Pace, power and goals. These three words sum up most footage of Daryl Dike out there today. But the strong forward brings so much more it would almost be criminal to limit his game to those three alone.
Dike, the 5th pick in the 2020 MLS draft has hit the ground running and looks to be settling in finely in Orlando, scoring four goals and providing one assist in 12 MLS games so far this season. Signs of Dike’s attacking prowess stretch way back to his days at Edmonton North, where he was named Oklahoma Gatorade player of the year in 2018. Dike notched 70 career goals for Edmonton North (An Oklahoma 6A state record) and is also a three-time Oklahoma offensive player of the year and a four-time all-city, all-district and team MVP.
Dike carried his fine form to the University of Virginia, where he chipped in with 24 goal contributions (15 goals and 9 assists) in 36 games across two seasons. The nine assists would seem to indicate his capability of doing more than scoring goals but they also do not tell the full story of how Dike brings so much to any side that has his name in their books.
His time in Virginia saw him named to the first team United soccer coaches All-South region selection and named the NCAA college cup’s most outstanding offensive player amongst other honours. Dike looks a steal, after going 5th in the 2020 MLS draft and at 20 years of age, could improve a lot in the future.


Standing at 6 foot 1, Dike is a powerful centre-forward who possesses pace, strength and great technical ability on the ball. Dike reads the game very well and his pace, power and technical ability allow him to be a threat from multiple areas of the pitch in attacking sequences.
A truly complete striker, Dike is as much a threat from outside the box as he is in it, as much a threat on the ball as he is off it, as much a threat on the flanks as he is in the box and almost as much a threat in the air as he is on the ground. Dike is a powerful dribbler and can as well hold up play. Dike strikes the ball so cleanly and so powerfully with high accuracy and his technical ability and movement combined with his physical attributes mean Dike tends to be a handful for defenders (he looks flat out unplayable when you watch him).

Attacking sequences

In the box, Dike is a problem for the opposition. He is fantastic in the air and can create space in crowded situations. His aerial ability coupled with his close-range finishing and technique makes him dangerous from anywhere in the 18-yard box. His shot power and accuracy also let him let loose from outside the 18 yards.
Off the ball, Dike’s movement and positioning are outstanding. He pops up in dangerous areas within and outside the box which enables him to be effective in and around the final third.
Dike makes smart runs, often popping up in dangerous areas in which he can cause the opposition problems.
A different angle of the same sequence which shows the space Dike has.
For a man his size, he loses defenders quite brilliantly and drifts to dangerous positions where he can cause problems for the opposition.
A player of that size zipping across the final third also helps to draw defenders away from his teammates, freeing up the fleet-footed wide players and others around him who are willing to get into dangerous positions. In and around the final third during attacking sequences, Dike moves smart, fast and indeed smart and fast when his team are looking to put the ball in the back of the net. He reads the game well and makes good movements and solid decisions.
While his pace, power, movement and goal scoring catch the eye, his ability to link play is right up there amongst his strengths. Dike can hold up the ball before freeing up a teammate, and can as well play quick one-twos with his teammates. In the case of the latter, after quickly releasing the ball to a teammate after receiving it (usually with his back to a defender), Dike, with outstanding pace usually gallops forward to central areas or to the flanks.
Dike plays a quick one-two with Mueller then goes wide. Mueller now has three passing options in Dike, Urso and Benji who are advancing forward with great pace.
“Why Is a big centre-forward going out wide?” you ask. Well, Dike is a powerful dribbler capable of beating defenders. His pace coupled with his dribbling make him a handful out wide. When isolated on the flanks, defenders struggle to dispose Dike because of his pace, strength and dribbling ability. A player of his size and power taking on full-backs and beating them for pace is such an amazing sight.
Dike’s pace and strength allow him to hold his own out wide.
Dike is a true terror not just to the opposing Centre backs (as most centre-forwards his build would mainly and most times only operate in the middle parts of the final third) but to every member of the opposition’s defence.
Out wide, Dike is capable of beating players and getting into dangerous positions.

Defensive Phase

Dike usually leaves the pressing for his teammates, closing down passing lanes and options with not so much intensity but smartly. Dike floats around waiting for his team to regain possession, putting himself in positions that when his team gain possession, he can immediately cause trouble from.
Dike closes down passing lanes and options with not so much intensity but smartly. 


At the moment I can hardly critique any part of Dike’s game. Players with Dike’s skillset and attributes aren’t that many in today’s game. Orlando indeed have a huge talent in their ranks. A 6 foot 1 centre-forward with great pace, passing ability, dribbling, strength, technical ability,  aerial prowess and much more.
It’s still early in the season but Dike is staking his claim as a top contender for rookie of the year. Orlando were probably thrilled and surprised when Dike fell to them at fifth. Most people expected him to be off the board by the time Orlando would make their first pick. Drafted 5th, Dike might well be the steal of the 2020 draft. And again, still only 20, Dike is right up there among the most promising talents in North America and indeed world football.