Orlando City B (5-6-9, 24 points) will take the field again tonight against FC Cincinnati (8-7-6, 30 points) as it looks to extend its six-game unbeaten streak (1-0-5) and, at the same time, snap a five-game winless streak (0-0-5).
OCB has garnered points in its last six games but the last five have all been draws. The young Lions have only managed to score three goals in that period (1-0 at Rochester, 1-1 vs FC Cincinnati, and 1-1 vs Tampa Bay) with three games being scoreless draws.
FC Cincinnati currently sits in sixth in the USL’s Eastern Conference but that’s not its greatest accomplishment this season. Under new head coach Alan Koch, the Queen City club beat the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire at home in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, then traveled south and beat Miami FC, who knocked Orlando City out of the tournament earlier this season. FC Cincinnati’s next cup match will be in less than two weeks when it hosts the New York Red Bulls in the semifinals.
On Wednesday night, FC Cincinnati defeated Miami FC, 1-0, on a 68th-minute goal by star striker Djiby Fall. Its last league match was last Saturday when the club lost 3-2 to the Rochester Rhinos at home. That game ended a three-game winning streak, which featured wins over the Richmond Kickers, Louisville City FC, and Harrisburg City Islanders.
This is the third and final time the two clubs will face each other during the 2017 season. OCB won the first match-up between these two teams on May 13 in Cincinnati, 2-0. The most recent match-up came on July 1 at Orlando City Stadium, resulting in a 1-1 draw. They faced each other twice last year with FC Cincinnati winning both contests.
While everyone will be available for OCB, FC Cincinnati will be dealing with three suspensions. Backup goalkeeper Dallas Jaye is serving a two-game suspension following a red card received last week for abusive language against Louisville City FC. More importantly, star striker Djiby Fall is also suspended after receiving a red card in the same game.
Tonight’s game will mark the return of right back Zach Ellis-Hayden, who missed out of Wednesday’s clash with the Islanders due to yellow card accumulation. Two other young Lions are one yellow away from a one-game suspension, Paul Clowes and Richie Laryea.
“It’s going to be a tough game for us. Cincinnati will be full of confidence after winning in the [U.S. Open] Cup,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said. “We are obviously in a good position at the moment ourselves in the fact that we’ve been pleased with our performances, it’s just now, can we start adding to the end product? But it’s making sure that the guys are still positive and bubbly and understanding that we’ve been doing a lot of good things. We’re looking forward to going there because it will be a big crowd and it’s always a really good atmosphere.”
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B (8/2 vs City Islanders): Earl Edwards, Jr.; Youmeni Jules, PC, Zach Carroll, Leo Pereira; Jordan Schweitzer, Scott Thomsen, Ryley Kraft, Pierre Da Silva; Michael Cox, Albert Dikwa.
FC Cincinnati (8/2 at Miami FC): Mitch Hildebrandt; Austin Berry, Sem de Wit, Harrison Delbridge; Kevin Schindler, Aodhan Quinn, Kenney Walker, Justin Hoyte, Corben Bone; Djiby Fall, Danni Konig.
How to Watch
The 7 p.m. kickoff from Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH can be streamed from the official USL YouTube page or at orlandocitysc.com/live. For rapid reaction and live updates, follow @OrlandoCityB, @ManeLandSean and @TheManeLand on Twitter.