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Which Orlando City Lions Would Benefit Most from Orlando City B?

While the front office is gearing up for an important winter transfer window, successful longevity is dependent upon building depth from within. Orlando City has loads of promising youth that could use more live match time to develop their games.

Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

With the announcement of Orlando City B joining the USL ranks, new windows of opportunity for young players to develop becomes readily available moving forward for the entire organization. There are a handful of players on the first team that could benefit from seeing regular, live game action, eventually becoming integral pieces for the first team in the same way we see our Orlando Solar Bears eventually graduate to the NHL.

Conor Donovan

Sometimes a forgotten man with depth at center back in front of him, Donovan is a highly touted American prospect. Selected with the first pick in the second round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft as a Generation Adidas player out of North Carolina State, Donovan has featured for the United States U-18 and U-20 clubs, scoring three international goals to date.

He also, unfortunately, saw his MLS debut come to an abrupt, awful end just 14 minutes deep when he tore his ACL colliding with C.J. Sapong.

Still not old enough to get into your official Orlando City Pubs, there's plenty of time for Donovan to heal up and continue his development with OCB.

Tommy Redding

The man who replaced Donovan after the devastating injury, the homegrown player performed admirably in his MLS debut. From right around the corner in Oviedo, Tommy is just that -- as homegrown as it gets. After Donovan was subbed off against the Union, Redding paired well with Aurélien Colin to help Tally Hall keep the clean sheet, earning an 8.0 from Austin David in his Mane Land player grades.

His second MLS appearance ended badly, in a violent collision with Rafael Ramos.

With good size at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, and at the young age of just 18, we could be looking at a future cornerstone pairing with Conor Donovan along the back line.


The undisputed MLS champion of best hair, Estrela was brought in from Benfica near the end of the 2014 USL season along with Rafael Ramos. Just 20 years old, he's been developing his game since joining S.L. Benfica's youth squad at the age of 11.

Estrela looked good in limited USL action, but couldn't work his way onto the pitch for MLS play. With depth in Cristian Higuita, Darwin Cerén, Servando Carrasco, Eric Avila and potentially Harrison Heath in front of him, OCB is almost seems tailor made for the midfielder.

Harrison Heath

Speaking of Heath, Inchy Jr. worked just over two hours of MLS action this year, looking aggressive throughout. He might not quite be at the level needed to steal minutes from the aforementioned midfielders, but you can't fault his hustle.

He played an important role in several USL matches after arriving from Norwich City FC's Academy, and seemed to be carrying that momentum into his sporadic MLS appearances. Once again, however, the Citrus Bowl turf got a little aggressive with the Lions during a friendly against West Brom.

He impresses with his IQ and his motor, and getting regular, full appearances will only help develop his skill.

Tyler Turner

While Ramos gets the hype, Tyler Turner is a young player that looks to me to have a very bright future. The former United States U-18 captain joined the club for the 2014 USL Pro season, and wasted no time establishing himself as a presence on the ball and up the flank en route to winning Rookie of the Year honors.

This season, he found his way into seven MLS appearances, starting in five of them. His brutal ejection against Seattle in just the 40th minute notwithstanding, he never looked terribly out of place against stiff competition.

He's shown the instincts and physical tools to one day be a starter for the first team in extended run on the international circuit. Wouldn't it be fun to see his work more frequently in Orlando City purple?