CHARLESTON, S.C. (July 13, 2016) – In the last game of a two-game road trip, Orlando City B (6-6-6, 24 points) played to a second consecutive scoreless draw Wednesday against the Charleston Battery (9-4-5, 32 points) in the United Soccer League (USL) Game of the Week. The draw extends OCB’s unbeaten streak to six games and earns the Lion's their fourth point in two matches at MUSC Health Stadium.
The Lions were without head coach Anthony Pulis, who joined the First Team technical staff for tonight’s game at the New York Red Bulls. OCB assistant coach Rob Valentino took over head coaching duties and Orlando Pride assistant Khano Smith joined the OCB technical staff for the match.
“It was a tough game. We knew going into it that it would be a tough game. We’ve spent six days on the road and [played in] two of arguably the toughest places to play in the league. I thought the boys’ application for the game was very good. I was pleased with their efforts after being on the road for that many days. They put in a good shift,” Valentino said. “Ultimately we came up with one point, but the way the players applied themselves, I’m not disappointed. It’s a clean sheet. Keeps the unbeaten streak going. I’m proud of the boys.”
Goalkeeper Mark Ridgers, who entered the match leading the Eastern Conference and third in the USL with 54 saves, put on another strong performance. The first of his five saves came in the fifth minute when the shot was deflected on its way to goal. Ridgers, who was diving in the opposite direction, miraculously got a foot on the ball to keep the game level. Then in the 55th minute, Ridgers charged off his line to cut down the angle, sliding onto the ball to stop a Charleston opportunity.
Irish defender Kyle McFadden, who made his second consecutive start, continued his clutch defensive play with a cleared header off the line in the 52nd minute.
OCB created several close opportunities. In the 13th minute, Zach Hayden swung in a cross to Michael Cox who almost got OCB on the board early. Cox was in the six yard box as he directed a header just past the post while Charleston keeper Odisnel Cooper stood frozen in his net. Then in the 62nd minute, Tyler Turner, who this week was selected to the 2016 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game by former United States Men’s National Team captain Landon Donovan, drove up the left wing, got past his defender and drove a hard, low cross into Cox. The Canadian sent his first-time shot just inches over the bar.
Cox, who leads the Lions with six goals this season, continued generating dangerous scoring opportunities. In the 54th minute, Cox was taken down in the box but quickly got back up and passed to fellow Canadian Hayden. The full back, who made his fifth consecutive start, fired a shot right at Cooper.
The Lions’ best opportunity came from second-half substitute Johnny Mendoza in the 87th minute. Mendoza used a burst of speed to play a clever give-and-go off Cox to get free in the box but couldn’t get his shot over a charging Cooper.
This was the third match of the season between these teams. The Lions and Battery played to a scoreless draw on April 1 in Melbourne before OCB won 2-1 in Charleston on June 11.
OCB returns to Titan Soccer Complex on Sunday, July 24, when it hosts the Wilmington Hammerheads. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Tickets to all OCB home matches are available at OrlandoCityB.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY. Follow the latest Orlando City news and updates via Facebook, Twitter,Instagram and YouTube.
OCB - Zach Hayden (Yellow Card) 5’
CHS - Justin Portillo (Yellow Card) 41’
OCB - Pierre Da Silva (Yellow Card) 81’
CHS - Ricky Garbanzo (Yellow Card) 89’
Orlando City B - GK Mark Ridgers, D Zach Hayden (Mikey Ambrose 88’), Craig Nitti, Kyle McFadden, Tyler Turner, M Andrew Ribeiro, Tony Rocha, Richie Laryea (Johnny Mendoza 72’), Lewis Neal (Alejandro Garcia 76’), Marius Obekop (Pierre Da Silva 46’) F Michael Cox
Substitutes: GK Jake Fenlason , M Antonio Matarazzo, Keegan Smith
Charleston Battery - GK Odisnel Cooper, D Quinton Griffith, Taylor Mueller, Shawn Ferguson, O’Brian Woodbine, M Maikel Chang, Justin Portillo, Ataulla Guerra (Neveal Hackshaw 72’), Emmanuel Adjetey (Dante Marini 65’), F Chris Tsonis (Heviel Cordoves 65’), Romario Williams (Ricky Garbanzo 78’)
Substitutes: GK Alex Tambakis, D Forrest Lasso, F Andrew Carleton
Details of the Game
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
July 13, 2016
OCB - 8
CHS - 22
OCB - 5
CHS - 3
OCB - 4
CHS - 3