Orlando City selects UConn F Cyle Larin first overall in MLS Draft

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Canadian forward Cyle Larin was selected by expansion Orlando City in Major League Soccer’s draft, the second straight season a University of Connecticut player was chosen first overall.

Larin, with Canada at qualifying for this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup, scored 23 goals in two seasons at UConn and has three appearances with Canada’s senior national team. Huskies goalkeeper Andre Blake was taken by Philadelphia with the first pick last year.

New York City FC, which also starts play this year, selected Oregon State forward Khiry Shelton with the second pick Thursday. Shelton, who scored 10 goals as a senior, was greeted by loud cheers from NYCFC fans.

Montreal selected Central Florida forward Romario Williams with the third pick. San Jose picked Michigan State midfielder Fatai Alashef fourth, and Portland selected Notre Dame midfielder Nick Besler, whose older brother Matt plays for Kansas City and was started for the U.S. at last year’s World Cup.

Syracuse goalkeeper Alex Bono, attending the U.S. national team training camp in California, went sixth to Toronto.

"Obviously there was a bit of interest from the Canadian teams, as you would expect," Orlando City coach Adrian Heath said. "I know how highly he’s thought of by the Canadian people. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that goal-scorers are a hot commodity around the world. That’s why they go for the most money."