ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 21, 2022) - Orlando City SC selected four players on Wednesday night in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, adding two attacking players and two defenders on the night. With three picks in the First Round, the Lions opened by taking midfielder Shakur Mohammed at No. 2 overall out of Duke University. Four picks later, the Lions selected Duncan McGuire out of Creighton University at No. 6 overall before picking Abdi Salim at No. 17 overall from Syracuse University and Luis Grassow at No. 46 overall from the University of Kentucky.
“It was a great draft. I think that our group in preparation did a fantastic job and have been analyzing everything for the last four, five, six months,” Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi said. “We had four guys that we had in our top-20 and we were able to get all of them. We had to make some moves, but we’re extremely happy and excited with the players we got in the draft.”
After acquiring the No. 2 overall pick earlier in the afternoon from D.C. United, the Lions selected Mohammed from Duke University. A MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist and the reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Mohammed joins the Lions after totaling 37 appearances with 35 starts, scoring 13 goals and adding nine assists in two years in Durham. As a sophomore, Mohammed led the Blue Devils with 10 goals and 22 points, finishing the campaign as a First Team All-American, as well as earning All-ACC First Team and All-South Region First Team honors.
Following his freshman campaign, Mohammed was named ACC Freshman of the Year as well as to the All-ACC Second Team, All-ACC Freshman Team, the All-South Region Third Team and the ACC All-Tournament Team, scoring three goals and seven assists to tie for second on the team with 13 points.
Mohammed signed a Generation adidas contract on Dec. 19 to make him eligible for selection in the SuperDraft. More information on Generation adidas can be found here.
A MAC Hermann Trophy Finalist and the 2022 NCAA Division I leader in goals (23) and points (49), McGuire comes to Orlando after four years at Creighton. In 2022, as a redshirt junior, the Omaha-native led the Bluejays to a BIG EAST Tournament title before making a run to the College Cup, eventually falling in the Semifinals to eventual NCAA Champion Syracuse. As a result, McGuire was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team and All-East Region First Team, while earning BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year honors and Most Outstanding Offensive Player for the BIG EAST Tournament. In total, McGuire finished his career at Creighton with 55 appearances and 32 starts, netting 28 goals and adding six assists.
A 2022 College Cup champion at Syracuse University, Salim appeared 22 times with 19 starts as part of a backline that recorded 11 clean sheets en route to the program’s first national title. In three years with the Orange, Salim totaled 30 appearances and one goal scored, having his 2020 campaign cut short due to a knee injury. Prior to joining the Orange, he spent a year at Buffalo State College, earning SUNYAC Rookie of the Year & Defensive Player of the Year honors while being named to the All-SUNYAC First Team, appearing in 18 matches, netting one goal and tallying two assists.
Named a Semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, Grassow comes to Orlando following four years at the University of Kentucky. In 2022, Grassow started every match he played for the Wildcats, appearing 21 times, scoring three goals and adding an assist en route to earning All-American honors from United Soccer Coaches, as well as All-Southeast Region First Team honors for the second-consecutive year. Grassow was also named Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference as a senior. He finished his time in Lexington with 59 appearances and 56 starts, netting six goals with five assists in four years with the Wildcats.
The Lions will open their 2023 campaign on Saturday, Feb. 25, set to host the New York Red Bulls in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Exploria Stadium. Fans can secure their seat to every match, while also saving an average of 25% per match, with 2023 Season Ticket Memberships. Starting at just $17 per match, STM packages include year-round events and benefits, with more information here. Single-game tickets will go on sale at a later date, with fans able to sign-up for notification here.
TRANSACTION: Orlando City SC selects midfielder Shakur Mohammed (No. 2 overall), forward Duncan McGuire (No. 6 overall), Abdi Salim (No. 17 overall) and Luis Grassow (No. 46 overall) in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas.
Round 1, No. 2: Shakur Mohammed (shaq-COOR muhammad)
Born: Aug. 27, 2003
Hometown: Kumasi, Ghana
Round 1, No. 6: Duncan McGuire
Born: Feb. 5, 2001
Hometown: Omaha, Neb.
Round 1, No. 17: Abdi Salim (ahb-DEE suh-leem)
Born: April 1, 2001 in Nairobi, Kenya
Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.
Round 2, No. 46: Luis Grassow
Born: July 8, 1998
Hometown: Munich, Germany