Orlando City B (4-19-4, 16 points) will play its final game of the 2019 USL League One season tonight when its travels to Virginia to take on the Richmond Kickers (8-14-5, 29 points). It will be a battle of the last two teams in the standings looking to end their seasons on a high note.
OCB’s on-field goals this season have dwindled from making the playoffs to not finishing in last to simply not ending the season on an extended losing streak. The last one of those goals was achieved last week when the Young Lions ended a 10-game losing streak and a 15-game winless streak with a 1-0 win over Greenville Triumph SC.
In their most recent trip to South Carolina, the Young Lions were outplayed for much of the game, with the Triumph holding 59% possession and out-shooting OCB, 21-12. Fortunately for the visitors, only four of those 21 shots were on target. That allowed a 53rd-minute goal by William Bagrou to be the difference in the game.
Tonight, OCB travels to Richmond for the second time this season as it takes on the Kickers. Like the Young Lions, the Kickers have had a tough first season in USL League One. They currently sit just one spot ahead of OCB in the 10-team league. While OCB comes off a hard-fought win, the Kickers come into this game struggling, entering the game on a two-game losing streak and five-game winless streak.
The Kickers are led offensively by a couple of former Lions in Dennis Chin and Joe Gallardo. Chin played for the Orlando City first team in the USL from 2011 to 2014, scoring 32 goals in 103 appearances for the club. Gallardo joined the Orlando City Academy from CF Monterrey in Mexico in 2016 and signed to OCB for the 2017 season. He made seven appearances for the Young Lions that season before moving on.
Both players have found a home in Richmond and have been the offensive force for the Kickers this season. Gallardo leads the team with six goals this year while Chin sits in second with five. Stopping these two attacking leaders will be key if the Young Lions hope to end the season with a positive result.
The success the Kickers have found this season has been on the defensive end of the field, where they have two other former Lions. Defender Scott Thomsen played for OCB in 2017 and Eli Lockaby came out of the Orlando City academy. The Kickers have conceded 35 goals this season, ranking them sixth in the league. That’s a better standing than their ninth place in the standings. Starting goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald has eight of the team’s nine clean sheets this season and is second in the league with 72 saves this year.
Another former OCB Lion, midfielder Ryley Kraft, is also now with Richmond.
This will be the third time that these two teams have faced off this season. The first game between the two occurred during OCB’s four-game unbeaten streak and was a classic at Montverde Academy. The Young Lions got off to a fast start with a fourth-minute goal by Moises Tablante and a long-distance second by Serginho in the 27th minute. Lockaby responded in the 35th, cutting the lead in half, before Joshua Hughes equalized with 10 minutes remaining in the game. It appeared as though OCB would drop points late again, but Thiago Souza converted an 85th-minute penalty to seal the win for the hosts.
The second game between these two teams took place at the historic City Stadium in Richmond and was defined by an off-field incident. Former Lion Dennis Chin scored the game’s only goal in the 70th minute as the Kickers won 1-0, but that’s not the most memorable moment. In the 83rd minute, a confrontation occurred behind the Richmond goal. The incident resulted in Fitzgerald being sent off for Richmond as well as Bagrou and Randy Mendoza being sent off for OCB.
Claiming its second consecutive win to end the season will be made a little more difficult for OCB as it will be missing starter Serginho. The holding midfielder was sent off last weekend in Greenville three minutes into second half injury time for an incident off the ball.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B (9/27 at Greenville Triumph SC)
Juliano Chade, Randy Mendoza, Brandon John, Jordan Hill, Tanner Hummel; Austin Amer, Serginho; Thiago Souza, Lucas Ontivero, Luc Granitur; William Bagrou.
Richmond Kickers (10/2 vs Toronto FC II)
Joseph Rice; Scott Thomsen, Wahab Ackwei, Conor Shanosky, Eli Lockaby; Dennis Chin, Ryley Kraft, Maximiliano Rodriguez, Mutaya Mwape; Joe Gallardo, Charles Boateng.
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