On Jan. 21, Georgetown’s Derek Dodson, Rio Hope-Gund, Sean O’Hearn and Paul Rothrock were drafted by Major League Soccer teams. This is the ninth straight SuperDraft in which a Georgetown player has been selected, and the four Hoya draft picks are tied with a school record set in 2016. This article is the first in a series of profiles on the players drafted from the Georgetown men’s soccer team this year.
Senior forward Derek Dodson was the first Hoya to hear his name called on draft day, going eighth overall to the Orlando City Soccer Club. Dodson had an incredible Georgetown career, making an impact from the second he stepped foot on Shaw Field.
As a first-year in the 2017-18 season, Dodson led the team in scoring, netting ten goals and adding two assists. The talented young striker put away a huge equalizer in the Big East final against Xavier, and the Hoyas went on to win 2-1. After the season, Dodson was named the Big East Freshman of the Year and selected for the All-Big East Second Team.
His sophomore year, Dodson again led the Hoyas in scoring with nine goals and one assist. Again, the Hoyas won the Big East title and Dodson was named All-Big East First Team.
After two straight dominant seasons, a career in Major League Soccer was looking more and more likely, according to Dodson.
“If I were to put a time period on when it became a realistic opportunity then it would probably be after my sophomore year when conversations of me being able to make the jump to the professional level started to seriously happen,” Dodson wrote in an email to The Hoya.
Going into the 2019-20 season, Dodson was named a team captain, an impressive honor for a junior. He lived up to the challenge, putting up a monstrous 11 goals and eight assists and leading the Hoyas to the Big East regular season title, a Big East Tournament title and ultimately a national championship.
In the 81st minute of the College Cup final against the University of Virginia, Dodson calmly gathered a pass from senior forward Ifunanyachi Achara and tucked a shot just inside the near post to put the Hoyas up 3-2. Georgetown later conceded a game-tying goal but won in penalty kicks for its first national championship in program history. Dodson was rewarded for his contributions with a second First Team All-Big East selection. He was also named a United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-American, an incredible accomplishment for any player, let alone a junior.
As Dodson wracked up accolades, the MLS scouts were watching.
“We liked Dodson a lot, since we saw him play last year in the final, and we thought this a great move to get a guy that we really wanted,” Luiz Muzzi, executive vice president of soccer operations for Orlando City SC, said in a statement.
Orlando was so impressed with the Georgetown co-captain that they sent $100,000 in General Allocation Money to the Portland Timbers for Dodson, who was the eighth overall draft pick. Dodson would only find out on draft day that the club was going such lengths to prioritize him.
“I had a few conversations before the draft and they were one of the teams that I had been hearing about, but it was a pleasant surprise for sure,” Dodson wrote.
Being drafted, of course, is an incredible accomplishment. Dodson is proud to have come so far.
“It feels pretty special,” Dodson wrote. “This is something that I have worked for since I started playing soccer, so it is definitely a rewarding feeling but I know I still have a lot of work ahead of me.”
Caden Koontz is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. Hoya Headlines appears online every other week.