Orlando City B (5-6-6, 21 points) will host the Tampa Bay Rowdies (7-5-6, 27 points) tonight in the first I-4 Derby at Orlando City Stadium. After consecutive draws over the past two weeks, the young Lions sit in ninth place in the USL’s Eastern Conference but are tied on points with the eighth place New York Red Bulls II.
Tonight’s game will be the eighth time an Orlando City team has faced the Rowdies. The first six times saw the Lions’ senior team defeat the Rowdies, who gained their first win in the rivalry when they defeated OCB 1-0 to start this season in St. Petersburg.
OCB welcomed the Rowdies to the USL back in March at Al Lang Stadium. A 57th-minute goal by Georgi Hristov from the penalty spot was the difference in that one as the Rowdies — formerly in the NASL — won their first ever game in the league.
The game will see two former Lions returning to Orlando for the first time since departing the club. Englishman Martin Paterson joined the Lions for their first MLS season in 2015, appearing four times but departed soon after missing the team’s flight back from New York following a road game.
The marquee return will be left back Luke Boden, Orlando City’s all-time appearance leader. The Sheffield, England native joined the Lions for their inaugural season in 2011. Over the next six years, Boden went on to make 150 appearances, recording seven goals and 20 assists. The defender helped the Lions collect five trophies during their USL days.
The Lions enter this game unbeaten in their last three games, having recorded a win and two draws, including a 0-0 draw last Saturday vs. Pittsburgh. The Rowdies are coming off a 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati last Thursday, their first win in their last eight games.
Of note for OCB is that defender Zach Ellis-Hayden is sitting one yellow card away from a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. Pierre Da Silva will serve the second game of his three-match suspension tonight.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B (July 8 vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds): Earl Edwards, Jr.; Rafael Ramos, Fernando Timbo, Seb Hines, Leo Pereira; Paul Clowes, Austin Martz, Tony Rocha, Lewis Neal; Hadji Barry, Richie Laryea.
Tampa Bay Rowdies (July 6 vs FC Cincinnati): Matt Pickens; Darnell King, Zac Portillos, Tamika Mkandawire, Neill Collins; Keith Savage, Alex Morrell, Marcel Schafer, Joe Cole; Georgi Hristov, Martin Paterson.
How to Watch
The 7:30 p.m. kickoff can be streamed from the official USL Youtube page. For live updates, follow @TheManeLand on Twitter.