Coming off a difficult draw on Sunday, Orlando City B (0-2-1, 1 point) welcomes Forward Madison FC (0-2-0, 0 points) to Montverde Academy as the Young Lions search for their first win tonight at 7:30 p.m.
OCB experienced a difficult start to the season, losing its first two games while finishing both a man down against FC Tucson and Toronto FC II. The pair of sending-offs changed the momentum of both games as the Young Lions were forced to play down both a man and goals.
The discipline issues that plagued the team in its first two games was resolved Sunday against South Georgia Tormenta FC as the poor challenges disappeared. The result was that OCB was able to finish the game with 11 players for the first time and take its first lead of the season through Ates Diouf. This situation presented a new challenge as the team had to defend its lead for the final half hour of the game. The Young Lions nearly accomplished this goal before a last minute free kick allowed Lars Eckenrode to head home the equalizer, resulting in a 1-1 draw.
Tonight, Forward Madison FC makes its first visit to Florida, looking to gather its first-ever points. The first-year club has yet to score a goal but has only given up one in each game. Their inaugural contest was a 1-0 loss to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, followed by the same result against North Texas SC, both on the road. Similar to OCB, they’ve alternated goalkeepers, with Dayne St. Clair playing the first game and Ryan Coulter playing the second.
While the results were similar, Madison’s first two games have been quite different. Against Chattanooga, the team controlled possession, holding 66.3% and out-shot their opponent, 11-9. The opposite was true in Texas, where the Flamingos only held 33.3% possession and were out-shot, 23-9.
While tonight will be the first time in three weeks that OCB won’t have any suspensions, the Young Lions may still be missing a pair of key players. Midfielder Jordan Bender missed the first game with an ankle injury and, after playing 73 minutes in the second game, missed Sunday’s with an ankle sprain. They will also be without forward William Bagrou, who started each of the first three games but was injured in a collision with goalkeeper Juliano Chade that forced his removal by stretcher.
Both OCB and Forward Madison have gotten off to a rough start with a single point between them. This will be the last game for the Young Lions on their opening four-game home stand before they travel to Texas next week as they remain in search of their first win of the young season.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B (4/14 vs South Georgia Tormenta FC)
Juliano Chade; Leonardo Simas, Wilfred Williams, Nathan Simeon, Randy Mendoza; Serginho, Koby Osei-Wusu, Ates Diouf; William Bagrou, Thiago Souza, Moises Tablante.
Forward Madison FC (4/13 at North Texas SC)
Ryan Coulter; Carl Schneider, Christian Diaz, Connor Tobin, Shaun Russell, J.C. Banks, Don Smart, Jeff Michaud, Josiel Nuñez, Paulo Jr., Brian Bement.