Orlando City's week in Melbourne officially ended this afternoon with a 4-0 friendly win against the Eastern Florida State College men's soccer team. Adrian Heath began the game with a lineup of Joe Bendik, Mikey Ambrose, Seb Hines, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos, a trialist at defensive midfield with Cristian Higuita, Tyler Turner (at left attacking mid), Richie Laryea, Tony Rocha, and Hadji Barry.
The Lions took control of the game early. First-round selection Hadji Barry started the scoring less than 10 minutes in by lofting the ball over Titans goalkeeper Nate Himes. The Lions' other 2016 first round pick, Richie Laryea, looked very promising as well with several chances on goal in the first half which were either broken up by the Titans defense or off-target shots.
Orlando City doubled its lead after 24 minutes when Tony Rocha played a quick ball to Rafael Ramos. Ramos, who was very dangerous from the right back position while in the game, sent a high cross across the six-yard box to a waiting Tyler Turner, who chested the ball in past Himes.
The third goal of the first half came from striker Barry again -- this time after 31 minutes -- taking advantage of a misplay in the Titans defense. Dribbling across goal, Barry let loose from 10 yards out for a first half brace. Orlando City took its 3-0 lead into the halftime break.
Heath made 11 changes at halftime,bringing on Earl EdwardsJr., Luke Boden, Tommy Redding, David Mateos, Kevin Alston, Darwin Cerén, Servando Carrasco, Carlos Rivas, Harrison Heath, Adrian Winter and Pedro Ribeiro.
Despite an entirely new lineup, City kept the pressure on the hosts. Heath had a few good looks in the second half from his midfield spot, with his best being a one-on-one opportunity that was blocked by the goalkeeper.
The MLS side finally broke through again after 65 minutes when Pedro Ribeiro laid the ball off for a waiting Rocha -- who replaced Rivas after the Colombian sustained a knock and left the game -- who slid it home giving the purple clad Lions a comfortable 4-0 win.
There weren't many chances for EFSC, but forward Abdoulaye Cisse caused the Lions the most trouble from the left side during the first half. Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik was forced to make a nice save after 15 minutes but little caused the former Toronto FC goalkeeper trouble after that.
The only trouble in the second half for his replacement, Earl Edwards Jr, came when the young goalkeeper mistakenly played the ball to a Titan forward, who shot well wide of Edwards' left post.
Adrian Heath was pleased with the performance of his young players. "I thought Mikey Ambrose was great," Heath said following the game. "I thought Richie (Laryea) and Hadji (Barry) in the first half were very, very lively."
The only downside of the game was the injury to Rivas. The speedster pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury early in the second half. Following the game, Heath gave an update on the injury, saying "if it's only a small one, which we think it is, it'll only be a week to 10 days."
The Lions will now head back to their training home in Sanford as they continue to prepare for their March 6 opener against Real Salt Lake.
Orlando City - Barry 8', Turner 24', Barry 31', Ribeiro 65'.
EFSC - None.
Man of the Match: Hadji Barry
Honorable Mention: Rafael Ramos