Orlando City forward Santiago Patiño reported on Monday to the U-23 Colombian national team ahead of training camp which is being held in Bogotá this week.
Patiño was initially called up last Wednesday to Arturo Reyes’ U-23 squad in preparation for the 2020 CONEMBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament in Colombia which is scheduled to commence on Jan. 15 until Feb. 2 ahead of next year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
It’s Patiño’s first call-up to the national team.
Patiño was selected as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft in January and has tallied two goals in nine appearances so far in league play in his first professional season with the Lions.
Patiño, 22, was born in Medellín but eventually moved to Orlando where he attended Freedom High School and was part of the Orlando City Development Academy during his senior year before playing collegiate soccer with the FIU Panthers.
The players called-up are expected to be released back to their clubs when training camp ends on Thursday.
Before Monday’s training session, Orlando City coach James O’Connor said he expects Patiño to be back ahead of Saturday’s game against Toronto FC at BMO Field.
O’Connor also expressed delight in Patiño’s call-up to the national team.
“As a club, we can take great pride in the fact that Santi is becoming a U-23 international,” said O’Connor. “Benji Michel obviously got the call-up to the [United States] U-23, Cam Lindley got the call up to the [U.S.] under 23. For us, we take great pride. Obviously, Kamal Miller got called up to the [Canadian] national team and was involved in the Gold Cup.”
“To the development side, we can be really pleased with those group of players to take them from where we initially did to get them involved with the national teams,” added O’Connor. “It’s a great credit to the football club. We need to keep doing that, we got some homegrowns that we want to push through as well.”
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