Orlando City B (1-1-0, 3 points) rebounded well from last week’s loss to Tormenta FC with a 2-0 win over New England Revolution II (0-1-1, 1 point) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. Moises Tablante set up Wilfredo Rivera and Kenji Tanaka as academy products created and scored both goals in the win. It was the first win for the reserve side under new coach Marcelo Neveleff.
OCB made a few changes to its starting lineup for this game. Michael Halliday was replaced by 15-year-old Homegrown defender Thomas Williams. USF alum Jonathan Rosales also slid into the starting lineup for this game. While there were some changes, many of the starters from the first game returned. This included Austin Aviza, Nick O’Callaghan, Mateo Rodas, Jose Quintero, Moises Tablante, Wilfredo Rivera, and Julian Kennedy.
Similar to OCB, Revolution II serves as a developmental team for an MLS side. However, while OCB is mostly made up of teenagers out of the club’s academy, Revolution II has only two academy graduates on the team and most of the “baby Revs” are 20 years old or older.
The experience of the Revolution players showed in this game as they held the majority of possession. The hosts out-shot the Young Lions 8-1 in the first half but only put two of those eight shots on goal. In the first 20 minutes, Revolution II nearly found Orlando Sinclair multiple times but the crosses were just out of his reach. Damian Rivera caused trouble on the left for the hosts but solid play by O’Callaghan kept New England off the board.
Despite being dominated for much of the half, OCB had a decent chance in the 44th minute when Tablante found Quintero at the top of the box. The Orlando City academy product took a curling shot that was just wide of the Revolution goal.
The game appeared to take a major change when Revolution II defender Ryo Shimazaki was sent off for his second caution. He received his first caution for a foul on Tablante in the 29th minute. After a shot was cleared off the line on the other end, Shimazaki pulled Tablante back by the shirt as the midfielder pushed forward in the 38th minute. Referee Ernie Constantine had no choice but to show a second yellow and give Shimazaki his marching orders.
OCB used the man advantage in the second half much better than it did in the first half. The Young Lions nearly broke through in the 51st minute when Kennedy got his head on a cross but put it just wide of the New England goal. Six minutes later, Tablante looked to the far post and forced a diving save from New England goalkeeper Joseph Rice.
The Young Lions finally broke through for the first time this season in the 66th minute. A beautiful ball by Rosales across the field found Tablante. The midfielder found the head of fellow academy product Rivera, who nodded home for the opening goal. It was a goal created by the two most dangerous players OCB has had offensively this season in Tablante and Rivera.
The goal came 13 minutes after Sinclair found Isaac Angking at the six-yard box, forcing Aviza into a great save from his knees. That was the last real chance to lead for the hosts as the OCB goal took the wind out of the Revolution’s sails. The Young Lions were able to hold better possession after their goal and create even more chances.
The Young Lions doubled their lead a minute into injury time when Tablante again set up a goal for OCB. A cross-field ball was flicked out wide to Tablante with a deft touch by Aleksandar Gluvacevic. After nearly losing possession, Tablante regained control of the ball and found Orlando City academy product Tanaka at the far post. It was an easy goal for Tanaka, sealing the win for the Young Lions.
Prior to the 66th minute, the game was all New England. Even a man down, the Revs ended the game with 56% possession and out-shot OCB 15-12. However, OCB got more shots on target (5-3) and the goal changed everything, as New England only created two chances following the goal and only had one shot.
The clean sheet by Aviza is his first as a professional and the fourth for the team since OCB joined USL League One in 2019. Juliano Chade had three clean sheets last year.
OCB now heads home, where the Young Lions will take on Fort Lauderdale CF, Inter Miami’s second team, at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee next Friday night at 7 p.m. The stadium is not open to the public for that match, which can be seen on ESPN+.