Orlando City B (4-10-3, 17 points) went on the road to York Lions Stadium in Canada and lost 3-0 against Toronto FC II (8-6-3, 29 points). After a scoreless first half filled with plenty of chances for Orlando, Toronto scored in the second half and never looked back. Reshaun Walkes came off the bench and had a brace, with fellow substitute Julian Altobelli also scoring.
OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman made three changes to the lineup that lost 3-1 to Philadelphia Union II on July 24. Goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar made his first appearance for OCB this year as he returns to action following his jaw surgery in June. Neicer Acosta and Erick Gunera both returned as starters, with Nick Taylor on the bench and Moises Tablante not in the lineup after they both started in the previous game.
The Lions are lined up #TORvORL | #VamosOrlando pic.twitter.com/zbTMFVbvSJ— Orlando City B (@OrlandoCityB) August 7, 2022
The Young Lions had the game’s first real chance in the fifth minute as Jack Lynn dribbled into the midfield and laid the ball out to the wing for Acosta to charge into the box. Acosta’s shot rocketed past Toronto goalkeeper Luka Gavran and struck the underside of the crossbar. Victor Yan was able to get his head to the rebound, but couldn’t get enough power or direction behind it.
Toronto’s first shot came in the 16th minute as Themi Antonoglu slipped a through ball for Rothrock to chase down in the box. Rothrock was forced to get his shot off early without much behind it and Stajduhar was able to easily collect it. Stajduhar faced a bit of a tougher test in the 21st minute but still came up with the easy save as Jordan Perruzza was given space outside of the box to shoot and fired a strong shot towards goal.
The Young Lions had a barrage of chances soon after that shot, but lacked the finishing touch to give Orlando the lead. In the 22nd minute, Lynn dribbled into the box but didn’t have the best angle and shot it wide of goal. Favian Loyola’s first shot of the game came minutes later, with Alex Freeman making a nice run to draw attention, giving Loyola space to shoot. However, the low shot didn’t have enough behind it to sneak into the bottom right corner as Gavran made the save.
After missing earlier from the right, Lynn had an opportunity from the left side of goal in the 26th minute. Acosta laid the ball off for Lynn to dribble into the box, but his shot lacked the needed pace to reach the far post and Gavran collected it.
Yan had a shot of his own a few minutes later, thanks to a nice cutback pass from Acosta to find him open in the box. He one-timed the shot and, like many of Orlando’s shots in this match, it didn’t have enough power behind it to trouble Gavran.
OCB’s best chance of the half came in the 35th minute when Lynn delivered a great cross that skipped all the way across the face of goal to find Acosta racing towards the back post. Acosta’s shot looked destined for the back of the net but was stopped by a sliding Kadin Chung to send the ball out for a corner and keep the game level.
Chung makes a last-second block to keep it out for @TorontoFCII! pic.twitter.com/fMeQZBy30Z— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) August 7, 2022
A long-distance shot from Ignacio Galvan that was sent straight at Gavran was Orlando’s last chance of the half and the team survived a pair of corners from Toronto as the game stayed level.
At the half, Toronto barely edged Orlando in possession (50.9%-49.1%) but the Young Lions had far more shots (12-3) and put more on target (5-2). OCB was more accurate than Toronto when passing (87.8%-82.3%) and was able to capitalize on some of those turnovers to create dangerous opportunities.
The start of the second half was filled with fouls and stoppages, but the Young Lions continued to push for a goal with plenty of possession in the attacking third. While individual skill on the ball allowed the Young Lions to dribble into open space, Toronto did well putting bodies behind the ball to block shots and clog up the passing lanes.
While most of Orlando’s success in the first half came in the run of play, Acosta nearly gave the visitors a breakthrough from a free kick in the 58th minute. The shot was well taken from distance, but missed and hit the side netting near the top right corner of the goal.
Toronto was content absorbing Orlando’s pressure and then heaving the ball up the field to counter and it almost paid off in the 60th when a poor clearance by Andrew Forth on a ball over the top left the ball bouncing in front of Perruzza with only Stajduhar to beat. Stajduhar misplayed the ball but stalled the play just enough for Thomas Williams to get back and put his body in front of goal. Perruzza tried to dribble around Williams, but the defender poked the ball towards the end line before sliding to stop the shot. It was enough of an effort by Williams for Stajduhar to recover and make the save at the near post. Still seated, Williams cleared the ball out for a corner to finally put out the fire.
The game shifted when Walkes and Altobelli came on in the 63rd minute to add some bite to Toronto’s offense. Lynn lofted a cross towards the far post to Galvan a few moments later, but Adam Pearlman cleared it away and it was Orlando’s last chance before Toronto scored.
With a loose ball up for grabs, Forth simply waited for the ball to come to him rather than stepping up to play it and Walkes took full advantage of the defensive mistake. Williams was the only defender left and couldn’t cover both Walkes and Paul Rothrock. Walkes passed to Rothrock, who fed it back to Walkes while Williams was stuck on an island between them, and the substitute easily tucked the ball past Stajduhar for the first goal of the game in the 67th minute.
Walkes calmy slots it home and @TorontoFCII take the lead! pic.twitter.com/q7plEKf2ui— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) August 8, 2022
Toronto continued to torment Orlando on the counter and found its second goal just a few minutes later in the 71st. A weak shot from Galvan was saved by Gavran and then Toronto was off to the races, sending the ball wide for Walkes to sprint down the left wing. Walkes found Steffen Yeates making a run into the box and then the ball was cut back near the penalty spot for Altobelli. Desperate defending from Forth while sliding wasn’t enough to stop Altobelli from putting the ball in the back of the net.
And just like that Altobelli doubles the lead!— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) August 8, 2022
2-0 @TorontoFCII pic.twitter.com/5JmhXKSVoz
Walkes, Yeates, and Altobelli continued to cause problems for Orlando’s defense, with Stajduhar getting just enough on a shot by Walkes in the 73rd minute to keep Orlando in the game.
Orlando’s offense struggled to regain its form though after conceding twice. Diego Pareja replaced Gunera in the 71st minute and then Nick Taylor, Tahir Reid-Brown, and Dominic Bell came on for Loyola, Forth, and Williams in the 81st. The changes weren’t enough to revitalize Orlando’s offense or stop the bleeding as Toronto put the nail in the coffin in the 84th minute.
Toronto’s Rohan Goulborne squeezed a pass between Alejandro Granados and Bell to send Walkes in on goal and he beat Stajduhar again to complete his brace and secure the win for Toronto.
Walkes gets his 2nd and @TorontoFCII's 3rd of the night! pic.twitter.com/QlOz3qqKYI— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) August 8, 2022
Ian Silva came off the bench to replace Yan in the 87th minute and Orlando’s last touch of the game was a shot by Lynn that sailed over the crossbar as the Young Lions were shut out on the road.
In the end, Orlando finished with more possession (51.5%-48.5%) and shots (21-11), but both teams finished with the same amount of shots on target (7-7). Gavran came up with more saves than Stajduhar (6-4) as OCB wasn’t able to make the most of its scoring chances in this one.
This was Orlando’s first time being shut out since a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia back on May 16. The Young Lions have now lost seven of their nine games on the road and are ninth in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the Central Division with seven games left this season.
It was a rough start to a busy month for OCB and the Young Lions will look to bounce back against New York City FC II on the road on Friday.