clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The B-List: Taking Stock in Orlando City B

New, 2 comments

OCB has wrapped up its second game and captured its first point. Next week the Lioins hit the road to take on former Orlando CIty affiliate Louisville City FC. Let's peek in on the USL side and see how our B team is performing.

Matt Starkey

You have excellent taste. I know this because you're here reading The Mane Land. This means you love soccer, and love reading about soccer. As such, you deserve to read articles that will satisfy your thirst for soccer intelligence and fulfill your emotional football  needs. Having been on this staff for six months now, I truly believe that this site delivers all that you require.

But while you wait for those articles to be posted, I'm glad you clicked here. In this space, we'll take a weekly look at the state of OCB and all the goings-on in Melbourne. The format will be small, somewhat disjointed segments that relate (sometimes loosely) to our beloved USL team. It won't be a game recap, as that's already done, but it will be an OCB-centric look at soccer, food, fun, and life in general.

I haven't yet figured on the best name for this segment. Some early candidates are "The B Report," "OCD with OCB," or "The Burple Report", but I'm leaning towards "The B-List."  If you have any particular opinion on the matter, feel free to chime in on comments below. The winner gets a free high-five at the next OCB game.

Speaking of OCB games, last week it was a dark and stormy night. Again. Seriously, it feels as if part of the starting lineup for OCB is thunder and lightning. And at striker ... Zeus (only if Zeus was indecisive and sucked at crosses). As detailed in the aforementioned recap, OCB came away with its first ever point, yet, that doesn't tell the full story of the evening -- an evening that in many ways mirrored the weather.

Food Fail

Last week, I critiqued the team and the field for not selling beer. Well, in week two, it seems like they listened -- and promptly kicked an own goal. It seems that the "strategy," such as it is, is to invite food trucks in to take care of the concessions. This sounds great on the surface, but is failing miserably in practice.

Apparently, the agreement is that the food trucks have an option on whether or not to attend, but have no obligation to do so. So, when my wife and I showed up with our two young daughters, with the intention of eating dinner at the field, we were dismayed to find that the only truck there was an ice cream truck. Oh, did I mention that the trucks are inside the gate and that there is no re-entry?

And so, we were faced with the decision to either let the kids go hungry or give them ice cream and cookies for dinner (we chose the latter and promptly became the coolest parents ever, if only briefly).

Presumably, Eastern Florida State College is responsible for the concessions, and not the team, but Orlando City should realize that it is their product on the field and the public doesn't care who is responsible. Fortunately, they realized the issue and waived the re-entry policy, thus allowing us to skip out and grab a burrito from across the street, but this has to be addressed.

Not having beer is one thing -- I'm not saying you have to have beer to have a good time, but this is a professional sporting event, and most people enjoy a refreshing brew at these types of things -- but not having food is a serious problem. My wife correctly pointed out that we would have more options at an Eau Gallie High game.

Quick side note: the lady that ran the gelato truck was extremely nice, and had a fantastic Nutella gelato, that I would highly recommend to anyone attending. I also think she killed it as pretty much everyone was walking around with an ice cream.

Fast Break

While the team needs to address the food and beverage issue, there's nothing the club can do about the weather (though I still believe that these are somehow cosmically related and OCB won't win a game until beer is sold). Proving that that some people can learn from past mistakes, though, this week, the university opened up the gym to those seeking shelter from the storm.

As we strolled in, some of the EFSC basketball players were playing a bit of 3-on-3. Suddenly, what started as a casual, quiet Friday night pick-up game turned into a high intensity game in front of throngs of spectators chanting "D-FENCE" and cheering every play. This would have been simply a nice footnote about a fun rain delay distraction, but unfortunately, it proved to be the greatest athletic spectacle of the night.

Ruh-Roh Rochez

Two games does not a season make, but we may have to consider the possibility that this OCB team is not particularly good. There have been some bright spots, and goalkeeper Mark Ridgers' performance in the last game definitely falls under that category. Yet, the early returns have not been very promising.

Chief among the disappointments has been the play of Bryan Rochez. As the starting lineups were announced, I found myself wondering why he wasn't among them. My query would be answered after he came on in the 71st minute. Rochez's performance was less than inspiring, as in his brief time his greatest impact was botching a promising counter attack and making the wrong read on a late scoring chance.

It's fair to have high expectations for a player who was signed as a Designated Player for the MLS squad and who is currently playing in the USL. Hopefully this is a matter of needing some acclimatization for his new players, and not representative of his attitude for not being on the first team.

Setting the Table

OCB's point now puts the team 11th in the Eastern Conference, ahead of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, FC Montreal, and Harrisburg City Islanders, each of which has zero points. It should be noted that Pittsburgh and Montreal have only played one game each. OCB is tied with Toronto FC II, but Toronto holds the edge in goal differential (0 to OCB's -1).

Looking Forward

OCB's next game will be its first road game, and the first game against last year's OCSC affiliate, Louisville City FC. Louisville won its first game, 1-0, against the Charlotte Independence, but lost last week against New York Red Bulls II. Like OCB, the Royals have scored one goal, and let in two. The game is Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and our Jeff Milby will be there to cover it.

Looking Up

This has been a fairly negative post, and perhaps that's because things simply did not go well last week. There was little positive to talk about. Still, I don't want to be completely down, so let's end this on a positive note.

Looking at the MLS standings, last year's Eastern Conference finalists, New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew SC are eighth and 10th in the East, respectively. In the West, the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders, also last year's semifinal representatives, are sitting at the bottom of the table. While team history is no guarantee of future success, it's a pretty good bet that at least a couple of these teams will find their mojo again and start winning soccer games.

In other words, it's waaaaaay too early to write anyone off. OCB may come back next week and crush it. I believe they will sort out their concession issues and eventually play a game without lightning.

Either way, I'll still be watching next week and attending the next home game on the 16th. I hope to see you there.

Until then, keep reading the B-List (or whatever we end up calling it).