Orlando City B (1-10-3, 6 points) will finish its final USL League One season this afternoon when it takes on league-leading Greenville Triumph SC (10-3-2, 32 points) in Kissimmee. The Young Lions will look to avoid ending the season on an eight-game losing streak while the Triumph are looking for momentum heading into the USL League One final.
Orlando City recently announced that OCB would leave USL League One as Major League Soccer reportedly will form a new reserve league next season. The move sees the Young Lions leave the second season third-tier league after 42 games, five of which have been victories.
The young OCB squad will try to push that number to six when it takes the field this afternoon. The week of games started out well for OCB on Wednesday morning when an eighth-minute goal by Kenji Tanaka saw the Young Lions take an early lead over the Richmond Kickers. However, a 24th-minute red card issued to Daniel Rosario was the turning point as the Kickers statistically dominated following the sending off. In the end, the Lions fell 3-1 for their seventh consecutive loss.
This afternoon, the Young Lions will welcome the best team in USL League One, Greenville Triumph SC. The South Carolina-based club was a finalist in 2019 and took that momentum into this season, dominating its schedule. Greenville is the only team in the league with double-digit wins and a double-digit positive goal difference.
The Triumph have been decent offensively this year, scoring 20 goals from 192 shots, ranking fourth and fifth in the league, respectively. But it’s been the defense that has led the Triumph to 10 wins this year. Reigning USL League One Goalkeeper of the Year, Dallas Jaye, has recorded nine clean sheets in just 15 games this season. They’ve also only conceded 10 goals in those 15 games. Both of those stats lead the league and that’s unlikely to change after today.
The Triumph have hit a bit of a skid the last two games though, drawing 2-2 with FC Tucson and falling 2-1 at home to Union Omaha. However, those games have come after the Triumph clinched home field in the 2020 USL League One final, so it doesn’t diminish what the team has done throughout the entirety of the season.
The first match between these two teams came on Oct. 2 and was a one-sided affair as the Triumph dominated the whole game. OCB was able to keep the hosts off the board until the 65th minute when Greenville’s leading scorer, Lachlan McLean, converted inside the box. The Triumph doubled that lead four minutes later when Alex Morrell scored off an assist by the team’s second-leading scorer, Jake Keegan. Those will be the three offensive players that OCB will need to keep in check as they are Greenville’s top three players in goals and Morrell leads the team in both assists and chances created.
It might be too much to ask for points out of this game from OCB, but there will be some things to look for. The Young Lions will want to keep some sustained possession and create some chances in the attack. That’s something they were unable to do during the first meeting. Head Coach Marcelo Neveleff will also be looking for a better defensive effort in this game.
OCB starting goalkeeper Austin Aviza has been much better since being replaced by Mason Stajduhar earlier this season. Aviza made a couple of critical mistakes that cost his team points in two early-season games but hasn’t had those problems in recent weeks. A depleted defensive unit suffered another blow with the sending off of Rosario because he will be out for this game. In all likelihood, he’ll be replaced by Mateo Rodas, who has been out injured for part of the season but came on in the 28th minute Wednesday. The lack of bodies on defense means OCB might need another stellar performance from its 23-year-old goalkeeper.
This will be a send-off performance for OCB in the USL, where it’s played since the team’s start in 2016. A strong performance against unquestionably the best team in the league would be a good way to say goodbye.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B
Austin Aviza, Jonathan Rosales, Moises Tablante, Daniel Rosario, Thomas Williams, Austin Amer, Kenji Tanaka, Adam Ozeri, Julian Kennedy, Wilfredo Rivera, Jose Quintero.
Dallas Jaye, Cesar Murillo, Tyler Polak, Brandon Fricke, Evan Lee, Aaron Walker, Omar Mohamed, Noah Pilato, Jake Keegan, Alex Morrell, Lachlan McLean.
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