It wasn't a perfect road trip, but it was definitely a step in the right direction. Now, with the league cellar-dwellers visiting from Canada, it ought to be two wins in three for OCB.
Orlando City B (1-4-1, 4 points) returns home to Melbourne at 7:30 tonight to welcome visiting FC Montreal (0-4-0, 0 points) in the team's homecoming following a Pennsylvania road trip. The two-games-in-four-days trip to the Keystone state saw the young Lions secure their first ever victory in Pittsburgh, only to then fall in the state capitol to the Harrisburg City Islanders. Both games ended 2-1.
In its second season of existence, FC Montreal hasn't been a picture of success. The reserve team of the Montreal Impact has lost four games in all four of its attempts so far in 2016, which is coming on the heels of a 2015 that saw the team finish third from last in the USL Eastern Conference. The team has scored only two goals this season, though the most recent goal came in a 2-1 loss on the road at the defending champion Rochester Rhinos last Saturday.
Montreal has used 23 outfield players so far in the season, but when you're watching this team all eyes should be on the goalkeeper. Maxime Crepeau is in his fourth year as a professional, and the 22 year-old shined bright in several moments last season while playing for the team from his home province. He signed an MLS Homegrown Player contract in 2013, and made his debut for the Canadian Senior National Team in a friendly against the U.S. this February.
Last Week's Lineups
OCB: Mark Ridgers; Mikey Ambrose, Devron Garcia, Kyle McFadden, Tyler Turner; Jonathan Mendoza, Harrison Heath, Tony Rocha, Richie Laryea; Michael Cox, Bryan Rochez
FC Montreal: Maxime Crepeau, Aron Mkungilwa, Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, Kyle Fisher, Jannouk Charbonneau; Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, Marco Dominguez; Ballou Tabla, Louis Beland-Goyette, David Choiniere; Charles Joly
Keys to Victory
- Don't be that team: FC Montreal is the only team in the USL which has yet to secure a point and one of two teams that have yet to win. Needless to say, this team will be desperate to put something on the board. OCB needs to be certain that it doesn't get caught as the less hungry team tonight, or else it may well become the first team to lose to the Canadian squad this season. The game may feel like a formality considering Montreal's current streak, but OCB needs to be take a professional approach and be certain not to underestimate its opponents.
- The forward situation: If its going to be a forward pairing (as it was both games last week), who comprises the pair? Bryan Rochez opened his OCB account against Harrisburg, Michael Cox has drawn rave reviews from Head Coach Anthony Pulis, and when Hadji Barry isn't coming on late for the senior team he's staring for the reserve squad. Chemistry between the forward pairing is essential, but that's difficult to come by when there isn't consistency in the lineup. Granted, this is a reserve team so lineup changes are to be expected, but that doesn't bode well for a winning team.
- Win one for the home folks: Considering all of the different circumstances surrounding OCB's home games so far this season, the fan support has been very good. Considering the team has won one on the road to bring some mojo into the locker room, you'd expect the return home after a short road trip to be a considerable boost to the team's performance.