The club formerly known as the Orlando Lions is going professional. The club was forced to change its name in early 2022 to Club de Lyon FC, and has continued rising like Phoenix since then. The club will bringing independent, professional soccer to Central Florida and has creatively found partners in Volusia, Seminole and Orange Counties to work with. The club will make its professional debut away at the LA Force tonight.
Club de Lyon FC began training for multiple D4 adult-amateur seasons in April 2022. The team competed in NISA Nation and in the UPSL Premier, winning all their matches and becoming champions in both leagues.
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These triumphs allowed the club to play the NISA Independent Cup qualifying tournament in Florida to play the regional final of the NISA Independent Cup. Club de Lyon led Chattanooga FC 2-1, late on before falling 3-2 to one of the best sides in independent soccer.
After that, the club began its climb in the US Open Cup, qualifying for the 2023 tournament proper. Hence why you’ll note Club Lyon’s amateur side is entering the competition in the first round proper (Club de Lyon B) and the NISA side which qualifies by virtue of being a professional enters in Round 2.
From April to December 2022, the Lyon club played 39 games, undefeated against other sides from the state of Florida. .
The club is one to watch and we’ll be covering them closely this season at Beyond the 90 and the Florida Soccer Report.