FC Cincinnati made three selections in Wednesday night’s MLS SuperDraft 2023, presented by adidas.
Selecting for the first time at No. 22, the Orange and Blue took defender Joey Akpunonu out of Bowling Green University, an Ohio native and member of the 2023 Generation adidas class.
FC Cincinnati took fellow Mid-American Conference student athlete in the second round, Western Michigan University goalkeeper Hunter Morse, with the 51st overall selection. In the third round, FCC took London Aghedo, a defender from the Air Force Academy, with the 80th selection in the SuperDraft.
Round 1, Pick 22 (No. 22 Overall): Joey Akpunonu – Defender – Bowling Green University
Joey Akpunonu (APP-ah-no-nu), a native of Toledo, Ohio, is a junior center back out of Bowling Green University. He was one of 11 distinguished players part of the 2023 Generation adidas class, marking the third straight season FC Cincinnati took a GA player with their first SuperDraft Selection. As a GA player, Akpunonu has been automatically added to the 2023 FC Cincinnati roster.
The 6-3 defender earned All-MAC First Team honors this past season and started and played every second for the Falcons in their 16 games this season. As a center back, he led the team with six goals and finished second for BGSU with 12 goal contributions. Half of his six goals came via the penalty spot, where he was a perfect 3-for-3 his senior year.
Akpunonu helped the Falcons set a school record for fewest goals allowed in a season. BGSU surrendered just 10 goals in 2022, with two of those 10 coming via penalty kicks.
In the classroom, Akpunonu was named to the 11-man Academic All-America First Team for his 4.0 cumulative grade-point average as a biology major.
Over his three-year career, Akpunonu started 42 games for the Falcons, totaling eight goals and nine assists. The Ohio native was a three-year letterwinner at St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, where he was named to the All-Ohio First Team as a senior.
Akpunonu celebrated his 21st birthday on Wednesday night.
"I’m super excited to be drafted to FC Cincinnati," said Akpunonu. "This has been a surreal moment and experience, and I’m truly grateful for all of my family, friends, and coaches that have supported me throughout this whole process. I'm looking forward to getting after it and can’t wait to get started!"
Round 2, Pick 22 (No. 51 Overall): Hunter Morse – Goalkeeper – Western Michigan University
Hunter Morse, an attendee of FC Cincinnati’s Pro Goalkeeper Combine earlier this month, joins FC Cincinnati from a Broncos squad which held the best team goals against average – by far – in NCAA Division I soccer this season. Their .471 GAA beat out the second-best GAA percentage held by Duke (.579) and helped lead WMU to the Third Round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
Morse started and played in all 21 games this year for the MAC Champions. His save percentage of .884 was best among all keepers in NCAA Division I men’s soccer in 2022. Morse came to WMU as a graduate transfer from Michigan State University, where he appeared in 39 games in four seasons for the Spartans.
The 6-3 goalkeeper is a native of Belleville, Michigan and spent his youth soccer club career with Michigan Wolves Soccer Club.
Round 3, Pick 22 (No. 80 Overall): London Aghedo – Defender – Air Force Academy
London Aghedo (ah-GEE-doo) comes to FC Cincinnati as the club’s first SuperDraft selection from a service academy. Aghedo, the 2022 Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, helped guide the Falcons to the top seed in the conference tournament this fall.
Aghedo is a three-time First Team All-WAC selection. He scored six goals and added six assists over his four-year career with Air Force. The center back helped guide the Falcons to a 1.31 GAA this year.
The 6-2 defender is a native of Valencia, California. He started and played in over 60 games in his four-year career for Air Force.
FC Cincinnati All-Time Selections in MLS SuperDraft
Year Rd/Select. Player College
2019 1 (1) Frankie Amaya, UCLA
2019 1 (13) Logan Gdula, Wake Forest
2019 2 (29) Tommy McCabe, Notre Dame
2019 2 (30) Jimmy Hague, Michigan State
2019 2 (37) Ben Lundt, Akron
2019 3 (49) Rashawn Dally, Quinnipiac
2020 2 (29) Rey Ortiz, Portland
2020 3 (53) Joris Ahlinvi, Indiana
2021 1 (2) Calvin Harris, Wake Forest
2021 2 (29) Avionne Flanagan, South Florida
2021 2 (54) Jonas Fjeldberg, Dayton
2021 3 (56) Matthew Vowinkel, Hofstra
2022 1 (2) Roman Celentano, Indiana
2022 1 (14) Ian Murphy, Duke
2022 2 (30) Nick Markanich, Northern Illinois
2023 1 (22) Joey Akpunonu, Bowling Green
2023 2 (51) Hunter Morse, Western Michigan
2023 3 (80) London Aghedo, Air Force
2023 marks the fifth season in MLS for FC Cincinnati. The Orange and Blue begin the season at home for the first time in club history on February 25 at TQL Stadium against Houston Dynamo FC. The full 2023 regular season schedule can be viewed HERE.
2023 Season Tickets are on sale now at fccincinnati.com/tickets. Fans looking for more information can contact a dedicated FC Cincinnati representative at (513) 977-5435 or e-mail email@example.com.
2023 Single Match Tickets will go on sale Thursday, Jan. 26 in an exclusive presale. Single Match Tickets will go on sale to the general public Friday, Jan. 27.
Fans can currently place deposits on Group Tickets and Premium seating options for the 2023 season. More information on these experiences at TQL Stadium can be found at fccincinnati.com/tickets.
Fans can also enter to win a pair of 2023 Season Tickets HERE.
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team’s official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.