Orlando City B (1-3-2, 5 points) takes to the field again tonight to wrap up a two-game homestand against North Texas SC (1-2-3, 6 points). OCB will be looking for points against the defending USL League One champions to climb out of 10th place in the 11-team league.
After claiming four points in two games against New England Revolution II and Fort Lauderdale CF, the Young Lions lost 4-1 to FC Tucson and 3-1 to Forward Madison. On Friday night, they were able to claim a point against South Georgia Tormenta FC as a Raul Aguilera penalty canceled out an own goal by Austin Aviza.
OCB Head Coach Marcelo Neveleff made the most dramatic changes to the lineup for the game against Madison as regular starters Mateo Rodas, Michael Halliday, and Jose Quintero exited the lineup. They were replaced by Jonathan Rosales, Kenji Tanaka, and Franklin Carabali. There could be some more changes to the lineup tonight as OCB will be playing its second match in four days.
The offensive cornerstone of the team continues to be Moises Tablante, who has created the majority of the chances for the Young Lions. Aguilera had one of his best games for the team so far Friday night, despite nearly giving up a goal in the opening minutes through a bad giveaway.
Defensively, questions have to be asked of goalkeeper and 2020 Orlando City draft pick Aviza. The 23-year-old shot stopper had a bad touch against Fort Lauderdale that ended up costing the Young Lions two points and took his eye off the ball Friday night, resulting in another goal for the opposition. This could be the night where we see the teenage academy product, Javier Otero, get his chance.
The Young Lions will have to go into this game without a key defensive player in Nick O’Callaghan. The Orlando City 2020 MLS SuperDraft selection and Orlando City Development Academy product was injured during Friday night’s game against Tormenta FC. While the club listed him as out with a lower body injury, the defender posted an image on Instagram indicating the injury will keep him out for two months.
Tonight, OCB takes the field at Osceola County Stadium for the last time for three weeks as the team prepares to head out on a three-game road trip. For North Texas, the developmental side of FC Dallas, it’s been a tough start to the 2020 season. While the team has many returning players, two key attackers from last year are missing. Arturo Rodriguez is on loan to the Real Monarchs of the USL Championship and Ricardo Pepi has been playing for the first team.
While the loss of Rodriguez and Pepi has been tough, it hasn’t slowed down the North Texas offense. The team’s 1-0 loss to Union Omaha Aug. 1 is the only game in which the young team hasn’t scored multiple goals. Their most recent games have been a 3-2 loss to Fort Lauderdale CF and a 2-2 draw at home against Union Omaha.
North Texas’ match-up Sunday night with Forward Madison was postponed as the players decided to sit in protest. Due to the postponement, North Texas hasn’t played a game since Aug. 23. This delay could be a positive or negative factor in tonight’s game in Kissimmee.
Currently equal on points with New England, OCB will be looking to climb out of the bottom places in the league before heading out on the longest road trip of the season. A win could see the Young Lions move up as many as four spots in the standings.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando CIty B
Austin Aviza, Jonathan Rosales, Nick O’Callaghan, Franklin Carabali, Thomas Williams, Raul Aguilera, Kenji Tanaka, Adam Ozeri, Wilfredo Rivera, Moises Tablante, Teddy Ndje.
North Texas SC
Luis Zamudio, Brecc Evans, Derek Waldeck, Justin Che, Oscar Romero, Thomas Roberts, Alisson, Edwin Cerrillo, Collin Smith, Gibran Rayo, Ronaldo Damus.
How to Watch
The 7 p.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.
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