Jack Lynn, Josh Yaro score first MLS goals, and more

Jack Lynn

The FIFA International Break forced many MLS clubs to alter their squads for this weekend's action and a few former MLS NEXT Pro standouts delivered under the bright lights.

Jack Lynn and Josh Yaro both scored their first league goals for Orlando City and St. Louis CITY SC respectively while Patrick Agyemang also found the back of the net for Charlotte FC. 

Here is a rundown of Saturday's MLS action involving former MLS NEXT Pro players:

Jack Lynn scores in Orlando City's first MLS win of 2024

2023 MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player winner Jack Lynn got the starting nod in Oscar Pareja's side on Saturday and rewarded his manager with an impactful performance.

Lynn's close-range header in the 42nd minute boosted the host Lions in front against visiting Austin FC. Dagur Dan Thorhallsson delivered the service into the Austin FC box, and Lynn powered home past Brad Stuver for a 1-0 Orlando City lead.

Lynn would watch Nicolas Lodeiro ice the Lions eventual 2-0 home triumph before being substituted off in the 74th minute.

The 24-year-old also completed one tackle and won one individual duel in his outing at Exploria Stadium.

“Jack is not a surprise," Pareja said postgame about Lynn. "He is a player who has been patiently waiting for his opportunity. I could say he should have been playing more games at this point, with the way he has performed with the second group, and with what he has achieved as an individual. Today he opened the game, Jack’s discipline and constant effort showed up today and we’re happy about that."

Josh Yaro's first MLS goal helped St. Louis CITY SC tie DC United 2-2

Josh Yaro

Eight years after making his MLS debut with the Philadelphia Union, defender Josh Yaro finally got the savor the feeling of scoring an MLS goal.

Yaro, 26, scored the opening goal on Saturday night at CITYPARK as St. Louis CITY SC drew visiting DC United 2-2. After previous serving as a key player in St. Louis CITY2's inaugural MLS NEXT Pro campaign in 2022, Yaro has made 19 MLS appearances in Bradley Carnell's squad over the past two years.

Yaro's headed finish off of an Indiana Vassilev cross found the bottom-right corner for a 1-0 St. Louis lead after 19 minutes.

Although the teams would trade three additional goals in the remainder of the match, Yaro played the full 90 minutes in the heart of St. Louis' defense. The Ghanian International won eight duels, made one defensive interception, and made four recoveries.

Patrick Agyemang seals Charlotte FC's home win over the Columbus Crew

Patrick Agyemang

Charlotte FC grinded their way to three points at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday over the reigning MLS Cup Champions.

Patrick Agyemang scored the second and final goal for Dean Smith's squad in a 2-0 home triumph over the Columbus Crew. Despite being a man up since the 26th minute mark, Charlotte FC broke the deadlock with eight minutes to play through Ashley Westwood's goal before Agyemang sealed the result.

Agyemang started atop the Charlotte FC attack and was rewarded with his fifth MLS goal. Djibril Diani's pass was drilled home by the 23-year-old forward into the top-left corner.

It marked Agyemang's first league goal since Charlotte FC's 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs exit to the New York Red Bulls.

Agyemang scored 10 goals in 12 MLS NEXT Pro appearances last season for Crown Legacy FC in their inaugural league campaign.

"I was glad to put away my chance after West [Ashley Westwood] scored," Agyemang said postgame. "We want to make this place a fortress and being able to get a 2-0 win against the defending champs like Columbus is a good result for us."

Sota Kitahara makes first MLS start for the Seattle Sounders

21-year-old midfielder Sota Kitahara became the latest young talent to receive his first MLS start for the Seattle Sounders. 

Kitahara started and played 58 minutes for Brian Schmetzer's squad in a 3-2 road loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. Kitahara signed with the Sounders first team in October 2022 and previously spent time in the academy and with MLS NEXT Pro side Tacoma Defiance. 

The Sounders rallied back with two second-half goals to tie the match 2-2 before Jeremy Ebobisse's 82nd minute finish proved to be the difference. 

Kitahara has 28 MLS NEXT Pro appearances under his belt since Tacoma's switch to the league in 2022.