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Top 10 Moments of 2023: Jack Lynn Named MLS NEXT Pro MVP

Our No. 5 moment of the year features Orlando City’s Jack Lynn being named MVP of MLS NEXT Pro and earning a share of the league’s Golden Boot.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

As we count down to the new year of 2024 — which will be Orlando City’s 10th in MLS and the Orlando Pride’s ninth in the NWSL — and say goodbye to 2023, it’s time to look back at the club’s 10 best moments of the year as selected by The Mane Land staff via vote.

Jack Lynn no doubt entered his second pro season looking to get more first-team minutes. He had an excellent rookie season in MLS NEXT Pro with Orlando City B in 2022, setting an OCB single-season record with 15 goals and staying in the league’s Golden Boot race up until the final few matches of the season. He saw five minutes of action with the first team, and with a strong year with the reserve side, it’s likely the young striker felt he was ready to step into a larger role in 2023.

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.

But Lynn didn’t see much more time with the MLS Lions in 2023. He made three appearances with the senior side, all of which came as a substitute, and finished with 33 minutes played. On the attacking end, 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. Defensively, he recorded one interception and two clearances, while committing one foul.

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 piling up the accolades for his play on the pitch. He finished the season with a share of the Golden Boot with his 19 goals. He was also named to the league’s Best XI for the second consecutive season. However, his biggest prize yet was being named MLS NEXT Pro Most Valuable Player on Oct. 20.

Lynn played in 26 of the Young Lions’ 28 games this past season, 19 of which were starts, and he racked up 1,760 minutes. He also played in OCB’s postseason loss at Columbus Crew 2. On the offensive end, 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, surprisingly, no assists). Defensively, he recorded three interceptions, committed 16 fouls, and was shown four yellow cards.

Although the young striker wasn’t named MLS NEXT Pro Player of the Matchday at any point in the 2023 season, he did win Goal of the Matchday once — against Chicago Fire II on July 23. It was, by Lynn’s standards, a typical goal. He made a smart run, attacked the ball in the air, and headed it past the goalkeeper.

Lynn added a second goal in the 72nd minute and the Young Lions went on to win 3-2 that day.

The 23-year-old was a vital piece of Martin Perelman’s attack for OCB throughout the season, helping the Young Lions reach the postseason for only the second time ever and the first time since joining MLS NEXT Pro. To capture the trophy as the league’s most valuable player is a major honor for Lynn and shows how vital he was to OCB’s success during the 2023 season.

That accomplishment is certainly worthy of being immortalized among our top moments for the club in 2023.


Come back through New Year’s Eve as we count down the remainder of Orlando City’s top 10 moments of 2023.

Previous Top Moments of 2023

10. The Orlando Pride select breakout stars Emily Madril and Messiah Bright in the 2023 NWSL Draft.
9. OCB draws at Chicago and then wins a shootout, clinching its first playoff spot since 2016.

8. Orlando Pride dump Portland Thorns 3-1 in June, kick-starting the team’s push for the playoffs.

7. Orlando City gets a late goal to defeat Santos Laguna 3-2 in Leagues Cup play, earning its first win over Liga MX competition.

6. Orlando Pride sign Brazilian international Adriana.

Orlando City B

Orlando City B Announces Schedule for 2024 MLS NEXT Pro Season

Discover where, when, and who Orlando City B will play during the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

The 2024 MLS NEXT Pro schedule was released this afternoon for Orlando City B. This season will see an increase from 27 to 29 teams in the league with the additions of Carolina Core FC and Chattanooga FC — the first independent clubs in the league since 2022. The schedule remains at 28 games, with each team playing 14 at home and 14 away. Most OCB home games will take place at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, but the location of the home opener against Inter Miami II has yet to be announced.

OCB will start the 2024 season with a two-game road trip, beginning on March 16 against Atlanta United 2 and concluding on March 22 against Huntsville City FC. The home opener against Inter Miami II will take place on April 2 with a location to be determined in the near future. The season will end on the road as well, as the Young Lions will face FC Cincinnati 2 at TQL Stadium, home of the first team, on Oct. 6. The Eastern Conference games on Decision Day will all begin at 1 p.m.

MLS NEXT Pro has decided to change its division format to include the new teams. OCB will be a part of the new Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference, including Atlanta United 2, Huntsville City FC, Inter Miami II, Crown Legacy FC, Carolina Core FC, and Chattanooga FC. Chicago Fire II, Columbus Crew 2, and FC Cincinnati 2, former members of the Central Division with OCB, will move to the Northeast Division.

For the third consecutive season, MLS NEXT Pro teams will only play opponents from their own conference, limiting travel. The Young Lions will play each team in the Southeast Division three times and the teams from the Northeast Division once. The exceptions are New York Red Bulls II and New York City FC II, who they’ll face twice this year.

The busiest month for OCB this season will be in April when it plays five games. The Young Lions will play four games in May, June, July, August, and September, twice in March, and once in October. The team will compete on all seven days of the week this season. The most common day the Young Lions will play is on Sunday (13 games), which was expected since the first team usually plays on Saturday. Additionally, they have five games on Saturday, three games each on Wednesday and Friday, two games on Thursday, and one game on Monday and Tuesday.

The addition of two teams sees an expansion of the playoffs from 14 to 16 teams. The top four seeds in each conference will host the first round and, for the second consecutive season, pick their opponents. The highest remaining seed will pick its opponent in the second round, setting up the conference semifinal matchups. The postseason will include 15 games this year, concluding with the MLS NEXT Pro Cup.

The rules from the 2023 season are returning to MLS NEXT Pro for the third consecutive year. The league has been a place for MLS to try out new ideas, some of which are included in the top division this season. Once again, games tied after 90 minutes will go directly to a shootout for an additional point. Rules regarding players receiving treatment, serving red card suspensions against the same team, and substitutes leaving the field within 10 seconds all remain in place this year.

The majority of regular season games and all Decision Day games will again air on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass. The remaining games will be streamed live on mlsnextpro.com.

Orlando City B’s 2024 Schedule

  • Saturday, March 16 at Atlanta United 2, 3 p.m.
  • Friday, March 22 at Huntsville City FC, 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 2 vs. Inter Miami CF II, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 11 at Philadelphia Union II, 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 14 vs. Carolina Core FC, 3 p.m.
  • Friday, April 19 at Crown Legacy FC, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 28 vs. Toronto FC II, 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 4 at Chattanooga FC, 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 8 vs. New York Red Bulls II, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 15 at Columbus Crew 2, 12 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 26 vs. Huntsville City FC, 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 2 at Inter Miami CF II, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 13 vs Chattanooga FC, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 26 vs. Atlanta United 2, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29 at New York City FC II, 8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 7 vs. Carolina Core FC, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 14 vs Inter Miami CF II, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 21 at New York Red Bulls II, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 27 at Chattanooga FC, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 3 at Carolina Core FC, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 11 vs. Crown Legacy FC, 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 18 vs. New York City FC II, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 23 at Atlanta United 2, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 1 vs. Huntsville City FC, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 8 at Crown Legacy FC, 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 15 vs. New England Revolution II, 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 23 vs. Chicago Fire II, 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 6 at FC Cincinnati 2, 1 p.m.
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Orlando City

Orlando City Signs Defender Tahir Reid-Brown to Homegrown Player Contract

Orlando City has signed teenage defender Tahir Reid-Brown to a Homegrown Player contract.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City announced this afternoon that the club has signed defender Tahir Reid-Brown to a first-team contract. The four-year deal runs through the 2027 season with a club option for 2028. Reid-Brown becomes the 15th player to sign a Homegrown contract with the club.

“Tahir is a player that has been in our academy system for a while now and someone that we’ve seen really grow through our development pathway,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “He has great potential for growth as a player and we’re excited to see how he takes his opportunity with the first team.” 

The 17-year-old joined the Orlando City Development Academy in 2020 and quickly rose through the ranks, signing an academy contract with OCB for the 2022 season. In two seasons with the MLS NEXT Pro side, Reid-Brown has made 16 appearances with four starts and recorded 409 minutes. Most of those appearances occurred in 2023, when the defender made 10 appearances and one start.

Reid-Brown also made 13 appearances in the academy during 2023, helping the U-17 team reach the MLS NEXT Cup semifinals for the third consecutive year. His time with the academy team saw him named to the 2023 MLS NEXT All-Star Game, the third Orlando City player to receive the honor.

Internationally, Reid-Brown has been a part of the United States Men’s National Team youth setup. He made his debut for the U.S. in November 2022 and was named to the 2023 FIFA Under-17 World Cup squad, making three appearances in the competition.

What It Means for Orlando City

Reid-Brown is a recent star in the Orlando City academy, joining in 2020 at 14 years old. This past year was a big one for him in which he became a regular for his national side and on the OCB team sheet. At just 17 years old, the 6-foot-2 defender still has a lot of development before he’ll make regular first-team appearances, but this signing makes him available for selection if necessary.

Before he becomes a first-team regular, Reid-Brown will need to become a regular with the second team. In addition to his 10 appearances, he was an unused substitute 14 times in 2023. The regular starting center backs were Abdi Salim and Nabi Kibunguchy with Franco Perez at left back — the two positions Reid-Brown plays. He’ll be looking to work his way into the starting lineup for the Young Lions this coming season.

Whether Reid-Brown becomes a regular center back or left back remains to be seen. The club also has a Homegrown center back in 19-year-old Thomas Williams, but he’s seen a significant dip in playing time with OCB and hasn’t been impressive while on the field. Reid-Brown could take over Williams’ spot as the up-and-coming defender with a strong 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

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Orlando City B

Top 10 Moments of 2023: OCB Clinches First Playoff Spot Since 2016

Our No. 9 moment features the Young Lions reaching the postseason for the first time since joining MLS NEXT Pro.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

As we count down to the new year of 2024 — which will be Orlando City’s 10th in MLS and the Orlando Pride’s ninth in the NWSL — and say goodbye to 2023, it’s time to look back at the club’s 10 best moments of the year as selected by The Mane Land staff via vote.

Orlando City B traveled to visit Chicago Fire II on Friday, Sept. 15 in what was essentially a postseason play-in match. The Young Lions were 12-10-4 with one shootout win and sitting on 41 points and had a much-improved season up to that point. They were in the top five of the Eastern Conference just one year removed from a ninth-place finish in which OCB finished a full 15 points below the playoff line. It seemed like for the first time in seven years, OCB had a real opportunity to reach the postseason.

Behind the scoring of forwards Jack Lynn and Shak Mohammed and an evenly spread number of goals among their teammates, the Young Lions had navigated well through the 2023 season, largely on the strength of their home form, where they were 8-3-2 heading into the match in Chicago at SeatGeek Stadium. But OCB needed a result to clinch a spot in the postseason against a feisty Chicago Fire II side that was giving chase in the Eastern Conference race. Both teams were on the verge of a playoff berth.

Things didn’t start well for Orlando City B, as Sergio Oregel opened the scoring for Chicago in just the 17th minute off an assist from Dylan Borso. It was an unfortunate moment for the Young Lions, as the ball took a couple of kind deflections for the hosts, which left OCB unable to clear.

OCB had a high-powered offense all season, but on Sept. 15 it seemed like the Young Lions were misfiring. They mustered just 12 shot attempts all game long and only three were on target, and as time started winding down, it seemed like the goal would never come.

But as was the case most of the season, just when things looked problematic for OCB, the Young Lions somehow responded. The equalizer waited until the 71st minute but it eventually came. Midfielder Wilfredo Rivera, who replaced Franco Perez just 10 minutes earlier, was the difference maker. Juninho found himself at the end line with the ball and attempted a pass across goal for the onrushing Rivera. A defender got a foot to the pass, which deflected it up into the air. That was no trouble for Rivera, who launched himself forward and sent a diving header past Chicago goalkeeper Jeffrey Gall to level the match at 1-1.

The Young Lions on the pitch may not have known it as the game clock ticked up toward 90, but results elsewhere meant that a single point was good enough to make the playoffs. That didn’t stop OCB from trying to pick out a late winner. Although Orlando came close a couple of times, the match ended at 1-1. In MLS NEXT Pro, a draw means a shootout to determine the winner of a second point.

In their previous four draws on the season, the Young Lions had only won one of the four ensuing penalty shootouts. But OCB set the right tone immediately. Homegrown fullback Alex Freeman scored the opening penalty and Javier Otero guessed correctly to deny Luka Prpa, the first Fire shooter.

But this was OCB, so things never go as planned. Cristian Medina sent OCB’s second penalty right down the middle, but Gal was able to keep his feet centered as he dove, denying the attempt. Noah Egan scored to even up the shootout at 1-1 after two rounds.

Juninho and Jhon Solis took care of the next two OCB penalties, but the Fire answered each time, setting up sudden death starting in Round 5. But five rounds were sufficient. Cristofer Acuna drilled home OCB’s fifth attempt into the roof of the net to put the pressure on Chicago. Otero then mirrored Gal’s earlier shootout save by leaving his feet in to block a shot down the middle. The goalkeeper’s second save in spot kicks clinched a second point for OCB and the Young Lions reached the postseason for the first time since 2016.

To get a sense of how long ago that playoff appearance was, the Young Lions were playing in the USL and featured players such as Richie Laryea, Hadji Barry, Lewis Neal, Conor Donovan, Tony Rocha, and Michael Cox.

Orlando City puts more emphasis on player development than results when it comes to the reserve side. This often means a lot of player rotation to get guys minutes, rather than finding a cohesive lineup and sticking with it. That isn’t always conducive to the best results and OCB has generally found itself low in the standings each year.

But in 2023, the Young Lions bucked that trend. It didn’t matter who started, who came off the bench, or which first-team players made guest appearances. Despite a revolving door of starters and reserves, OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman was able to get consistent results at home and steal enough on the road to keep his squad in playoff contention all season. That culminated with a shootout win at Chicago in mid-September that locked down a postseason berth for Orlando, making it a worthy inclusion in our top moments of the year.

The Young Lions went on to win at home over FC Cincinnati 2 on Decision Day and visited Columbus Crew 2 in the first round of the postseason. Unfortunately, the reserve side met the same fate as the first team, with a playoff exit at the hands of Columbus. Juninho conceded two penalties in that match — the second one with the game tied in the 88th minute — allowing Crew 2 to squeak past OCB at home 2-1 despite the hosts not scoring in the run of play. Perez was able to cancel out the first one with a goal of his own but the Young Lions weren’t able to recover from the late one.

Still, it was a solid season for Perelman’s OCB team and hopefully the start of a more successful trend for Orlando City B.


Come back through New Year’s Eve as we count down the remainder of Orlando City’s top 10 moments of 2023.

Previous Top Moments of 2023

10. The Orlando Pride select breakout stars Emily Madril and Messiah Bright in the 2023 NWSL Draft.

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