Orlando City B (4-20-4, 16 points) ended its first year in USL League One with a 2-0 road loss against the Richmond Kickers. The Young Lions couldn’t respond to a pair of first-half goals by Conor Shanosky and Charles Boateng, putting a fitting end to a very difficult year.
OCB made just three changes to the starting lineup from the team that defeated Greenville Triumph SC last weekend. Continuing the rotation of goalkeepers, Christian Herrera got the start ahead of Juliano Chade, who played in South Carolina. Serginho missed this game due to being suspended for a late red card in Greenville. For the first time since joining the team, Lucas Ontivero was also out of the starting lineup. They were replaced by Leonardo Simas, who returned from a one-game suspension, and Rafael Santos.
After defeating Greenville last week, the Young Lions felt like they could end the 2019 season on a winning streak. The Kickers had other ideas. Despite coming into this game with struggles of their own and missing some of their key offensive weapons, the hosts pressed high early and created problems for the OCB defense.
The hosts nearly struck first less than a minute into the game. An early corner by Nicholas Retzlaff found the head of Braeden Troyer in the box. The Richmond captain beat Herrera across goal but not the post as OCB was saved by the woodwork.
They again almost scored in the 15th minute, when Troyer found Gregory Boehme; in the 26th minute, when Retzlaff sent Boateng through on goal; and in the 27th minute, when a Retzlaff corner found Shanosky at the back post. In each of those three chances, Herrera came up with a big save, keeping the game scoreless.
The Kickers finally converted in the 31st minute. A Richmond free kick just outside of the OCB box allowed Mutaya Mwape to send the ball towards the back post. A looping run toward that post allowed Shanosky to beat the defenders to the ball and head it behind Herrera for the game’s opening goal.
Rather than sparking the OCB attack, things just got worse after the opening goal. Just five minutes later, the Kickers doubled their lead with another brilliant play by Mwape. Receiving the ball outside of the box, the midfielder carried it to the left of the OCB goal before sending a very dangerous ball into the six yard box. Boateng came flying in from outside the box and slid into the path of the ball with perfect precision, knocking it past Herrera.
While Richmond pressed high in the first half and put OCB on its heels, the hosts were willing to spend the majority of the second half defending. The Young Lions came out of the break on the attack and had their best chance of the game in the 52nd minute. Simas found some space on the right and sent a ball into the box. It went straight to Richmond goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, who fumbled the ball at the top of the six-yard box. Unfortunately, William Bagrou overran the cross so Fitzgerald was able to collect the ball.
Despite putting 10 men behind the ball in the second half, the Kickers did have some chances. In the 68th minute, Mwape created more danger going forward as he found Matthew Bolduc to the right of goal. Bolduc’s shot was blocked by Herrera but returned right back to him. The OCB goalkeeper responded quickly and was able to block the second attempt as well.
The Young Lions did have one final chance at goal in the 87th minute when Santos carried the ball into the box from the left of goal. After finding an opening for a shot, the result was a common sight as Santos’ weak attempt was easily collected by Fitzgerald.
The 2-0 loss brings a very difficult and frustrating season to an end for OCB. The Young Lions end the year with four wins, 20 losses, and four draws, gathering just 16 points. While there were just 11 points between third and ninth place in the 10-team league, the Young Lions finished 16 points behind the ninth-place Kickers.
The end of the season also starts the beginning of some big changes as OCB will leave its 2019 home of Montverde Academy and join the first team at the new training facility in Kissimmee. We’ll have all the updates and news about OCB this off-season as the team prepares to continue developing Homegrown talent in 2020.