Purple Pipeline: The latest from Orlando City Academy U17s, U15s and Orlando City B

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The latest updates on the latest from the Orlando City Academy and Orlando City B via the Purple Pipeline, presented by adidas:

MLS NEXT U17: Lions remain top of Pro Pathway standings.

Following a 1-1 draw two weekends ago, with Gustavo Caraballo scoring the lone goal, the U17s fell to Nashville SC 3-1. Pedro Cruz scored the lone goal in that match.

Despite the setback, the young Lions still remain atop the Pro Pathway standings with 22 points in 12 matches.

Their next match will be at DC United's U17s with kickoff set for 10 a.m. ET on March 23.

MLS NEXT U15: Young Lions top of the table

A 3-0 win over Kendall Miami Rush two weekends ago secured the Florida MLS Flex league title, five points clear of second-place team Inter Miami CF. Zach Olah, David Giraldo and Brady Kendall provided the goals that saw the Young Lions through to the title.

This past weekend, the team secured another big win, a 3-2 result against Nashville. The win puts the U15s into second place in the standings, three points behind leaders Charlotte FC and Atlanta United with one less game played. Zach Olah, Sean Johnson and new signing John Lewis scored the goals in that one.

Just like the U17s, the U15s next match will be at DC United, with kickoff set for noon this Saturday.

Orlando City B: Lions begin 2024 season with road win over Atlanta United 2

Orlando City B opened the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season with a 3-2 win over Atlanta United 2, with Colin Guske’s 49th-minute goal deciding the match.

The home team struck early after Javiar Armas finished off a penalty kick just 11 minutes into the game, but the Lions responded back with authority. Jhon Solís got behind the Atlanta defense and drew a penalty of his own, which he converted to even the score. Just four minutes later, newcomer Yutaro Tsukada drilled a free kick from just outside the box to give OCB the lead they’d never give back.

The Lions continued to attack early in the second half with Alex Freeman taking on several Atlanta defenders before the ball found its way to another OCB debutant, Colin Guske, who found the back of the net in the 49th minute to give OCB a comfortable 3-1 lead.

Atlanta United 2 made a late push however, with several attacks into the Lions’ defensive third. United made the game interesting for Orlando in the first minute of stoppage time when Erik Centeno laid in a cross to Efraín Morales, who headed it in past the goalkeeper. In the end, Orlando City held on for a 3-2 road victory.

The Lions will travel to Joe W. Davis Stadium on Friday, March 22, to take on Huntsville City FC in another MLS NEXT Pro match. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.