SANFORD – June 4, 2015 – The Orlando City U-23s (0-2-1, 1 point) and Floridians FC (3-1-1, 10 points) played to a 1-1 draw on Thursday night. The Lions' goal came from Joao Ramalho's free kick in the 45th minute.
Orlando City controlled much of the start of the game, as Dennis Zapata had the first shot on target in the third minute. The Lions threatened again in the ninth minute when Lucas Diniz fired a shot from 19 yards away, just wide of the post.
"I thought we came out from the first whistle with a good sense of urgency and played well," said head coach Darren Powell after the game.
Floridians FC would respond, though, threatening with free kicks and corners, before eventually taking the lead in the 27th minute after Theodore Stamatopolous played a through ball in behind to Paulo Vaz, who calmly slipped it past a charging Mitchell Thorn.
Just 18 minutes later, Joao Ramalho's powerful free kick from 21 yards away found its way between Floridian's FC's wall and the near post, leveling the score-line for City.
"We conceded a goal and the guys didn't drop their heads and fought back and got a goal right at the stroke of half time," added Powell.
The second half was much more evenly matched in the midfield. Floridians FC outshot Orlando City 8-4 in the second 45, but we unable to find the target.
"Then, second half I thought we played well in moments on both sides of the ball. Defensively, we had good moments where - they're a big, strong team, and they threatened our box quite often. But, I thought the back four defended quite well from the bombardment of balls, and then we created a couple of chances where I think if we were a little more decisive in the final third, we could've created a goal or a better shot off on goal," continued Powell.
The tie marked the first draw for the Orlando City U-23s, who improved to 0-2-1 on the season. However, Powell doesn't think the results haven't reflected the team's performances.
"All in all, very pleased with the guys. We keep improving game to game, which I think is very important. We just want to make sure we keep doing that."
Orlando City recognized supporter group, The Ruckus, was heavily involved in the match from start to finish, constantly singing and chanting, urging the Lions on.
"The fan support was fantastic. They really inspire the guys to do better and better and we really appreciate their support."
FFC: Paulo Vaz (Theodore Stamatopolous) 27'
OCSC: Joao Ramalho 45'
Time of Match: 7:30 pm
June 4, 2015
OCSC - Codo (In) Ramalho (Out) 57'
OCSC - Ruiz (In) Diniz (Out) 57'
FFC - Mendes (In) Solari (Out) 68'
FFC - Caicedo (In) Cardoso (Out) 68'
OCSC - Hassen (In) Nartowicz (Out) 83'
FFC - Sangha (Yellow) 30'
FFC - Mendes (Yellow) 69'
FFC - Hanlon (Yellow) 87'
FFC - 13
OCSC - 12
FFC - 3
OCSC - 2
FFC - 6
OCSC - 4
FFC - 15
OCSC - 13
FFC - 2
OCSC - 2