ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 28, 2016 – During another week of continuous preparation for the Major League Soccer (MLS) and United Soccer League (USL), Orlando City SC and Orlando City B disputed three additional matches utilizing players from both teams against the Oklahoma Energy FC on Sunday, Feb. 21, the University of South Florida (USF) on Saturday Feb. 27 and the University of Central Florida (UCF) on Sunday Feb. 28, aside from the victories against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Esporte Clube Bahia on Wednesday Feb. 24 and Saturday Feb. 27 respectively.
Lining up the MLS players that did not feature on last night’s 6-1 win against Esporte Clube Bahia, Adrian Heath managed to provide valuable minutes to his team while facing a strong UCF side on Sunday afternoon. Trailing 0-1 after the first half, Devron García was close to scoring his first goal in purple when striking a mid-volley from the edge of the box that hit the post. However, two minutes later Hadji Barry was fouled inside the box and Harrison Heath finished from the penalty spot to the left side of the goal to level the score 1-1.
“It was a really good run out for some players that needed the game. There was some good stuff. I enjoyed the game, I thought the UCF lads worked really hard so it was a really good test for us,” expressed Head Coach Adrian Heath after the match. “We were able to get some of the guys some good minutes. Harrison played the full 90, we also managed to give Hadji, Tommy Redding and few of those that have not played a lot, and also we managed to get some of the Academy kids in as well, so it was good.”
On Saturday evening, with a squad that included a mixture of Orlando City B and Academy players, Anthony Pulis’ team took advantage of their offensive chances and continued its defensive solidity to record its fourth clean sheet on five fixtures to defeat USF 0-2. Cameroonian forward Willian Eyang opened the score on the first half for OCB, tapping in an accurate cross by Mikey Ambrose who had combined with Pierre da Silva down the left flank prior to the delivery, sending the Lions to the break with a 1-0 advantage.
Following the half, Michael Cox doubled the lead with a clever finish to get it past the keeper after another assistance by Ambrose from the left following a good play with defender Kyle McFadden, continuing his positive scoring form and securing a 0-2 victory for OCB.
“There was some positive moments, still some pieces we still need to work on. A lot of the guys got more minutes than what they have done, so that was good from the fitness point of view. Another clean sheet, which was really good – five games and now we have only conceded one goal, so we are really pleased with that,” said OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “We need to do some more work going forward and making sure that we’ve got the system that we are going to play that the guys understand and know what their roles and responsibilities are within that, but on the whole it was another positive evening for us“
Orlando City B also played their first match against a United Soccer League (USL) side, the Western Conference finalist Oklahoma City Energy FC on Sunday, Feb. 21 at the IMG Academy, falling 1-0 but gathering a good idea of the team’s status nearing the beginning of the 2016 campaign.
“It was always going to be a good gauge where we are at. We didn’t start well but as the game went on we got better. It was good for me to see how they were going to perform against a team and players that they will face week in and week out,” commented Pulis.
Orlando City B will play its sixth preseason fixture on Saturday, March 5th, when they host the Florida Technical College at Lake Sylvan Park. Kickoff is scheduled at 2 p.m. ET.
|Orlando City B||0||0||0|
|Oklahoma City Energy FC||1||0||1|
|Orlando City SC||0||1||1|
|University of Central Florida||1||0||1|
|Orlando City B||1||1||2|
|University of South Florida||0||0||0|
Orlando City SC vs. University of Central Florida
Orlando City SC – First Half: GK Earl Edwards Jr., D Luke Boden, Aurélien Collin, Tommy Redding, Kevin Alston, M Devron García (Raul Aguilera Jr.), Harrison Heath, Richie Laryea, Carlos Rivas (Trailist), Hadji Barry, F Trialist (Trialist)