It will be another big match for Orlando City B tonight as it welcomes the Rochester Rhinos to Orlando City Stadium. Currently, the two clubs are side by side in the Eastern Conference table. OCB (4-4-3, 15 points) sits sixth in the table and the Rhinos (4-1-3, 15 points) are fifth with three games in hand.
Both clubs earned victories over the weekend, with OCB defeating the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 2-1, while the Rhinos shut out FC Cincinnati, 1-0.
The young Lions received goals on Saturday from Hadji Barry and Zach Ellis-Hayden, who scored his first professional goal and earned USL Team of the Week honors. Earl Edwards Jr. turned in another fantastic performance in net with a season-high eight saves, including one nominated for Save of the Week. The OCB goalkeeper leads the United Soccer League in saves entering this week (37).
“Rochester is going to be a difficult game. Historically they’re always a team that’s there or thereabouts,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said this week. “I have to give huge credit to Bob Lilley because every year he seems to put together a really well-organized team that’s defensively sound and dangerous on the break. I don’t think Wednesday night’s going to be any different. It’s going to be a really big game for us.”
This is the first of two meetings this season between the two clubs. They met twice in 2016 with OCB winning the first meeting, 2-1 on May 22 of last year. Barry scored a brace to lead the young Lions. OCB earned a point in the second meeting, drawing 0-0 in Rochester on July 10, despite missing multiple starters. OCB will visit Rochester on Friday, June 23.
Expect another goalkeeping battle as Edwards Jr. will be going up against another top USL keeper. Tomas Gomez has produced four clean sheet performances for the Rhinos this season, which ties him for the second-most in the USL.
OCB co-leading scorer Richie Laryea will be available for tonight’s match after serving a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation.
Lately the Rhinos have been very good defensively, allowing only one goal in their last four matches. Additionally, they are unbeaten in their last five USL matches (3-0-2), taking 11 points from a possible 15. Rochester also won its first two U.S. Open Cup matches over the same time frame, beating FC Motown and GPS Omens. OCB is showing good form as well as it has earned 10 points from its last five.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B (June 3 at Pittsburgh Riverhounds): Earl Edwards Jr; Zach Ellis-Hayden, Seb Hines, Zach Carroll, Scott Thomsen; Austin Martz, Jordan Schweitzer, Lewis Neal (C), Pierre Da Silva; Danny Deakin, Hadji Barry.
Rochester Rhinos (June 3 vs. FC Cincinnati): Tomas Gomez; Ryan James, Ryan Felix, Joseph Farrell, Jordan Dover; Wal Fall, Kenardo Forbes (C), Rayane Boukemia, Brandon Beresford, Stefan Defregger; Jochen Graf.
The 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff can be streamed from the official USL Youtube page.