Melbourne, Fla. – March 26, 2016 – Orlando City B made their United Soccer League (USL) debut at Eastern Florida State College’s Titan Soccer Complex against the Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday evening in front of a passionate fan base who supported the Lions through a rain delay. Despite dominating the scoring chances, out-shooting Wilmington 11-8, the Hammerheads earned a 2-1 victory.
“I thought we had good plays in areas but our final decision was not on point tonight, but I’m not going to be a coach who gets too high when things go well and I’m not going to be a coach who gets too low when things don’t go well,” said Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “I’m going try to get the guys on a leveling playing field, we’ll regroup and learn from this and get everyone prepared for the next game.”
The match featured the coaching debut of OCB head coach Anthony Pulis and assistant coach Rob Valentino, both former Orlando City SC standouts. It also included the professional debuts of 17-year-old Orlando City Academy product Pierre DaSilva, Major League Soccer SuperDraft selection midfielder Richie Laryea and fullback Zach Ellis-Hayden, as well as the first professional start for former University of Central Florida striker, Hadji Barry, and return in purple of midfielder Johnny Mendoza and captain Lewis Neal.
Both sides shared the possession and the attacking chances during the first half. The Mikey Ambrose-Pierre DaSilva combination down the left side created most of the opportunities for City in the first 45, including OCB’s best chance right before the break. DaSilva, the 17-year-old winger, connected with Ambrose down the left flank with a clever lofted pass, and the fullback found 2016 Major League SuperDraft seventh overall selection Richie Laryea at the edge of the box, but his shot was deflected inches off the far post.
Wilmington opened the scoring early in the second half from a corner kick, when defender Ashani Fairclough’s diving header effort found the back of the net in the 46th minute of play. However, City responded quickly, leveling the fixture 10 minutes later. Midfielder Andrew Ribeiro powered a right-footed strike past the goalkeeper after a cleared ball stayed lurking at the edge of the box.
The Hammerheads retook the lead in the 65th minute and scored the final goal of the match, when Logan Miller’s shot from distance found the back of the net.
Despite Pulis’ side constant offensive threats in the final 20 minutes of the game, with the introductions of attackers Bryan Róchez, William Eyang and Marius Obekop, along with midfielder Mendoza, Wilmington managed to maintain the result.
Orlando City B plays its second match of the 2016 USL season when they host the Charleston Battery on Friday, April 1, at Eastern Florida State College’s Titan Soccer Complex. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. ET
March 26, 2016
|Orlando City B||0||1||1|
WIL - Ashani Fairclough 46’
OCB - Andrew Ribeiro 56’
WIL - Logan Miller 65’
WIL - Bruno Perone 39’ (Yellow Card)
OCB - Andrew Ribeiro 42’ (Yellow Card)
WIL - Mael Corboz 61’ (Yellow Card)
OCB - Kyle McFadden 62’ (Yellow Card)
OCB - Lewis Neal 90 (+1)’ (Yellow Card)