Amid all the controversy with the big club, Orlando City's USL reserve side quietly continues on what has been a mostly successful inaugural season, and the Young Lions will be hoping to continue an unbeaten streak that currently sits at four games and maintain playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
Tonight, OCB (6-6-4, 22 points) travels to upstate New York to take on the defending USL champion Rochester Rhinos (7-4-4, 25 points) at 6:05 p.m. The Rhinos themselves are having a bit of a disappointing title defense. After winning the regular season USL championship to go along with the overall league title in the playoffs in 2015, the Rhinos have yet to truly live up to their championship pedigree. An off-season ownership controversy, which saw the team change hands in January, was just the beginning of the club's underwhelming 2016, which has already seen the Rhinos lose four times the number of games they did last season.
In recent weeks, the Rhinos have been up and down to say the least. They enter tonight's match unbeaten over their last three, which includes two wins, but lost two in a row prior to that to begin the month of June. Rochester is led on the field by 23-year-old forward Christian Volesky, who has scored five goals. Duba, also known as Steevan dos Santos, leads the team in assists with two.
Orlando City B last drew at home to the Charlotte Independence, 1-1, in a game which saw forward Michael Cox equalize just after halftime to secure a point at home, and hasn't lost since June 5 at home.
Last Week's Lineups
OCB: Mark Ridgers; Zach Ellis-Hayden, Devron Garcia, Conor Donovan, Mikey Ambrose; Jonathan Mendoza, Andrew Ribeiro, Tony Rocha, Richie Laryea, Pierre Da Silva, Michael Cox
Rochester: Tomas Gomez; Marcos Ugarte, Sean Totsch, Joe Farrell, Wal Fall; Kenardo Forbes, Ryan James, Mike Garzi, Sofiane Tergou; Christian Volesky, Steevan dos Santos
Keys to Victory
- Feed the Forward: Michael Cox's equalizer was his sixth goal of the season, pushing him two clear of Hadji Barry for the team lead. Anthony Pulis (or whoever is in charge of OCB these days) has been very high on Cox in the past, and the young Canadian continues to be another of the youngsters playing for OCB who have been showing up. Keep getting the kid the ball.
- History Repeats Itself: One of the early signs that this OCB season might be successful was a 2-1 win over the Rhinos back in their May 22 meeting. Though that performance was at home, a repeat of it on the road would be just what the doctor ordered in this of all weeks for Orlando faithful.
- A Point Will Do: OCB is currently two points clear of Wilmington for the last playoff, so a draw would maintain at least a tie on points for that spot. You never want to deliberately play for a draw (at least not out loud), but a draw would do.