Update (12:53 p.m.): USL League One has postponed this match due to two COVID-19 positive tests in the Chattanooga Red Wolves organization.
Proceeding with an abundance of caution, the postponement comes after two covered persons in the Chattanooga Red Wolves organization tested positive for COVID-19. The individuals have been immediately isolated and are in good spirits under the care of team physicians.
A rescheduled date for the match will be announced as soon as possible.
What remains below is the original match preview we dropped at 11 a.m.
Orlando City B (1-8-3, 6 points) returns home this afternoon to take on Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (5-5-3, 18 points). It will be the first time these two teams have faced off this season as the Young Lions look to break their five-game losing streak.
OCB is coming off a tough game Wednesday night against the Richmond Kickers. While possession in the game was nearly even, the Young Lions spent much of the time in their own end. They were out-shot 16-4 in the game and 7-1 in shots on target, leading to a 2-1 defeat.
Austin Aviza had a solid game for the Lions, making five saves, including a penalty stop in the 89th minute. Shortly after the save, Wilfredo Rivera scored for OCB. It was the first goal the Young Lions had scored in a little over 510 minutes of action, dating back to Sept. 3.
The Lions will attempt to carry that late-game momentum into this afternoon’s contest when they welcome the Red Wolves to Kissimmee. While OCB has nearly secured last place in USL League One, Chattanooga still has a chance at the championship game, currently sitting in fourth. Having played 13 games, the Red Wolves are currently four points behind Union Omaha and five points behind the Kickers. They might be a long shot to make the championship game this year but have yet to be eliminated, making today’s points essential for the visitors.
While Chattanooga has had a solid year, the Red Wolves come to Central Florida having hit a recent rough patch. They’re currently on a three-game losing streak, having lost to Greenville Triumph SC, 1-0 on Sept. 19; Forward Madison FC, 1-0 on Sept. 26; and North Texas SC, 3-1 on Wednesday night. They’ll be desperate to break out of their slump against the team with the worst record in the league.
Several USL League One teams have been helped by new additions, but the primary attacking force for the Red Wolves is someone familiar. Greg Hurst leads the team this season with six goals in 10 appearances, leading the next top-scoring player by three goals. He’s also accumulated two assists this season, second on the team only to Mark Hernandez’s four assists. The other player that the OCB defense will need to be aware of is Ricky Ruiz. The 23-year-old midfielder has created a team-leading 16 chances in 12 games this season.
The Red Wolves lead the league in conversion rate this season, scoring 18 goals from 138 shots. While their attack has been dangerous this season, they’ve also been solid defensively. In 13 games, they’ve conceded 16 goals, fifth fewest in the league.
The Red Wolves have seen some changes defensively with the additions of Jason Ramos and Jonathan Ricketts to their back line. That’s placed more pressure on returning starters Leo Folla and goalkeeper Alex Mangels to ensure stability in the back. They’ve done the job well, conceding 15 goals in 13 games this season, allowing them to maintain a positive goal differential.
OCB has struggled with key personnel losses this season because of suspensions and injuries. Captain Mateo Rodas missed out on the trip to Richmond but the Young Lions will be missing a more crucial player this afternoon. Moises Tablante has been the team’s primary playmaker this year in the midfield but was sent off in the 68th minute in Richmond for a second yellow card. The sending off will see him miss this game, a devastating loss for a team that can’t afford one.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B
Austin Aviza, Jonathan Rosales, Moises Tablante, Franklin Carabali, Juan Pablo Monticelli, Raul Aguilera, Teddy Ndje, Wilfredo Rivera, Kenji Tanaka, Mason Lamb, Aleksandar Gluvacevic.
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Alexander Mangels, Jonathan Ricketts, Jason Ramos, Travis Nicklaw, Leo Folla, Josue Soto, Tanner Dietrich, Conor Doyle, Ricardo Zacarias, Greg Hurst, Alexi Jaimes.
How to Watch
The 3 p.m. kickoff from Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee can be streamed on ESPN+ domestically or on YouTube internationally. For rapid reaction and live updates, follow @TheManeLand on Twitter.
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