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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. New England Revolution, Preseason Friendly: Final Score 6-2 as Lions Run Riot Against Revs

Orlando City ran amok against the New England defense in a lopsided win to capture the preseason tournament.



Scott Carnevale, The Mane Land

Five different Lions scored in a surprising 6-2 thrashing of the New England Revolution in the final game of the Orlando City Invitational at Orlando City Stadium. The Lions captured the Orlando City Invitational title on goal differential after finishing 2-0 at the top of the table alongside Minnesota United, spurred on by four second-half goals in the span of about 10 minutes. It was the second consecutive comprehensive win, although it’s difficult to take too much away from preseason matches.

“I thought (the team’s performance) was excellent,” said Head Coach James O’Connor after the match. “I thought the movement was very good. I think we can be very pleased. Quite a number of the players had a really strong performance.”

O’Connor rotated his squad from Saturday’s lineup and gave mostly backups a run-out. He also started OCB defender Matheus Silva and 17-year-old Hamady Diop from SIMA’s Gold Team. Santiago Patino and Benji Michel flanked Josué Colmán on the forward line, in front of a defensive-minded midfield of Cristian Higuita, Cam Lindley, and Uri Rosell. Presumed starter Lamine Sané slotted into the back line with Dillon Powers as the starting right back. Greg Ranjitsingh started in goal.

New England started a lot more regulars, including Teal Bunbury and Cristian Penilla up front, which looked to be a mismatch against the back line of the Lions. However, it didn’t turn out that way in the end.

Ranjitsingh was called into action in the sixth minute, making a good reaction save on a header by Antonio Delamea. The shot came off a New England free kick out near the right sideline. The Revs controlled the ball early and tried to work through the Orlando defense, but two different attacks broke down when Penilla tried to flop to draw a penalty on Powers, who was well positioned.

Referee Robert Sibiga didn’t buy either dive and booked the Revs’ attacker after the second simulation in the 11th minute. Penilla was a non-factor after that.

Bunbury timed his run well and got in behind the back line in the 13th minute, but Sané’s recovery run bothered him just enough to make him send his shot wide of the far post. Three minutes later, Carles Gil fired a shot that Ranjitsingh stopped after a bad turnover by Silva.

Orlando then started to climb into the match. Patino forced a good save from Matt Turner in the 23rd minute and Michel made a great move to free himself on the right side a minute later, only to see Turner deny his attempt.

In the 29th minute, the Lions took the lead. Rosell fired inside the left post from the penalty spot after a handball on the Revs defense denied a Higuita cross from finding Michel on the right. Uri sent Turner the wrong way and easily put Orlando on the board.

“You don’t think about it,” Rosell said about his approach to the penalty. “You are there and you feel confident and you just say, ‘hey, I want to do it because I know I am going to score.’ And that’s what I did.”

Three minutes later it was Rosell again. This time he got free on the right side and tried to cross for a wide-open Patino at the back post, but Brandon Bye deflected the ball past his own goalkeeper, doubling the Lions’ lead in the 32nd minute.

Sané got a free header on a corner kick in the 43rd minute but hit his shot right at Turner. A minute later, the Lions should have made it three goals when a gorgeous passing play from Colmán and Lindley sent Patino in alone on the left. The rookie hit his shot inches wide of the back post on his best opportunity of the half. Orlando took its 2-0 lead into the break.

Orlando City blew the game open with three goals in a five-minute span early in the second half. Michel laid off a ball on the right for Lindley and the Homegrown midfielder made a perfect cross-field switch to Colmán in space. The Paraguayan smashed a shot inside the far post to make it 3-0 in the 47th minute.

Two minutes later, Rosell slipped a ball in for Patino and the rookie, who grew up in Orlando, blasted his shot through Turner to make it 4-0.

“It was an amazing feeling,” Patino said of his goal, which he scored in front of 12 friends and family members — a number he said would have been larger if he had been able to give out more tickets. “It’s always great to help the team and to score a goal. And as a forward, every goal helps with confidence and how you play. So tonight was great. We won. We won the tournament and it was great teamwork.”

Colmán’s pass found Higuita in the 51st minute and the Colombian made it 5-0.

“I thought he played very well. I thought his understanding of space was very good,” O’Connor said of Colmán. “Not just him. I thought there was a number of players who played really, really well. The intensity that they were able to play at was great to see. Everyone will leave encouraged by the work the players were able to put in tonight.”

The Lions added a sixth with Dillon Powers scoring from the penalty spot after Michel was in alone and was taken down by Turner after playing the ball in behind. Sibiga took it easy on Turner and only booked him when in a regular-season game it likely would have been a sending off for the last defender.

Teal Bunbury scored a pair of goals late in garbage time to pull something back for the Revs, but it was a comprehensive victory for the Lions.

Lindley, Colmán, Diop, Rosell, and Higuita played exceptionally well for Orlando City.

“There are so many positives that we’ll be able to draw upon, which is really encouraging,” O’Connor said. “The movement, the understanding of space was excellent. There are quite a few things we can be pleased about, but again, it’s preseason. For us, it’s fantastic to have the level of performance, considering we’ve changed out the whole 11. To get that level of performance is excellent.”

“I think we’re on a great path,” Rosell said. “We played two games with almost two different teams and both won, so that means we have a lot of depth, which is good for a long run. I feel like now we can start building from here.”

The Lions will play Minnesota United on Saturday afternoon in a closed-door friendly to finish the preseason.

New York City FC finished the Orlando City Invitational without a win, falling 1-0 to Minnesota United on an own goal by Ben Sweat. The Pigeons were outscored 3-1 in their two matches at Orlando City Stadium, while the Loons won both their matches by 1-0 scores on goals that should never have happened. Prior to beating NYCFC on an own goal tonight, Minnesota beat New England on Saturday on a howler of a giveaway outside the penalty area by goalkeeper Brad Knighton.

Orlando City

2023 Orlando City Season in Review: Jack Lynn

The 2022 draft pick spent most of his time with Orlando City B during his second year in purple.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Jack Lynn joined Orlando City through the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, when he was selected in the first round by the Lions with the No. 18 overall pick. He was then signed to a one-year deal in February of last year with options for the next three years. Much of his time during his first season was spent with Orlando City B, although he did make a few appearances for the first team.

Let’s take a look back at Lynn’s second year in purple.

Statistical Breakdown

Lynn made three appearances in Major League Soccer with the senior side, all of which came as a substitute, and finished with 33 minutes on the field. Defensively, he recorded one interception and two clearances, while committing one foul. Offensively, he won four aerial duels, took one shot, which was on target, drew two fouls, and completed three long balls while passing with 76% accuracy. He did not score a goal or assist on one.

As in 2022, the majority of Lynn’s season was spent in MLS Next PRO with Orlando City B. He had a phenomenal year in the developmental league, and his campaign finished with him being named the league’s MVP and winning the Golden Boot. He played in 27 games for the young Lions, 20 of which were starts, and racked up 1,826 minutes. Defensively, he recorded three interceptions, committed 16 fouls, and was shown four yellow cards. On offense, he took 72 shots and put 40 of them on target, scored 19 goals, drew 15 fouls, and passed with 74% accuracy while completing 13 long balls and 12 key passes but no assists.

Best Game

There weren’t a lot to pick from, but I’ve gone with his longest appearance of the year, which was a 20-minute shift during Orlando City’s 4-3 comeback win over the Columbus Crew. He didn’t record many statistics on the night, as he won two aerial duels, committed a foul, and passed with 50% accuracy. However, he provided a big target up front as the Lions continued to lump the ball forward in search of goals, and he factored in on Facundo Torres’ goal, pulling players away so Ramiro Enrique could collect the ball and start the move that ended with the ball in the back of the net. Michael Citro graded him as a 5 out of 10 in our Player Grades piece, the only game this year in which he received a grade.

2023 Final Grade

As he fell well short of the 450 minute threshold that we require for a player to be given, Lynn has been given a grade of incomplete for the 2023 season. After spending the bulk of his time with Orlando City B in his first two seasons as a Lion, we still don’t have a great idea of what he might be able to contribute to the first team, and we simply need to see more of him to get a better read on his abilities.

2024 Outlook

Lynn remains fairly young and inexpensive, has option years left on his contract, and just tore up MLS Next PRO with Orlando City B. With there being some whispers about overseas teams scouting Duncan McGuire, and the Lions already a little thin at the striker position, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Lynn’s option year exercised. What sort of role he’ll have will then likely depend on what he’s able to show during preseason, but if nothing else he should remain a key part of OCB.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 12/8/23

Orlando City will play Flamengo in preseason friendly, Kylie Strom signs new deal, USMNT’s Copa America group draw, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Happy Friday! The work week is almost over and I’m really looking forward to the weekend. I’ll be celebrating a friend’s birthday and knocking out most of the holiday shopping that I haven’t gotten around to just yet. Hopefully the malls aren’t too chaotic. Regardless, it should be a nice next few days. But for now, let’s get to the links!

Orlando Will Face Flamengo in 2024 FC Series

Orlando City’s first preseason game will take place on Jan. 27 when it takes on Flamengo at Camping World Stadium as part of the 2024 FC Series, which was previously known as the Florida Cup. Going up against one of Brazil’s powerhouses should be great preparation for the Lions after a record season in 2023 that earned them a spot in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup. It will be the second meeting between the two sides after a 2015 friendly in Brazil that Flamengo won 1-0. It will be nice to see the Lions in action at Camping World Stadium again and the kickoff time for next month’s match will be unveiled at a later time.

Kylie Strom Signs New Deal With Pride

Defender Kylie Strom, who was a free agent following the 2023 season, will return to the Orlando Pride after signing a three-year deal with the club. She joined the Pride in the summer of 2021 from Atletico Madrid and started in 26 games this past year, holding down the left back position. The Pride now retain their starting back line heading into 2024 and have full protection in Tuesday’s expansion draft. Although the defense struggled at times, it improved as the season wore on and the Pride nearly made the playoffs. Jordyn Listro is now the only free agent left from last year’s squad.

NWSL Announces Blueprint for 2024 Schedule

The framework for the 2024 NWSL season was revealed and the 182-match regular season has been formatted so that NWSL games don’t take place during international breaks. The biggest change is that the NWSL Challenge Cup is no longer a tournament and now just a match between the NWSL Shield winner and the NWSL champion, meaning San Diego Wave FC will play NJ/NY Gotham FC on March 15. However, there will be a weekend tournament organized by the league for all 14 teams during a break in the regular season while the Summer Olympics take place. The playoffs will feature eight teams and won’t include byes this year, with the quarterfinals starting on Nov. 9 and the NWSL Championship set for Nov. 23. Clubs can begin their preseason camps as early as Jan. 22 and no later than Jan. 29.

Copa America Teams Learn Their Groups

The United States Men’s National Team will take on Uruguay, Panama, and Bolivia in its group in the 2024 Copa America. Uruguay was one of the strongest opponents the U.S. could get drawn against, as the South American team has scored 13 goals so far in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying. The important match between the USMNT and Uruguay will take place on July 1 in Kansas City. We’ll see how much Orlando City winger Facundo Torres plays for Uruguay in the tournament. As for Orlando’s Peruvian pair of Pedro Gallese and Wilder Cartagena, Peru is in a tough group against Argentina, Chile, and whichever nation prevails between Canada and Trinidad & Tobago.

We also have a clearer idea on which teams will be playing in Orlando. Two games will take place at Exploria Stadium, with Chile playing either Canada or Trinidad & Tobago on June 29 before Bolivia and Panama face off on July 1.

Gisele Thompson Signs With Angel City FC

Angel City FC signed young defender Gisele Thompson to a three-year contract that had this year count as the first year, with an option for an additional year in 2026. She turned 18 earlier this month and turned down an offer to play at Stanford to instead sign with Angel City, meaning the club did not need to use a draft pick for her to join. Gisele is the sister of Alyssa Thompson, who Angel City traded up to select with the first pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft. They are the youngest players on Angel City’s roster and will become the second pair of sisters to play in the league.

Free Kicks

  • The Colorado Rapids are reportedly in talks with American goalkeeper Zack Steffen to sign him from Manchester City.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!

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Orlando City

2023 Orlando City Season in Review: Favian Loyola

The Homegrown midfielder spent most of the year with OCB but made his MLS debut in July.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Orlando City signed midfielder Favian Loyola to a Homegrown Player deal through 2025 on Dec. 2, 2022, with club options for 2026 and 2027. The OCSC Academy product became the club’s 13th all-time Homegrown signing and it was no surprise after his fantastic 2022 season. The Camp Lejeune, NC, was coming off a breakout year in the club’s youth system, which culminated with his selection to the 2022 MLS NEXT All-Star Game, in which he was named MVP. After starting the 2022 season on an academy contract, Loyola earned an MLS NEXT Pro deal, signing it last August. When he signed his Homegrown deal in December he became the first player to climb the club’s developmental ladder from the academy, to the current OCB setup in MLS NEXT Pro, to the first team.

Let’s take a look back at Loyola’s 2023 campaign, which was abbreviated due to surgery on his arm to remove a blood clot on Aug. 27.

Statistical Breakdown

Loyola played in just one MLS match with the Lions, making his first-team debut July 1 in a 3-1 home win over the Chicago Fire. The 18-year-old came on as a substitute in the third minute of stoppage time for Facundo Torres and is officially credited with one minute played, although that match went to nine minutes of stoppage. In that short amount of time he managed six touches and attempted six passes, completing all of them — one of them being a key pass. Loyola did not attempt a shot or record any defensive stats, but he did commit one foul, but he was not booked for it.

The bulk of Loyola’s 2023 season was spent with Orlando City B in MLS NEXT Pro, where he was a key player off the bench for Martin Perelman’s side. He appeared in 20 of the team’s 28 matches, starting seven, and logging 732 minutes. He scored two goals and added three assists, putting 10 of his 21 shots on target during the year. Loyola completed 80.3% of his passes with OCB, served up seven key passes and six successful long balls, and completed three crosses. He recorded four tackles and three interceptions, committed 11 fouls while drawing 10, and was booked three times.

Best Game

With just the one MLS match to his credit, Loyola’s MLS debut against Chicago was his best game of the 2023 Major League Soccer Season. It was a memorable match, as he subbed on for Torres, who set the tone for the Lions with a brace that night, and it was also the game in which Mauricio Pereyra made his 100th appearance with Orlando City. Loyola made the most of his short amount of time on the pitch, despite committing a foul during his first minute of MLS play. He settled in and completed all six of his passes and created a scoring chance just seconds after his foul, when he sent a ball to Ramiro Enrique, although the Argentine had his shot attempt blocked from a tight angle.

2023 Final Grade

As Loyola came up short of the minimum total of 450 minutes played to receive a rating on our 1-10 scale, The Mane Land has no choice but to mark his grade as incomplete for the 2023 season. If his meteoric growth continues, Loyola will likely have much more than one appearance next season as his skills at passing and finding pockets of space translate well to the next level. He wasn’t able to return to the pitch after the surgery for his blood clot, but he should be ready to go for 2024.

2024 Outlook

With Loyola being just 18 years old and the club having him under contract, I would expect his role to be the same in 2024. He’ll be learning the ropes with OCB, playing most of the season with the club’s reserve side in MLS NEXT Pro, where he will continue to be a key player. However, if he continues to develop his game, he could push for more late substitute appearances with the first team or even get a start if the Lions draw a lower-league team in the U.S. Open Cup. One thing Loyola will need to work on is controlling the ball, as he turned the ball over 15 times with OCB in 2023.

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