Orlando City B (1-1-0, 3 points) will call Osceola County Stadium home for the first time tonight when the Young Lions welcome Fort Lauderdale CF (1-2-0, 3 points) to Kissimmee. Both teams are coming off their first win of the year as they look to build on last week’s success.
After a tough 2-0 loss to South Georgia Tormenta FC two weeks ago, OCB traveled to the northeast to take on New England Revolution II last Friday night. A 38th-minute red card issued to the Revs’ Ryo Shimazaki changed the game as Moises Tablante was given free reign on the left side. He created both of OCB’s goals in the second half — first to Wilfredo Rivera in the 66th minute and then to Kenji Tanaka in injury time as the Young Lions prevailed 2-0.
Orlando City 2020 MLS SuperDraft selection Austin Aviza had another great performance in goal, securing his first professional clean sheet. But the biggest takeaway from the game for Orlando City fans was that both goals and assists were created by Orlando City Development Academy products.
The Young Lions will look to continue building on last week’s win tonight when they welcome the new Fort Lauderdale CF to Kissimmee. Tonight’s visitors are the developmental side of Inter Miami CF, currently sharing a stadium on the former site of Lockhart Stadium. Fort Lauderale got off to an earlier start than OCB, playing its first game on July 18 and second on July 25. They were supposed to play on Aug. 1, when OCB played its first game, but the match was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test.
After a 2-0 loss in its home opener to Greenville Triumph SC, Fort Lauderdale scored the club’s first goal in a 2-1 loss to FC Tucson on July 25. An eighth-minute goal Ricky Lopez-Espin appeared to secure the young team’s first win before goals in the 87th and 90th minutes saw Tucson come away with the win.
After that postponement, Fort Lauderdale returned to the field last week against South Georgia Tormenta FC. Lopez-Espin’s second goal of the season — from the halfway line — was the highlight of the week as he beat Tormenta goalkeeper Pablo Jara. The goal ended up being the deciding factor in a 2-1 win over Tormenta FC — the team’s first victory in its brief history.
The former Lansing striker will be a tough test for OCB’s defense that has been quite strong this season. Captain Mateo Rodas has been the experience in the back, playing alongside several academy products, including Nick O’Callaghan, Michael Halliday, and Thomas Williams. Working in front of Aviza, they’ll attempt to thwart Fort Lauderdale’s attack to secure the team’s second consecutive win.
Of interest to Orlando City fans is the link between Fort Lauderdale and Orlando City. Former Lion Brek Shea started his stint in South Florida training with Fort Lauderdale before being signed to the first team. Servando Carrasco returned to the Sunshine State this year to play for the team as well. The signings may not be all that surprising given that the team is coached by Jason Kreis and built by Orlando City’s first general manager, Paul McDonough. They’ll be looking forward to facing their old club when the two teams square off this evening.
Most Recent Lineups
Fort Lauderdale CF
Dylan Castanheira, Christian Young, Sami Guediri, Brian Rosales, Ethan Hardin, Francisco Raggio, Eduardo Sosa, Blaine Ferri, Ricky Lopez-Espin, Felipe Valencia, Edison Azcona.
Orlando City B
Austin Aviza, Nick O’Callaghan, Thomas Williams, Mateo Rodas, Jonathan Rosales, Juan Pablo Monticelli, Owen Guske, Jose Quintero, Julian Kennedy, Wilfredo Rivera, Moises Tablante.
How to Watch
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