Orlando City B has created a lot of opportunities for young players to grow, as I'm sure you've read about from time to time. Right back Tyler Turner is one of those players, and he's benefited big time from the chance to play consistent minutes at the USL level this season.
Turner, who appeared in seven games for Orlando City last season (five of them starts), has started in 11 of OCB's 12 games this season. And while no pro wants to go back down to the lower levels after getting a taste of the top league, Turner sees the importance of OCB and the valuable game minutes that come with it.
"I've had my ups and downs there and there," Turner said at training last week. "But like I said, it's just getting games consistently and I've actually started to hit a streak of games where I'm feeling comfortable and starting to get my confidence back, so I feel like it's going well for OCB and me in that aspect, so as time goes on, I can either get time with the first time this year or maybe next year.
"But I think it's really good to get this OCB team a lot of minutes for the young guys."
With OCB, Turner seems to have picked up a new trick to his game: scoring goals. He entered play last night already with three this season, with an assist also to his credit. As a right back, goals are not something you'd expect to see, but Turner says OCB coach Anthony Pulis has encouraged him to make that a part of his game.
"Ant usually gives me the freedom to express myself offensively, and he tells me to get into the attack," Turner said. "So I think the goals I score come from that and come from him."
Altogether, playing for Pulis has been a joy for Turner, who also formerly played with him in 2014 when the club was in USL, as well as Rob Valentino -- OCB's assistant coach and a captain of that 2014 team. Those two, Turner says, have been insightful figures for him this season.
"Obviously, I used to play with Ant when he was a player, so it's been a great experience," he said. "I think him and Rob are doing really great in their first year."
Turner has looked solid for the most part for OCB this season, but there's still plenty of promise in the young 20-year-old.