After having last week’s game postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test within the traveling group, Orlando City B (1-5-3, 6 points) returns to the field tomorrow morning to face New England Revolution II (2-6-2, 8 points). It’s a battle between the bottom two teams in USL League One this season.
OCB was supposed to play away in Richmond last weekend at the end of a three-game road trip that started with a 1-0 loss to Union Omaha and a 2-0 loss to Fort Lauderdale CF. The Young Lions will now take on New England II, having had two weeks between games.
After recording back-to-back 1-1 draws at home against South Georgia Tormenta FC and North Texas SC, the Young Lions were looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak of 2020 against Richmond, and now that situation will transfer to Saturday’s match against the Young Revs. The most consecutive losses they’d had previously this season included a 4-1 defeat at home to FC Tucson and a 3-1 loss in Wisconsin against Forward Madison. They’ll now get to take their home field as they look to get back in the win column.
This is the second time that these two developmental sides have faced off this season. The first game was OCB’s lone win of the 2020 USL League One season. The Young Lions were boosted in that game by a second yellow card issued to Ryo Shimazaki in the 38th minute. The Japanese defender was tasked with stopping OCB’s main threat, Moises Tablante. The midfielder took advantage of the loss, setting up a pair of second-half goals. He assisted Wilfredo Rivera in the 66th minute and Kenji Tanaka a minute into injury time, lifting the Young Lions to a 2-0 win.
Tomorrow morning, OCB will host the return game as the two teams face off at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee. While the Young Lions had their game postponed last week, New England is coming off only its second win of the season. A red card issued to Union Omaha’s Ethan Vanacore-Decker a minute into second-half injury time gave the Revs a lift and they took advantage. Justin Rennicks scored seven minutes into added time and Nicolas Firmino doubled the lead a minute later, resulting in a 2-0 win.
New England has been led this year by three Homegrown Players sent down from the first team. Nicolas Firmino and Isaac Angking have each scored twice this season, though Angking did so in half as many games as he’s been held out by injury. Rennicks was only brought in for the last two games but scored in his most recent appearance.
The Revs’ primary goalkeeper this season has been Joe Rice, who’s been pounded in goal at times. In his eight appearances, he’s made a league-leading 42 saves but also conceded 12 goals. In addition to forcing Rice into a high number of saves, central defender Collin Verfurth leads the league in clearances with 48.
The key for OCB this weekend will be the play of Tablante and, if available, Jordan Bender. Tablante has been OCB’s most dangerous player going forward and Bender has been important through the midfield since joining from the first team. Bender was in the first team lineup in Orlando City’s 2-1 road win at Sporting Kansas City but did not play. The two midfielders will be looking to hook up with Rivera up top, who leads the team with a pair of goals.
The two-week break came at a good time for OCB, as the team has dealt with multiple injuries recently. Raul Aguilera and captain Mateo Rodas have been out with injuries, though both played 90 minutes in the team’s most recent game against Fort Lauderdale CF. Orlando City 2020 MLS SuperDraft selection Nick O’Callaghan remains sidelined after suffering a leg injury earlier this year and the team will be without defender Franklin Carabali, who was sent off in Fort Lauderdale for a pair of yellow cards.
It’s been a tough season for OCB on the field, currently sitting in last with seven games left. Tomorrow’s match-up is the young team’s best chance at a second win against a team only two points ahead in the standings and with one more game played.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B
Mason Stajduhar, Jonathan Rosales, Franklin Carabali, Mateo Rodas, Juan Pablo Monticelli, Kenji Tanaka, Raul Aguilera, Jordan Bender, Moises Tablante, Aleksandar Gluvacevic, Wildredo Rivera.
New England Revolution II
Joe Rice, Colby Quinones, Collin Verfurth, Jonathan Bell, Ryan Spaulding, Maciel, Connor Presley, Tiago Mendonca, Nicolas Firmino, Orlando Sinclair, Justin Rennicks.
How to Watch
The 11 a.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.
The Mane Land has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though The Mane Land and SB Nation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our guiding principles.