Orlando City B at Philadelphia Union II
When: Sunday, 3 p.m.
Where: Subaru Park, Philadelphia
Here are the storylines to watch when Orlando City B opens the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season against Philadelphia Union II:
New Kids on the Block
A total of 10 new players start the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season on Head Coach Martín Perelman’s roster, including Juninho from Brazilian side Vasco da Gama and Franco Pérez from Rentistas out of Uruguay.
Juninho, 22, appeared 70 times across all competitions for Vasco, scoring one goal and adding an assist in that span.
For Rentistas, Pérez tallied 94 appearances in all competitions, finding the back of the net six times and recording six assists.
The next step
Midfielder Alejandro Granados has made his next step along the Club’s development pathway this past offseason, signing an MLS NEXT Pro contract after competing for OCB as an Academy player a year ago.
In 2022, Granados appeared 15 times for the Lions, starting seven matches and adding one assist while also appearing at the inaugural MLS NEXT All-Star Game representing the Orlando City Academy.
In between the sticks
Goalkeeper Javier Otero returns in between the sticks for the Lions for the 2023 campaign after finishing last season as the league-leader in saves with 100.
Otero earned MLS NEXT Pro Goalkeeper of the Month honors in April of last season, starting 17 matches for the side, registering four clean sheets in that span.
Two for one
Sunday’s match between Orlando City B and Philadelphia Union II isn’t the only matchup between the two clubs this weekend, with Orlando City of Major League Soccer also traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Union on Saturday evening.
That match is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET at Subaru Park, less than 24 hours until OCB takes the pitch for the first time this season.