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Lion Links: 1/12/22

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Orlando City SC makes its MLS SuperDraft picks, Orlando Pride acquire forward Darian Jenkins, MLS SuperDraft results, and more.

Chicago Red Stars v Orlando Pride Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope you’re doing well down in Florida. I’ve been busy applying for jobs in the Chicagoland area and I’m looking forward to my next challenge. Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy birthday to Orlando City left back Joao Moutinho as he turns 24 today!

Orlando City SC Makes Three MLS SuperDraft Picks

Orlando City had the 18th pick in each of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft’s three rounds. The Lions’ first-round selection was forward Jack Lynn from Notre Dame. Lynn scored 31 goals and had eight assists in his collegiate career and helped the Fighting Irish win an ACC Championship title in 2021. Head Coach Oscar Pareja gave Lynn a call after choosing him and the young forward is excited to get to work in Orlando.

The Lions selected defender Nathan Dossantos from Marshall in the second round. The center back won an NCAA championship in 2020 and helped the Thundering Herd earn nine clean sheets during his senior season. With their final pick, Orlando chose left-footed winger Nick Taylor out of UCF in the third round. Taylor played in 16 matches for the Knights in 2021, scoring three goals and adding nine assists. Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi shared his perspective on the team’s selections in this year’s draft.

“Yeah we’re very satisfied, we thought that it was a great draft considering we had number 18,” said Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi. “You don’t expect to have the guy that you wanted at that position, so considering that alone, we’re very happy with the draft. The guys have a chance to come in and show their talent, and right now we’re happy with the characteristics that we found in those guys.”

Orlando Pride Acquire Darian Jenkins from the Kansas City Current

The Orlando Pride acquired forward Darian Jenkins from the Kansas City Current in exchange for $75,000 in allocation money and the Pride’s natural second-round pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft. Jenkins started in 18 of her 22 appearances for Kansas City last year, scoring three goals. She has experience playing under Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell in college, tallying 29 goals and 12 assists across four years at UCLA. The 27-year-old will help fill the void in the attack after Alex Morgan and Jodie Taylor departed this off-season. Pride General Manager Ian Fleming gave some insight on the move for Jenkins.

“We are very proud to be able to welcome Darian to our club,” Orlando Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said in a press release. “We have followed Darian’s progress for some time and felt that this was the right moment and the right deal to be able to bring her to Orlando. It is a new and exciting era for the Pride and Darian’s qualities fit the vision we have for the future of our organization. We are pleased that she is going to be a part of it.”

How the Rest of the SuperDraft Shook Out

Charlotte FC made its first selection as an expansion club by picking Maryland Terrapins midfielder Ben Bender with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Bender was the first of five Generation Adidas players taken off the board with the first five picks. FC Cincinnati selected goalkeeper Roman Celentano out of Indiana with the second pick, FC Dallas chose Saint Louis forward Isaiah Parker third, the Houston Dynamo went with striker Thorleifur Ulfarsson out of Duke at No. 4, and Austin FC took defender Kipp Keller from Saint Louis with the fifth pick.

Parker and Keller were two of four Saint Louis players taken in the first round, with the Columbus Crew selecting goalkeeper Patrick Schulte with the 12th pick and forward Simon Becher chosen by the Vancouver Whitecaps with the 16th pick. Another notable selection came from the San Jose Earthquakes as they chose Burkinabé forward Ousseni Bouda from Stanford.

Pride Midfielder Will Feature in NWSL Series

The National Women’s Soccer League announced a new series called Game Changers that will put the spotlight on NWSL athletes’ lives off the pitch. The series will premiere on Thursday and will focus on topics such as the Black Women’s Player Collective, overcoming adversity, and small business. Orlando Pride midfielder Erika Tymrak will be featured as she’ll share details about returning to the field after retiring following the 2019 NWSL season to focus on her mental health. Former Pride player Jamia Fields will also speak about the clothing brand she launched since joining the Houston Dash. Chicago Red Stars defender Arin Wright, NJ/NY Gotham FC defender Imani Dorsey, and OL Reign midfielder Quinn will also be featured.

Free Kicks

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.