Orlando City B (2-3-2, 8 points) returns home after a 1-1-1 road trip to the Northeast to host Saint Louis FC (3-2-1, 10 points) at Orlando City Stadium tonight at 7:30 p.m. This is the first meeting between the two clubs.
Both teams are currently in playoff positions but it’s early so that’s basically meaningless at this point in the USL season. Still, to beat other teams with playoff ambitions is one way to make it to the postseason and, as such, this is an important test for the young Lions.
OCB is unbeaten in the last two (1-0-1) and is coming off a 2-0 win at Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday afternoon. Richie Laryea and Earl Edwards Jr. led the young Lions and both made the USL Team of the Week for their parts in the win. Laryea scored his first two professional goals — true thumpers — to provide the offense, while Edwards’ acrobatics held the hosts scoreless during a period of the game when OCB was truly on the back foot, allowing his teammates to regroup and come into the game in the second half.
Coached by former MLS star Preki, Saint Louis started the season brightly but has dropped its last two games. The most recent was a 2-1 home loss to the Charlotte Independence on Saturday. Prior to that, the club was shelled 4-0 at FC Cincinnati on April 15. The OCB back line will have to be ready for the attacking duo of strikers Christian Volesky and Jose Angulo, who lead Saint Louis with three goals apiece.
“Saint Louis is a gritty, determined, dogged team. They have a very experienced coach in Preki, and he’s put together virtually a brand new roster this year,” said OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “They’ve got some really talented players. They work very hard for Preki. Well organized, disciplined, so we know it’s going to be — as all the games are in the USL — it’s going to be a difficult game for us.”
OCB has received some defensive reinforcements for tonight, as Orlando City announced Tuesday that Rafael Ramos and Seb Hines have been loaned to the USL side for the season. They have Right of Recall as part of their loans, so they may be moved back and forth between the senior and reserve sides as needed. Ramos (hamstring) and Hines (knee surgery) are expected to start tonight as they return from injury.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B (April 23 at Bethlehem Steel FC): Earl Edwards, Jr.; Kevin Alston, Timbo, Zach Carroll, Zach Ellis-Hayden; Lewis Neal, Tony Rocha; Pierre Da Silva, Richie Laryea, Austin Martz; Albert Dikwa.
Saint Louis FC (April 22 vs Charlotte Independence): Devala Gorrick; Denis Ahmetovic, A.J. Cochran, Austin Ledbetter, Wesley Charpie, Mats Bjurman, Tyler David, Octavio Guzman, Max Alvarez; Christian Volesky, Jose Angulo.
How to Watch
The 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff can be streamed from the official USL Youtube page or at orlandocitysc.com/live. For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand on Twitter. Follow along with hashtag #ORLvSTL.
We’ll bring you the action and a full match recap after the game concludes.