MONTVERDE, FL — Orlando City B (3-10-3, 12 points) was unable to create anything offensively tonight as the Young Lions were beaten by Greenville Triumph SC (5-5-4, 15 points) 2-0. It was the fourth consecutive defeat for OCB and the team’s third straight by the identical 2-0 score line. The Young Lions have been outscored 8-1 over their last four matches.
OCB made some changes to the lineup from what it displayed in Lansing. Leonardo Simas returned to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. Jordan Bender also entered the starting lineup for this game, starting his first game since June 7. After playing well as a substitute in Lansing, Wilfred Williams was given the starting nod with William Bagrou and Koby Osei-Wusu starting on the bench.
The Young Lions began the game with a 4-2-3-1 formation, different than the usual 4-3-3 that has been common with the team this season. Simas, the usual starting right back, was moved up into the midfield. However, shortly into the game, Simas was moved back to right back putting five in the back.
Neither team was able to create any great chances early in the game. While both teams were able to get the ball into the box, each shot was from distance and blocked by an opposing defender.
OCB’s first chance appeared to be coming in the 11th minute when good defense by Nathan Simeon turned over the Triumph. A quick one-two between Ates Diouf and Bender sprung Diouf behind the defense. However, a poor touch in the box allowed the ball to get away from him and ended the opportunity.
In the 36th minute, it appeared as though Greenville might have opened the scoring when Christopher Bermudez carried the ball into the box. He attempted a curling shot towards Juliano Chade’s back post. OCB defender Randy Mendoza slid in, getting a piece of the shot. The ball pinged off of Chade’s far post.
The visitors converted just five minutes later. Saul received the ball around the six but was cut off by Austin Amer. He played it back for Omar Mohamed, who quickly found Jake Keegan to the right of goal. Keegan’s first touch was between Williams and Mendoza and into the six-yard box. Saul beat Simeon to the ball and placed it past Chade for the opening goal.
OCB made some early second half substitutions, looking to add some offense. At the half, Bagrou came into the game, replacing Williams. In the 60th minute, the Young Lions brought on Osei-Wusu to replace Bender.
In the 62nd minute, the visitors nearly doubled their lead. Keegan found Bermudez on the far right side of the field. Defended by Mendoza, the midfielder carried the ball inside until he found some space to shoot on goal. The curling shot got behind the diving Chade and slammed off the crossbar.
Greenville doubled its lead, effectively putting the game away, in the 83rd minute. Receiving the ball at the top of the box, Dominic Boland laid it off for the oncoming Carlos Gómez. With no OCB player closing him down, Gómez put his first touch over Chade and into the roof of the net.
“Two goals that we can avoid,” Chade said following the game. “We need to know how to avoid these.”
Despite being down a goal and making three attacking changes, with Bagrou, Osei-Wusu, and Luc Granitur entering, OCB was unable to create any solid opportunities in the second half. The Young Lions spent most of the game defending and were fortunate the final deficit was just two.
“The worst game that we’ve ever had during all of the season,” OCB Head Coach Fernando Jose De Argila said after the game. “We didn’t arrive to the opposing box at any moment during the game. It’s very difficult to win a game if you don’t try. We didn’t have the ball. We lost too easily the ball. They didn’t do anything to put into difficulty our position. They were waiting all the time for our mistakes and we were making easy mistakes.”
OCB entered this game having taken 173 shots, third in the league. However, the team had trouble creating chances in this one, being out-shot, 12-4. Adding to the misery of the performance, OCB was unable to put a single shot on target. It’s a frustrating performance offensively for the Young Lions as they held 58% possession.
“Today we didn’t create,” Argila said. “We didn’t have any idea, any personality, any identity. No one today was brave to try one-v-one. No one attacked at depth. They only wanted the ball at their feet. That makes it very easy for the defender because everyone is checking for the ball. They had the attack in front of them so they didn’t have to move to the defender. We had a lack of intensity with the ball and without the ball.”
The loss is OCB’s second straight at home. After such a poor performance, the Young Lions will now have a full week and a half to prepare for their next game at home against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC on July 10.