Orlando City announced today that it has parted ways with Orlando City B Head Coach Fernando Jose De Argila Irurita. The move is effective immediately and he will be replaced by Roberto Sibaja, the Orlando City U-19 head coach, on an interim basis.
OCB has had a tough first USL League One season on the field. It took the team seven games before it won its first game under Argila. Following a four-game unbeaten streak, which included three wins (3-0-1), the Young Lions have lost seven of their last eight, only claiming a last-minute draw on July 10 against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC. Their current record is 3-12-4 with 13 points. The team sits in last place and has a -17 goal differential despite being tied for the most games played in the league.
Argila joined OCB as head coach on Oct. 3, 2018, after a long career in coaching youth players. He most famously coached in FC Barcelona’s youth system, before joining the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (SIMA) under OCB General Manager Mike Potempa.
Taking the reins for the remainder of the 2019 USL League One season will be Sibaja, who has been the head coach of the Orlando City U-19 academy team. Sibaja joined Orlando City this year after spending the previous five years at United Futbol Academy in Suwanee, GA. He held the position of director of coaching for the USSDA club before becoming Orlando City’s U-19 coach. He has a USSF A coaching license and has completed the Academy Director’s Course.
The interim replacement makes sense as the U-19 academy is the team just below OCB in the club’s development ladder. In that way, it’s a promotion of one level for Sibaja — at least temporarily.
This decision comes one day after OCB equaled its worst loss of the season and sustained its worst home loss, falling 4-1 to South Georgia Tormenta FC. While the club has not stated why the decision was made, Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi has put an emphasis on developing Homegrown talent. Despite this, Argila’s every-changing lineup has often left academy products on the bench or at home in favor of some older players or young Brazilian imports.
Sibaja’s first game in charge of OCB will come on Saturday when the team travels to Wisconsin to take on Forward Madison FC.