Daryl Dike Profile
|Born||Jun 03, 2000|
After emerging as an exciting rookie in 2020, Dike took MLS by storm at Orlando and earned himself a move to English Championship side Barnsley.
Daryl Dike is an American professional soccer player who plays for Major League Soccer outfit Orlando City.
As a youngster, Dike featured for Oklahoma FC. He then went on to play for the Virginia Cavaliers at college level and Oklahoma City Energy U-23.
His impressive performances with Orlando City earned him a loan move to Championship side Barnsley in February 2021 where he scored nine goals in 19 appearances.
Dike also made his breakthrough at senior level for the United States Men's National Team in 2021.
Daryl Dike and Orlando City
Dike impressed for the Virginia Cavaliers in his freshman and sophomore years, earning a selection in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft by Orlando City SC after signing a Generation Adidas contract.
"I think we had a great draft and [got] the guys that we wanted," Orlando City SC EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said after securing Dike as the fifth overall pick.
"Dike is a very exciting, young player. One of the youngest players in the draft...Extremely excited that we were able to get him. And with the later picks we were able to get the guys that we wanted at that position and we hope that they come in and show well. We're very excited to have them."
He made his debut for Orlando as a substitute in the MLS Is Back Tournament round-of-16 win over Montreal Impact on July 25, 2020.
Dike made his first start on August 22, in what was also his first regular season MLS fixture, scoring in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Inter Miami.
Four days later, Dike scored a brace in the 3-1 triumph over Nashville SC. Dike was named MLS Player of the Month for August 2020 with three goals and two assists in five games.
Dike finished third in the voting for the MLS Young Player of the Year award behind Diego Rossi and Brenden Aaronson. He was the highest-ranked rookie on the list. He scored eight goals in 22 appearances in all competitions for Orlando City.
Moving to Barnsley
On February 1, 2021, Dike joined Barnsley on loan with a reported $20million option to buy and 20% sell-on fee clause. The 20-year-old had made his senior international debut a day before and thus gained eligibility for a work permit in the UK.
"Daryl had a tremendous rookie season with us here in Orlando, one that helped lead our club to the postseason and, on a personal level, be rewarded with multiple call-ups to the US Men's National Team," Muzzi said, as per the club's official website.
"We believe this opportunity with Barnsley will present another step in his career, to not only develop in a new footballing environment, but to challenge himself in a new country and we're excited for him to bring those learnings back to us here in Orlando."
Meanwhile, Dike said: "Orlando has helped me so much in my career in such a short time, and working together to provide this opportunity for me is just another example of that.
"I'm very grateful to have a deal that will be beneficial for both myself and the club. I'm excited to continue my development and keep up my fitness while with Barnsley and look forward to bringing what I learn back to Orlando to continue our success here in MLS."
Barnsley's CEO Dane Murphy was quoted by his club's website as saying: "Most of the club's work was completed early in this window, but we're ecstatic to get a player of Daryl's calibre into the squad. He has had a rapid rise in his career over the last two years showing he possesses a ton of talent. The club believe he will undoubtedly prove a real asset between now and May.
"It has been well documented that Valerien (Ismael) wanted to strengthen his forward line and in the short-term, this addition goes some way to accomplish that.
"I must thank the group at Orlando City for allowing Daryl to join us and I have no doubt that he will be a success at Oakwell."
Dike made his debut off the bench as a replacement for Victor Adeboyejo in the 59th minute of Barnsley's 1-0 FA Cup fifth round defeat to Chelsea.
He scored his first goal for the club on February 24, 2021 in a 2-0 Championship victory over Stoke City.
Dike was named Barnsley's player of the month for March and also won the club's Goal of the Month prize for his strike against Birmingham City - the winner in a 1-0 victory. Dike's loan deal was extended late in April to prevent him having to return for the post-season after helping the team clinch a spot in the play-offs.
Unfortunately, Barnsley bowed out in the semi-finals at the hands of Swansea City, losing 2-1 on aggregate.
Despite the forward scoring nine goals in 19 appearances to propel the Tykes up the division, Barnsley elected not to exercise their purchase option and he returned to Orlando City.
His first game back for City on June 22, 2021, saw him score twice as San Jose Earthquakes were thrashed 5-0 at the Exploria Stadium.
US Men's National Team
Dike is eligible to play for Nigeria and his brother, Bright, his sister, Courtney, and cousin, Emmanuel Emenike, chose to don their colours.
"When you're younger, you're always sitting there, thinking about internationals, and I know I've had my siblings play for Nigeria," Dike told ESPN's Taylor Twellman.
"And I know I have the opportunity for Nigeria or the USA if I get the chance. But right now I just kind of play my game. I focus on what I'm doing with Orlando City, and if either/or comes, that decision will come when it comes."
Dike made his debut for the USMNT on January 31, 2021, coming on as a replacement for Paul Arriola in the 65th minute of a 7-0 friendly drubbing of Trinidad and Tobago.
Dike scored his first international goal on June 9, 2021, in a 4-0 friendly win over Costa Rica.
Dike is the youngest of five siblings. In the same interview with Twellman in which he discussed his sibling playing for Nigeria, he was asked which striker he modelled his game around and settled on Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku.
"I'll be boring and say Lukaku, just because I think him and I are pretty similar," Dike said. "So yeah, I watch him a lot and sometimes I try to pick up on things that he does, or movements that he does and how he uses his body. So yeah, probably Lukaku."
Dike's net worth is unknown. However, Barnsley CEO Murphy has denied the transfer fee agreed upon for Dike in case of purchase was around £15million, insisting it was closer to fees which Barnsley have paid for players in the past.