By Official Florida FC
Dike hit the ground running. He earned MLS’s Player of the Month award for August after helping the Lions continue on their upward trajectory following the club’s run to the MLS is Back tournament final.
“Arguably the best rookie in MLS this year, the hulking center forward won the starting job for Orlando City in August and never looked back. Dike’s size is what jumps out on first glance, but it’s his quality both in the build-up and finishing chances that make him a highly-rated prospect.”mlssoccer.com’s MLS 22 Under 22 evaluation of Daryl Dike
Dike is the first Orlando City player to make MLS 22 Under 22 in three years.
Former Orlando City forward Cyle Larin was No. 5 on the league’s list. Of the four players ahead of Larin, one has won the Champions League (Alphonso Davies) and two others (Miguel Almiron and Jack Harrison) are regulars for English Premier League sides.
Larin left Major League Soccer following the 2017 season for the Turkish Super Lig. Orlando City struggled to find a productive center forward until it drafted Dike with the No. 5 selection in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
Dike is the fourth Orlando City player to make what is now known as the 22 Under 22 list. Larin earned a spot in 2016 and 2017 while Christian Higuita (No. 21, 2016) and Tommy Redding (No. 23, 2016) were also once deemed intriguing prospects.
Orlando native Dax McCarty (No. 24, 2010) as well as former UCF goalie Sean Johnson (No. 16, 2011) and forward Deshorn Brown (No. 20, 2014) are others with Sunshine State connections that have made the list.
Major League Soccer has produced a list of its best young players since 2010. Initially, it was called 24 Under 24, but the criteria was changed to 22 Under 22 following the 2018 season.
Dike is the only player with Florida ties to make this year’s 22 Under 22.
Philadelphia Union midfielder Brenden Aaronson earned the No. 1 spot. The 20-year-old will be transferred to Red Bull Salzburg following the 2020 MLS season. Following Aaronson is Los Angeles FC winger Brian Rodriguez, Union center back Mark McKenzie, Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola and FC Dallas midfielder Paxton Pomykal.
MLS 22 Under 22 Headliners
2020: Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union)
2019: Diego Rossi (Los Angeles FC)
2018: Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
2017: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United FC)
2016: Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC)
2015: Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas)
2014: DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
2013: Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
2012: Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
2011: Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
2010: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders FC)