KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2023) – Orlando City B (13-10-5, 46 points) returned to Osceola County Stadium for its last match of the 2023 regular season against FC Cincinnati 2 (7-16-5, 27 points). After an action-packed second half, the Lions took a 2-1 lead to take all three points on MLS NEXT Pro’s Decision Day.
The Lions were on the attack early with multiple opportunities to score. The goal finally arrived in the 16th minute of the match following a free-kick delivery from Wilfredo Rivera to Jack Lynn for his 19th goal of the season, putting him in the lead for the MLS Next Pro Golden Boot award. The assist was Rivera’s third of 2023.
FC Cincinnati 2 didn’t hold back and re-entered the match with a response from Ryan Belal who broke free from the Lions' defense and leveled the match. However, the draw was short-lived as The Lions were able to regain control of the match when Shak Mohammed fought off three of Cincinatti’s defenders and then retook the lead recording his sixth goal of the season.
The Lions will return to the pitch for postseason play after clinching a spot in the MLS Next Pro Playoffs.
16’ Jack Lynn (Wilfredo Rivera) – ORL 1, CIN 0
Orlando City took the lead when forward Wilfredo Rivera stepped up for the Lions after being awarded a free kick opportunity. Forward Jack Lynn found himself in the center of the box where he finished off the set piece with a header, sending the ball into the top right corner of the net.
59’ Ryan Belal (Gerardo Valenzuela) – ORL 1, CIN 1
The visitors leveled the match in the second half of the match when Gerardo Valenzuela found Ryan Belal on the left side of the field and sent him the ball with a cross. Belal made contact with his left foot after shaking off a Lion defender, Belal shot the ball into the left corner of the net.
63’ Shak Mohammed (Juninho) – ORL 2, CIN 1
The Lions retook the lead minutes after FC Cincinnati leveled the score. Shak Mohammed received the ball inside the box from OCB captain Juninho. After Mohammed broke free from three Cincinnati players, he launched the ball past goalkeeper Hunter Morse.
- Jack Lynn tallied his 19th goal of the season and now leads the MLS Next Pro Golden Boot race.
- Wilfredo Rivera earned his third helper of the season off of Lynn’s first-half finisher.
- Shak Mohammed recorded his sixth goal after stepping into the match as a second-half substitute.
- Defender Dominic Bell made his first appearance of the season coming in as a second-half substitute for Cristian Medina.
- Juninho notched his fifth assist on Mohammed’s finisher.
- Head Coach Martín Perelman made three changes to his starting lineup from his side’s last match against Chicago Fire FC II, with Abdi Salim, Wilfredo Rivera and Jack Lynn returning to the starting lineup.