
Cyle Larin is currently with the U-20 Canadian side for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica. He has appeared in both of Canada’s Championship matches against Mexico and Haiti.
The competitive tournament is scheduled to conclude on January 24.
Additionally, the forward was named Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year after ending the season first in game-winning goals (3), goals per game (0.56), and points per game (1.31).
“I’d like to thank Phil Rawlins, Paul McDonough, Coach Adrian Heath, and the entire Orlando City organization for picking me first,” said Larin.
“I really appreciate it, and I can’t wait to come in and work really hard.”
“Cyle ticks a lot of the boxes that you look for in a modern day striker,” said Heath.
“He has good size, he’s very athletic, and he can score a variety of goals. He has a little bit of everything, and ultimately it came down to the fact that goal-scorers are a hot commodity.”
In addition, Orlando selected U-20 U.S. Men’s National Team and Generation adidas Defender Conor Donovan and University of Tulsa Forward Akeil Barrett with the 22nd and 25th picks, respectively, in the second round of the SuperDraft.
Donovan joins the Lions after spending one season at North Carolina State University. During his freshman season, the defender appeared in 15 matches for N.C. State, recording one goal and one assist.
At the international level, Conor Donovan is currently with the U-20 USMNT for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship underway in Jamaica.
Donovan has been a mainstay within the U.S. Youth National Team ranks – earning 33 international caps with the U-17, U-18 and U-20 teams.
Akeil Barrett will begin his professional career with Orlando after spending four years at the collegiate level, scoring 22 career goals for the University of Tulsa and the University of Akron.
After playing his freshman season with Akron, Barrett transferred to the University of Tulsa – earning honors such as Conference USA All-Tournament Team (2012), NSCAA All-Midwest Region Third Team (2013), All-Conference USA Second Team (2013) and American Athletic Conference First Team (2014).