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Former Virginia star Daryl Dike joining English soccer club Barnsley on loan
SOCCER

Former Virginia star Daryl Dike joining English soccer club Barnsley on loan

The opportunities keep coming for former Virginia men’s soccer star Daryl Dike.

After making his U.S. Men’s National Team debut on Sunday night, it was announced Monday that Dike would join Barnsley F.C. on a short-term loan with a conditional right of recall. Barnsley plays in the EFL Championship, which is the second-highest division of soccer in England.

Dike joins Barnsley on a loan from Orlando City SC, where he’s taken on an important role for the MLS team following his selection in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.

“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,” Dike said in a statement. “I’m very grateful to have a deal that will be beneficial to 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.”

Orlando’s executive vice president of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi echoed Dike’s thoughts. The team hopes the experience will help develop their young star.

“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,” Muzzi said in a statement.

Through the early stages of his career, Dike has impressed.

Dike finished third in Young Player of the Year voting in the MLS last season and earned a call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team in December. He scored eight goals and added four assists in his rookie MLS season. Dike took the pitch for the first time with the national team on Sunday in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago.

He’ll aim to continue to impress with Barnsley, which sits in the middle of the EFL Championship standings.

“He has had a rapid rise in his career over the last two years, showing he possesses a ton of talent,” Dane Murphy, Barnsley’s CEO and a former UVa men’s soccer player, said in a release. “The club believes he will undoubtedly prove a real asset between now and May.”

Barnsley’s season is scheduled to end in May, while the 2021 MLS season is set to begin in April. It remains to be seen when Dike might rejoin Orlando City, but for the meantime, his ascent in the global soccer landscape continues forward.

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