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Lion Links: 8/30/22

OCB draws 2-2 vs. FC Cincinnati 2, Favian Loyola signs MLS NEXT Pro contract, Lions make MLS Team of the Week, and more.

NWSL: Orlando Pride at Kansas City Current Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers! There was a bit of positive team news yesterday as Favian Loyola joined the professional ranks within the club and made quick work of proving he is worth the investment. More news came down the line as a pair of senior Lions also made headlines for their winning performance against NYCFC on Sunday. And by now, we are all looking forward to the fixture against the Seattle Sounders tomorrow night.

Before we get to the news of the day, let’s wish Orlando Pride rookie forward Julie Doyle a happy 24th birthday! Now scroll on down and check out today’s links.

OCB Draws FC Cincinnati 2 at Home

Orlando City B drew 2-2 with FC Cincinnati 2 last night at Osceola Heritage Park. Newly signed professional, Favian Loyola, scored both goals for the Young Lions. As with MLS NEXT Pro’s league rules, the match then went on to a penalty shootout, where Cincinnati bested Orlando 7-6 to claim the extra point.

Loyola Signs Professional Contract

As teased above, Orlando City has rewarded midfielder Favian Loyola for his efforts this season. At only 17 years old, Loyola has inked an MLS NEXT Pro Contract with OCB.

“We are very excited for Favian to take this next step in his career,” Orlando City Technical Director and Assistant General Manager Ricardo Moreira said in a club press release. “Following his success with the academy, Favian’s move to Orlando City B epitomizes the pathway we are working to create from MLS NEXT to MLS NEXT Pro and hopefully one day to the first team. We’re looking forward to watching his progression as he continues with OCB the rest of this season.”

Lions Make MLS Team of the Week

Orlando City midfielder Facundo Torres has made both the MLS Team of the Week and the list of Young-Player Performers of the Week for his efforts against New York City FC. The midfielder was a key part of the passing game while Mauricio Pereyra was away on suspension for yellow card accumulation. Torres completed 74.6% of his 55 passes, nine crosses, one long ball, and assisted Junior Urso’s goal on the night. For the second straight game, Tesho Akindele played the hero for the Lions and this time was rewarded for his super-sub performance and game-winning goal to find himself on the TOTW bench.

“There is really so much excitement that nothing really crosses your mind,” said Akindele of the late winner. “I think the team feels we have the the momentum behind us. I said it last week, but I I think we’re coming into our own identity, and you see hard work. To me, that’s the number one thing.”

USWNT Roster Update

Racing Louisville midfielder Savannah DeMelo has received her first international senior call-up. She will replace Washington Spirit forward Trinity Rodman for the upcoming friendly matches vs. Nigeria on the 23-player roster. DeMelo has had a solid rookie campaign, boasting three goals and one assist while starting all of her 17 regular-season appearances. She leads all NWSL rookies with 1,520 minutes played and was named July’s Rookie of the Month for the league.

DeMelo has featured for the United States in the youth ranks. She played at both the 2016 and 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups, where she led the U.S. in scoring with four goals in the 2018 edition.

Free Kicks

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Tuesday. It’s almost time for some midweek action! Vamos Orlando!