After closing out a three-game homestand with a 1-1 draw, Orlando City B (1-2-1, 4 points) visits the New York Red Bulls II (1-2-1, 4 points) to begin a three-game road trip on Friday, April 14. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at MSU Soccer Park.
The match will be streamed online at www.OrlandoCitySC.com/LIVE.
“It’s going to be a difficult game. We’re obviously going there [against the] defending champions. They present all the usual challenges that any Red Bull team gives you. They press really well, they suffocate the space for you to play in, they condense it and it’s difficult to play against,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said. “We know we’re going to have to be at our best if we’re going to go there and get anything.”
OCB is coming off of two impressive performances at home. The Lions started the week with a massive 3-1 win over Toronto FC II. First Teamers Hadji Barry and Pierre Da Silva both found the back of the net before OCB captain Lewis Neal blasted home the dagger.
Against the Charlotte Independence on Saturday, the Lions responded to an Independence goal in the 60th minute with a brilliant build-up 10 minutes later. Center back Léo Pereira started the attack with a through ball to Scott Thomsen, who then whipped in a cross for Albert Dikwa to finish. Goalkeeper Earl Edwards, Jr. led the way from there with a few massive stops to preserve the draw. The San Diego, Calif., native’s best save of the night came in the 73rd minute on a strong reflex save off of a Yann Ekra header.
Thomsen, Jordan Schweitzer and Moussa Sane all made their OCB debuts over the weekend while Zach Ellis-Hayden and Academy forward David Loera made their 2017 debuts. OCB has started the 2017 campaign with four different scorers through four matches.
The Red Bulls are coming off two straight losses. Most recently, NYRBII fell to Saint Louis FC after Seth Rudolph struck a volley to give the hosts the three points. Vincent Bezecourt leads NYRBII with three goals on the season while Evan Louro leads New York between the posts.
Friday marks the third all-time meeting between OCB and New York Red Bulls II. In the first meeting on June 19, 2016, the Lions opened the scoring in the 17th minute when New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara’s punch ended with a powerful strike from Honduran defender Devron García. The Red Bulls responded with two goals before the break, but the Lions netted the equalizer in the 87th minute. Red Bulls II then picked up wins on Aug. 12 and in the first round of the USL Cup Playoffs.
The Lions will continue their three-game road trip on Tuesday, April 18, against Harrisburg City Islanders. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET at FNB Field. OCB will close out its road trip at Bethlehem before returning home to battle Saint Louis FC on Tuesday, April 27.