OCB Faces Must-Win I-4 Derby in Season Finale

OCB Tampa

ORLANDO, Fla. (October 11, 2017) - In its last match of the regular season, Orlando City B (10-9-12, 42 points) faces a must-win against the I-4 Derby rival Tampa Bay Rowdies (13-7-11, 50 points) Thursday, Oct. 12. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium.

The match will be streamed online at

“Any game against the Rowdies is big for us with the rivalry that we’ve had over the years, but now going into this game we know that we have to win in order to give ourselves a chance at the playoffs,” OCB head coach Anthony Pulis said. “It adds a little bit extra toward it and we’re really excited going into it.”

OCB must win Thursday to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Lions are ninth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind eighth-place FC Cincinnati and two points behind sixth-place New York Red Bulls II. Even with a win, OCB must await the results of New York, Bethlehem and Cincinnati before learning its fate. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, will be fighting to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs.

This is the second consecutive season OCB enters its season finale in need of a win. On Sept. 25, 2016, the Lions earned a 2-0 win at Bethlehem to clinch the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference before falling in the first round of the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs to the eventual champion Red Bulls II.

Orlando City B is coming off a 6-5 loss to New York. The Lions nearly overcame a 5-1 second-half deficit with four goals in the final half hour, including two in stoppage time, but Florian Valot’s 87th-minute penalty kick proved the winner. Lewis Neal and Zach Carroll picked up a goal and assist each, while Barry, Timbó and Austin Martz all scored. Richie Laryea and Michael Cox each had an assist.

Barry’s goal was his team-leading 10th of the season. Pierre Da Silva leads the team with seven assists.

Tampa Bay is coming off a 1-1 draw against San Antonio FC. Georgi Hristov opened the scoring in the 69th minute when he finished a long cross from Marcel Schӓfer, but Éver Guzman leveled the score for San Antonio in the 88th.

This is the third and final meeting of the season between these teams. Tampa Bay earned a 1-0 victory riding Hristov’s penalty kick conversion on Opening Day. OCB earned a point on July 13 at Orlando City Stadium when Danny Deakin scored from the penalty spot in stoppage time.

Hristov leads Tampa Bay with 12 goals, while Schӓfer leads the Rowdies with 10 assists.