Less than 48 hours after Orlando City SC announced that its USL affiliate would join the MLS side and the Orlando Pride as the third team to play its home matches in the new downtown stadium, the club broke the news of three new signings. Zach Carroll, Scott Thomsen, and Fernando Timbo will join Anthony Pulis’s Orlando City B side in the team’s second season in USL.
It is no secret that Orlando City has struggled defensively at the MLS level. A leaky back line led to 60 goals conceded in its second season at America’s highest level. While these three will not help immediately for the first team, Jason Kreis and his staff will likely be pulling any strings they can to add not only top-end talent but depth pieces as well.
Carroll appeared in 28 matches as a rookie for the reigning USL champion, New York Red Bulls II. In his first professional season, Carroll earned All-USL Second Team honors. The standout center back finished his collegiate career at Michigan State before joining New York for the 2016 season.
At 6-foot-3, Carroll is a true ball-winner. Regardless of whether it’s at the back or in the box on set pieces, Carroll has a knack for winning aerial duels. In addition, his timing on challenges and tackling ability are impressive at the young age of 22.
“Zach joins us off the back of an outstanding rookie season with New York Red Bulls II,” Pulis said in a club press release. “He’s a great defender and we’re thrilled to have secured him.”
Thomsen joins OCB after one season with the Richmond Kickers. After a successful collegiate career at the University of Virginia that ultimately led to an NCAA championship in 2014. Thomsen managed to wrap up his rookie season with one goal and one assist in nine appearances.
While he did not see a whole lot of field time with Richmond, there is no questioning that his left foot is a weapon. He has shown the ability to whip in dangerous crosses that force center backs to play facing their own goal, either leading to defensive mistakes or finding his teammates for goals. In addition, Thomsen netted a handful of goals off of set pieces in college by curling the ball beautifully into the top left corner as he did here.
“Scott is technically very gifted. He has a quality left foot and is tactically very astute,” Pulis said in the club release.
In 2016, Timbo made his mark in the North American Soccer League with the Ottawa Fury. Brazilian club Curitiba FC signed the 26-year-old center back to his first professional contract 10 years ago at the age of 16. Since then, he has also played with current Orlando City SC players Mikey Ambrose and Tony Rocha as a member of the Austin Aztex.
“Fernando is a very commanding and strong center back who gives us much needed balance being naturally left sided,” added Pulis in the club release.
Timbo, also at 6-foot-3, is another big presence that could bolster the OCB defense. Similar to Carroll, Timbo is a constant aerial threat. He is, however, a more dangerous piece in the box with the ability to get on the end of set pieces. As an older player, Timbo will be looked upon to provide some veteran leadership and stability to the team.