Orlando City B announced its roster today for the 2020 USL League One season. Similar to 2019, the roster is made up of a mixture of academy products and foreign imports. A difference is that there are three players who came out of Orlando City’s academy and are returning on professional contracts after attending college.
The only player returning from the 2019 team is Austin Amer. The defensive midfielder played in 26 games last season, starting 22, and played 2,049 minutes. An interesting omission from the roster is midfielder Moises Tablante, who was arguably OCB’s best player in 2019. Others have previously committed to colleges, such as Nathan Simeon attending the University of San Francisco and Jahlane Forbes announcing his commitment to Wake Forest University. Teenager Luc Granitur was a teenager on the roster last season but was unhappy with his role in the team and his return was questionable.
Three players came back to the club after leaving for college. Jonathan Rosales played for the U-17/U-18 team before attending USF and returning this year. Raul Aguilera was a star in the club’s academy before attending North Carolina. Third-round draft pick Nick O’Callaghan is a defender that came out of the club’s academy during the USL Pro era. He attended Elon and FIU before returning home.
In addition to O’Callaghan, goalkeeper Austin Aviza comes to OCB from Orlando City’s 2020 MLS SuperDraft. Aviza was the third of three second-round selections in January’s draft, coming out of Providence College after starting his collegiate career at Syracuse.
The 2020 roster features an increase of players that have come from Orlando City’s academy. Nine players from the 2019 OCB roster came from the club’s academy, either directly or from their relationship with Montverde Academy, and 11 have come directly from the club’s academy this season. If you include those on professional contracts, 15 players on the 24-man roster spent at least some time in Orlando City’s academy.
“We are very excited to start a new chapter with Orlando City B. Our new roster exemplifies the pathway that we are working to fortify in making OCB the final step on the way to the first team,” OCB Head Coach Marcelo Neveleff said about his new team in a club press release. “This is a very talented group and we are very excited for the season ahead.”
Hired near the end of 2018, Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi didn’t have much say in the 2019 OCB team. That team was built by Montverde Academy Soccer Director and former OCB general manager Mike Potempa. Following last season, Muzzi brought in Neveleff along with new first team head coach Oscar Pareja. The duo was with Muzzi at FC Dallas and were brought in to create more cohesion among the two teams.
The team will begin the 2020 USL League One season on March 28 away to New England Revolution II and will play its first home game on April 11 against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee.
2020 OCB Roster
- Javier Otero, Academy contract
- Russell Robles, Academy contract
- Austin Aviza, Pro contract (2020 MLS SuperDraft pick)
- Jonathan Rosales, Pro contract (former academy player)
- Michael Halliday, Academy contract
- Juan Ramos, Academy contract
- Daniel Rosario, Academy Contract
- Juan Pablo Monticelli, Pro contract
- Franklin Carabali, Pro contract
- Owen Guske, Academy contract
- Mateo Rodas, Pro contract
- Mason Lamb, Academy contract
- Thomas Williams, Academy contract
- Nick O’Callaghan, Pro contract (2020 MLS SuperDraft pick & former academy player)
- Adam Ozeri, Loan (from Ferro Carril Oeste in Argentina)
- Austin Amer, Pro contract (former academy player)
- Theodore Ndje, Pro contract
- Raul Aguilera, Pro contract (former academy player)
- Ignacio Poplawski, Loan (from Estudiantes De La Plata in Argentina)
- Julian Kennedy, Academy contract
- Aleksandar Gluvacevic, Pro contract
- Fablo Dos Snatos Oliveira, Loan (from Clube Atletico de Barra de Tijuca in Brazil)
- Wilfredo Rivera, Academy contract
- Kenji Tanaka De Paula, Academy contract