Orlando City B (1-3-2, 7 points) fell 1-0 to Philadelphia Union II (4-1-2, 12 points) in a game in which the Young Lions were dominated. Despite being out-shot, 24-10, the only goal came from a Paxten Aaronson rebound in the 51st minute.
It had been 22 days since OCB last took the field. After drawing New England Revolution II on April 24 at Exploria Stadium, the Young Lions were scheduled to face Rochester NY FC on April 29, but the game was postponed due to stadium construction delays. As a result, it had been three weeks between games for the Young Lions.
OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman made three changes from the team that drew Revolution II in Orlando. Diego Pareja and Nick Taylor started the game on the bench and Erick Gunera was suspended after receiving two yellow cards in the most recent game. The three were replaced by Ignacio Galvan, Alex Freeman, and Ian Silva.
Freeman signed a first-team contract prior to the season and was involved in four of the first five games for OCB before being left out of the game against New England. First-team striker Jack Lynn also wasn’t involved in the New England game after coming off the bench against the New York Red Bulls earlier in the day. He returned to OCB tonight but started the game on the bench.
The start by Galvan was his first appearance for the club. The 19-year-old Argentine left back was acquired on loan by Orlando City from Racing Club earlier this month.
Union II got off to a fast start and kept constant pressure on OCB. It started inside the first minute when Bajung Darboe found Chris Donovan, who took a shot on goal but sent it wide right. A minute later, Jack McGlynn provided Donovan with his second opportunity of the half. The forward was looking for the opposite corner this time, but it too went wide.
A first-half worry for OCB in this game was the condition of its star goalkeeper Javier Otero. The academy product grabbed at his left shoulder early in the game, seemingly in some discomfort. However, he felt as though he was healthy enough to continue.
In the eighth minute, Nelson Pierre received the ball to the left of the goal. The midfielder attempted to curl the ball around Otero and inside the far post. However, he couldn’t get enough curve on it and the ball went out of play for an OCB goal kick.
A minute later, Pierre had another shot near the penalty spot. This shot was deflected by a defender, nearly allowing it to curve around Otero. But the young goalkeeper was able to catch his footing and make the save.
Quinn Sulllivan got into the act for Philly in the 14th minute when he sent a dangerous ball across the box. However, only two players were making runs into the box for Union II and neither were able to reach the ball as it went all the way out of play.
Two minutes later, Darboe found some space in the box and fired on goal. He was aiming for the far post but Otero did well to get down and make the save, keeping the game scoreless.
In the 19th minute, Sullivan took either a shot from a tough angle or a low cross into the box. It might have already been heading a little wide, but Otero got his hand to the ball, sending it out of play to be sure it wouldn’t go in.
OCB got its first real chance of the game in the 20th minute when Moises Tablante sent a curling ball into the box from the right. The ball went towards the back post but no Lions were able to get to it and it went harmlessly out of play.
In the 31st minute, McGlynn sent a dangerous ball across the box from the end line. Sullivan was near the penalty spot but let it go, thinking that a teammate would be making a trailing run. However, no Union II players were there and OCB was able to clear it away.
Left back Frank Westfield got into the action for Union II in the 33rd minute. Donovan found Westfield at the top of the box and the defender fired toward the left corner. The ball beat Otero but rolled just wide of the post.
OCB got its second chance of the game in the 37th minute when Tablante sent a cross towards the back post. Neicer Acosta was making the back-post run and nearly reached the ball to open the scoring, but the sliding midfielder couldn’t quite reach it.
The Young Lions had another scary moment in the 39th minute when Otero flew into a crowd of players to punch the ball away. A rough collision saw the goalkeeper come down hard and remain down. The OCB medical staff attended to the goalkeeper, but he eventually got up and decided he could continue.
About 10 minutes after that decision, Otero was put to the test. Sullivan got behind the OCB defense to the right of the goal and shot, but Otero made the stop. The rebound went right back to Sullivan who shot again. This time he lifted the ball over Otero but Philly’s best first-half chance bounced off the crossbar.
OCB got its first shot of the game one minute into first-half injury time. Up to that point, Union II had out-shot the Young Lions, 8-0. The shot came from Acosta, who had made his way into the box, but Nathan Nkanji did well to get in front and block the attempt.
Seconds later, Silva recorded OCB’s first unblocked shot of the game. The forward, who hadn’t had many touches to that point, was aiming for the left corner of the goal but sent it wide of the post.
The last chance of the first half came via McGlynn. The midfielder worked his way into the OCB box and got a shot off, but Otero got down to make the stop. It was the goalkeeper’s fifth save of the first 45 minutes.
The first half was completely dominated by Philadelphia. While the Young Lions had more possession (56.8%-43.2%) and better passing accuracy (82.2%-75.9%), this was largely because Philadelphia was having little trouble finding shots. At the break, Union II out-shot OCB, 11-2, and had more shots on target (5-0). However, Otero had been terrific which is why the game remained scoreless.
After taking 45 minutes to get a shot off in the first half, the Young Lions got their first second-half chance in the 47th minute. The opportunity came from Tablante to the right of goal, but it was a poor attempt by the midfielder, sailing well high and wide of the target.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to get their first chance of the half when Donovan got behind the OCB defense. Otero responded quickly, coming off his line to cut down Donovan’s angle and sliding in to clear it away.
In the 51st minute, Philadelphia finally broke through. Pierre found Aaronson in the box and the attacker shot on goal. However, Otero was there to block it. Unfortunately, no defenders responded to the rebound, allowing Aaronson to get a second attempt. This time he put it under the arm of Otero and in for the game’s lone goal.
A minute later, Freeman made a strong run into the box from his right back position. He made his way through multiple defenders before getting a shot off, but it was blocked and Union II cleared.
Boubacar Diallo got his first chance of the game in the 57th minute from the top of the box. The shot was just over the outstretched arm of Otero but went just over the crossbar, allowing the Young Lions to remain within a goal.
Philadelphia continued the attack in the 63rd minute when Darboe played a through ball for Jose Riasco. The substitute looked to sneak the ball inside the far post, but missed just wide.
OCB got its third chance of the second half in the 65th minute. It was Tablante’s second opportunity in the Philly box and was very similar to the first one. Unfortunately, his attempt was also very similar to the first one as the ball sailed well high and wide of the target.
After creating a good chance for Risaco earlier in the half, Darboe decided to take the next opportunity himself. Diallo found the attacker near the left corner of the box and he attempted a curling shot from distance but couldn’t bend it enough as it went wide of the post.
Union II goalkeeper Matt Freese was given little trouble in this game. In fact, he had not been forced into a save until the 77th minute. However, the first-team backup was terrific when called upon, ensuring that his team maintained its one-goal lead.
In the 77th minute, Tablante got behind the Philly defense for the third time of the second half. Freese did well to come off his line and cut down the midfielder’s angle, making the stop with his legs.
He had an even better stop in the 82nd minute. David Boccuzzo sent a ball into the box that met the head of Brandon Hackenberg. The defender redirected the ball toward the far post and it appeared to be heading in. But Freese dove to his right, getting his hand to the ball and keeping it out of the net.
Boccuzzo had his own opportunity from the top of the box in the 85th minute. It was a decent attempt by a player that spent much of the game playing center back, but it went high of the target and Freese appeared to have it the whole way.
The Young Lions continued looking for the equalizing goal and had a good opportunity in the 86th minute when substitute Owen Van Marter sent a strong, low cross into the box. It nearly met an attacking foot, but Brandan Craig did well to block it out of play.
Finally able to clear, Union II broke the other way and Donvoan had a chance to double the lead with two minutes remaining in regular time. He found space and was ready to take the shot, but Andrew Forth got in front of it for a sliding block, keeping the deficit at one.
As time wound down, OCB kept possession and attempted to find an equalizer while Union II simply looked to see out the win. In the end, the Young Lions couldn’t find a goal and fell 1-0 for their third loss this season.
OCB had more possession (57.1%-42.9%), crosses (19-5), passes (446-342), and better passing accuracy (82.1%-75.2%) in this game. However, Union II drove down the middle of the field, creating chances that resulted in more shots (24-10) and shots on target (8-2).
The visitors didn’t even threaten the hosts until the 77th minute and only made Freese make two saves. The hero for OCB, keeping the deficit at one, was Otero, who made seven saves on the night.
Offensively, it was another pitiful performance. OCB has now been held goalless in its last four games, having last scored in the team’s second game against NYCFC II on April 3. The Young Lions have now gone 411 minutes without scoring a goal.
OCB’s four goals scored represent the lowest number in the league — two fewer than Portland Timbers 2. Conversely, the Young Lions have only conceded seven times, which is tied for second in the league behind Columbus Crew 2’s three goals conceded. Additionally, Otero now leads MLS NEXT Pro with 37 saves — 10 more than Portland’s Hunter Suite.
Due to the Monday game, OCB will now have a short week, returning home to face Inter Miami II Saturday night at Osceola County Stadium.