Orlando City announced this afternoon that rookie striker Derek Dodson will join Hartford Athletic in the USL Championship on loan. The credit is valid until the end of the USL Championship season, although Dodson can be revoked at any time. Hartford is currently ranked third in the Atlantic Division of the US Football Championship.
The Lions chose Dodson Number 8 overall MLS SuperDraft rankings 2021 in January. Dodson had stayed with Georgetown for most of the NCAA season prior to that. official signing with Orlando City at the end of April… It’s not uncommon for a rookie signed through MLS SuperDraft not to get a lot of playing time on a team as deep as Orlando City.
What does this mean for Orlando City
Even with Daryl Dyke on the international stage, Tesho Akindele is having a good season so far, with Alexander Pato likely to return from injury sooner rather than later. As such, Dodson is still far off the list and is unlikely to see in-game time. Orlando also recently sent Mateus Ayas on loan to a Spanish second division club The real Oviedo.
Dodson is a young and talented striker with all the physical means needed to be a good striker in the MLS. The loan to Hartford allows him to get more playing time and continue developing, while remaining available if Orlando City asks him to call back. This is a move that allows the young player to develop with minor disadvantages for the club.