Transfer Tracker

Orlando City sign defender Abdi Salim after SuperDraft selection

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Orlando City SC have signed 2023 MLS SuperDraft selection Abdi Salim, the club announced Tuesday.

The defender, picked No. 17 overall (first round) out of Syracuse University, has signed through the 2023 MLS season with club options from 2024-26.

“Abdi has impressed us so far this preseason and we’re really happy with the work ethic and professionalism that he’s shown us to this point,” Luiz Muzzi, Orlando’s EVP of soccer operations and general manager, said in a release.

“We see certain raw qualities within his game that we think fit well with us here and we think he’ll really be able to develop those within our system and take himself to the next level.”

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. Before 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.

Salim, who mainly plays center back, adds depth for Orlando alongside Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos and Rodrigo Schlegel. All three players were part of the Lion’s 2022 US Open Cup title-winning side.

In the 2023 MLS SuperDraft, Orlando also picked Generation adidas forward Shakur Mohammed (Duke University) and forward Duncan McGuire (Creighton University) in the first round.