With Orlando City’s season coming to an end last weekend, its now time to take stock of how 2022 went for the men wearing the purple and gold. In our 2022 Orlando City Season in Review pieces, The Mane Land staff will look at how each player on the roster performed statistically, what their best game was, award them a grade out of 10 for the season, and look ahead to what 2023 holds for them. The only caveat is that a player must have played more than 450 combined minutes in league play and the U.S. Open Cup in order to receive a grade.
Let’s get things started.
Jack Lynn joined Orlando City by way of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, when he was selected by Orlando City as the No. 18 overall pick in the first round. Lynn was subsequently signed to a one-year deal on Feb. 16, with club options for 2023, 2024 and 2025. With Lynn’s selection, OCSC signaled its intent to try to make up for some of the loss of attacking firepower that went hand in hand with the departures of Daryl Dike, Nani, and Chris Mueller.
So how did Lynn perform in 2022?
While he saw plenty of time in MLS NEXT Pro with Orlando City B, Lynn did not feature much for the senior team, which was to be expected with the signings of Ercan Kara and Facundo Torres, and the returns of Alexandre Pato, Tesho Akindele, and Benji Michel. In total, Lynn made four appearances as a substitute (three in league play and one in the U.S. Open Cup), and totaled five minutes of time on the field, with all but one coming in league play. He attempted one pass in the 1-0 home loss to the Philadelphia Union, which was not completed, and finished with a clean disciplinary record, having committed no fouls and received no bookings.
Given the scarcity of time he spent on the field and the lack of statistics, this is a little difficult to determine. However, I’ll give it to the 3-0 home loss to the New York Red Bulls, as that game was both his debut, and the match in which he spent the most time on the field (two minutes).
2022 Final Grade
Due to the low number of minutes he logged during his debut season with Orlando City, The Mane Land staff gave Lynn a grade of incomplete for 2022. Coming in as a young player behind a Designated Player signing at striker, and facing competition for the backup spot with seasoned veterans, meant that Lynn found playing time very difficult to come by.
It’s difficult to say what 2023 holds for Lynn where Orlando City is concerned. He put up impressive numbers in MLS NEXT Pro, finishing third in the Golden Boot race with 15 goals and four assists in 18 matches. That seems to signal promising things for the future, but in a season where Pato went down in early August with a season-ending knee injury, and Kara struggled at times with multiple knocks, Lynn only managed three appearances from the substitutes’ bench in games that Orlando City had already lost. He also didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet during five games on loan with San Antonio FC in the USL Championship. Compound that with the Lions’ struggles in front of goal all year, and the fact that the coaching staff didn’t think it was worth seeing if Lynn could knock a few in at MLS level, and it may not be a good sign for him.
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Orlando exercises his option for the 2023 season and sends him back on loan to the USL Championship, to see what he can do in more than five games at a higher level. We know from the MLSPA Salary Guide that he’s only making $65,500 a year, so Orlando wouldn’t need to break the bank to keep him around. Unless he makes a big jump in preseason camp (if his option is picked up), I don’t think we’ll be seeing a ton of him with the first team, but you never know.
Look for more Orlando City Season in Review pieces over the course of the next few weeks.