After six straight draws, Orlando City B (7-6-10, 31 points) has won its last two games to climb into the eighth spot in the USL’s Eastern Conference. Tonight, the young Lions travel to North Carolina in an attempt to continue their winning streak against the first-place Charlotte Independence (12-4-7, 43 points). OCB is unbeaten in nine (3-0-6) but it gets tougher tonight but is 1-2-2 all-time against the Independence.
This will be the third and final game this season between the two sides. They first met on April 8 in Orlando which resulted in a 1-1 draw. They met again on May 27, also in Orlando, but this time the young Lions fell, 3-1. It will be a key game for both teams as OCB currently clings to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference while Charlotte holds a five-point lead over Louisville City for the top spot in the conference.
Scoring has been an issue this season for OCB but that hasn’t been a problem this week. The Lions scored six goals during an eight-game undefeated streak, which included three scoreless draws, but netted three against the Ottawa Fury Wednesday night behind a second-half brace by Hadji Barry. The three goals tied a season high for the young Lions.
Gathering points has not been a problem for Charlotte this season. In their third season of existence, the Independence have lost just four games and claimed points in 14 of their last 15 games. The only loss in that period came to the Ottawa Fury two games ago. They responded to that loss with a 1-0 win over the Bethlehem Steel Wednesday night.
“With this team, it’s a process,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis stated. “It takes time, it’s not going to fall into place straight away and we knew that at the beginning of the year. We’ve seen good performances but we’ve achieved nothing. It’s important that we carry the same mentality into the final nine games of the season.”
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B (8/16 vs Ottawa Fury): Earl Edwards, Jr.; Austin Martz, Zach Ellis-Hayden, Seb Hines, Fernando Timbo; Jordan Schweitzer, Lewis Neal, Tony Rocha, Pierre Da Silva; Hadji Barry, Michael Cox.
Charlotte Independence (8/16 vs Bethlehem Steel): Cody Mizell; Dennis Castillo, Donnie Smith, Bilal Duckett, Henry Kalungi; Callum Ross, David Estrada, Jun Davidson, Alex Martinez; Enzo Martinez, Jorge Herrera.
How to Watch
The 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff from WakeMed Soccer Park can be streamed from the official USL YouTube page or at orlandocitysc.com/live. For rapid reaction and live updates, follow @OrlandoCityB and @TheManeLand on Twitter.