MELBOURNE, Fla. (August 16, 2016) – Just five days after playing in New York, Orlando City B (8-7-7, 31 points) finishes its two-game road trip at the Charlotte Independence (10-6-6, 36 points) on Wednesday, Aug. 17. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at Ramblewood Soccer Complex. The match will be streamed live at www.OrlandoCitySC.com/Live.
“It’s a game we’re really looking forward to. We all learned a lot of lessons from last weekend, myself included, and the main focus for us now is obviously getting a reaction out of the players. It’s the old saying, ‘it’s not about getting knocked down, it’s about how quickly you can get back up,’ ” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said. “The guys’ spirit has been fantastic the last few days. The few training sessions we’ve had since the Red Bulls game have been really good. We know it’s going to be a tough game but one we’re looking forward to.”
The Lions face Charlotte looking to collect points against the Independence for the third time. Craig Nitti’s first professional goal in the 71st minute secured OCB’s comeback 2-1 victory on May 28 in Melbourne. Michael Cox equalized two minutes into the second half on July 2 for City’s fourth point against Charlotte this season.
Cox leads the team with nine goals and two assists while Hadji Barry and Tyler Turner have four goals each. Goalkeeper Mark Ridgers is second in the USL and leads the Eastern Conference with 78 saves. Orlando City Academy defender David Norris and midfielder Isaque Cuoto were called up for this match.
OCB’s first loss in two months ended its nine-game unbeaten run Friday at Red Bull Arena. Defender Conor Donovan was sent off after the referee consulted with the Video Assistant Referee for the first time ever in the 36th minute. The Lions kept it close until a Brandon Allen penalty kick in 61st minute made it 2-0. Michael Cox scored in the 68th minute but nine-man OCB eventually fell 5-1.
In its last match, Charlotte defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads 1-0 to extend its unbeaten streak to five games. Brian Brown scored the game-winning goal in the 65th minute as goalkeeper John Berner made a single save to earn his fourth clean sheet of the season.
Enzo Martinez and Caleb Calvert lead the Independence with six goals each while Brown and Jorge Herrera both have five goals. Berner leads the team with 33 saves in 13 games played.
The Lions begin a home-and-home series against the Richmond Kickers on Sunday, Aug. 21, at Titan Soccer Complex at 7:30 p.m. ET. OCB visits Richmond on Saturday, Aug. 27, for a 7 p.m. ET kickoff. The Lions return home on Saturday, Sept. 3, against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for their final regular season home game.
Tickets for all OCB home matches can be purchased at OrlandoCitySC.com/OCB or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.