Orlando City B (1-3-3, 6 points) returns to action tonight, playing its second game in four days. Tonight’s opponent is new for OCB as they face Union Omaha (3-0-3, 12 points) for the first time at Werner Park.
It was a short break for OCB as the Young Lions drew 1-1 against North Texas SC Thursday night. A 24th-minute penalty conversion by Oscar Romero was answered by a nice individual effort from Jose Quintero in the 30th minute. The point moved OCB one point ahead of New England Revolution II for 10th in USL League One.
With the point, the Young Lions have now claimed points in four of the last six games. The young team suffered a two-game losing streak following a win over New England and a draw with Fort Lauderdale CF last month. The Young Lions followed the losing streak with draws against South Georgia Tormenta on Aug. 28 and North Texas SC Thursday night. Of the four home games so far this season, only a 4-1 loss to FC Tucson wasn’t a 1-1 draw.
Thursday’s lineup featured three first-team players as Mason Stajduhar, Jordan Bender, and Joey DeZart all joined the club’s second team for the game. Tonight’s lineup is likely to look quite different as those three will probably be replaced by OCB regulars. So far this season, only Moises Tablante and Wilfredo Rivera, the team’s two most dangerous attackers, have started each of the team’s seven games. Adam Ozeri and team captain Mateo Rodas have also taken part in each game, with Ozeri starting two and Rodas starting six.
Tonight, OCB will visit USL League One’s newest club, Union Omaha. Despite playing its first-ever season, Omaha has gotten off to a roaring start, remaining undefeated through six games. They’ve drawn against New England, Forward Madison FC, and North Texas SC, while defeating North Texas once and FC Tucson twice. The most recent contest was a 2-1 win over FC Tucson at home last Saturday.
The team has been led offensively this season by Damia Viader and Ethan Vanacore-Decker. While Viader moved up to USL League One from the fourth division NPSL, Vanacore-Decker was with Swope Park Rangers, now Sporting Kansas City II, last year in the USL Championship. Both players have started each of the team’s first six games with Vanacore-Decker leading the team in scoring with two goals. He’s also created 12 chances for his team so far this season, only beaten by Viader’s 14 chances created.
Rashid Nuhu has been Omaha’s starting goalkeeper this season but the former Red Bulls II player was sent off on Aug. 23 after an altercation with Ronaldo Damus of North Texas SC. The ejection saw him suspended in the team’s 2-1 win over FC Tucson, replaced by Sam Howard.
So far this season, Union Omaha has been similar to OCB in offensive production. Their eight goals this season is one more than the Young Lions and their 83 shots are only three fewer than OCB. Where the two teams have differed statistically is defensively. While OCB has conceded 12 goals this season — fourth most in the league — Omaha has only conceded five goals this year, tied with Forward Madison FC for fewest in the league.
The keys to victory in this game will be avoiding defensive miscues, which have cost OCB multiple points this season, and creating attacking chances for Tablante and Rivera. Committing to the pressuring the Omaha defense and avoiding simple errors in the back could see OCB give Omaha its first loss in 2020.
Most Recent Lineups
Orlando City B
Mason Stajduhar, Michael Halliday, Juan Pablo Monticelli, Franklin Carabali, Mateo Rodas, Joey DeZart, Jose Quintero, Jordan Bender, Mason Lamb, Wilfredo Rivera, Moises Tablante.
Sam Howard, Lucas Hauswirth, Damia Viader, Abdul Osumanu, Jake Crull, Tyler David, Sebastian Contreras, Devin Boyce, Evan Conway, Ethan Vanacore-Decker, Elma N’For.
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.
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.