OCB falls in USL home opener against Louisville City

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer,Orlando Sport,Sport |

OCB 1 Louisville City 3, Orlando City Soccer Stadium, Orlando, 30th March 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

In the first United Soccer League (USL) match at Orlando City Stadium, Orlando City B fell to Louisville City FC  3-1 in front of 2,741 fans, an OCB home game record attendance. In a much changed line up from the team that lost at the weekend to Tampa Bay Rowdies, Ryley Kraft and Joe Gallardo made their professional debuts and Léo Pereira and Ben Polk made their OCB debuts.

“I thought we possessed the ball better than what we did at the Rowdies last weekend but it still needs to be better. We got the ball in some decent areas in midfield but that final pass or into the final third needed to be a little more clinical,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis (pictured below left) said. “In possession we want to be more positive. I thought there were too many occasions where our players were quite happy to play that safe backwards or square pass when really we want to be more positive.”

OCB 1 Louisville City 3, Orlando City Soccer Stadium, Orlando, 30th March 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Louisville was on the offensive from the start, going on to out-shoot Orlando 17-11. A mistake in midfield by Austin Martz in the 11th minute saw the ball fall to Cameron Lancaster who hammered home a superb strike from the edge of the box to the right side of the net.

OCB 1 Louisville City 3, Orlando City Soccer Stadium, Orlando, 30th March 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Louisville continued to look the better side, creating and wasting numerous chances in the first half, and they were made to pay as Orlando grabbed a dramatic equalizer on the fringe of half time. A cross from Martz, who joined OCB in the off season from the Wilmington Hammerheads, found Louisville defender Tarek Morad and with no attacker around he somehow managed to turn the ball into his own net.

Half Time: OCB 1 Louisville City 1

OCB 1 Louisville City 3, Orlando City Soccer Stadium, Orlando, 30th March 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

OCB upped their work rate in the second half as they pressed harder to raise the tempo of the game. It was Louisville who would regain the lead as some sloppy defensive work allowed George Davis IV to slot the ball home in the 57th minute. The visitors then added a third in the 76th minute as  Luke Spencer (pictured above) neatly slotted home a Niall McCabe through ball.

OCB 1 Louisville City 3, Orlando City Soccer Stadium, Orlando, 30th March 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

“I thought we had some really good chances, and I thought we showed tremendous character,” said Louisville City coach James O’Connor (pictured above.) “With the chances we had first half, when we didn’t take them, we were very unfortunate to go in at 1-1 at halftime. I thought the guys showed a lot of character in the second half, and we played some good football tonight.”

With the victory, Louisville moves to the top of the USL Eastern Conference standings with four points. OCB, meanwhile, are still looking for their first point and the frustration was clear to see as Pulis remarked:  ” This team is always changing, you don’t get a consistent 18 or 11 so it’s important that the guys that do come and join us buy in and know what we want to do. I thought at times tonight, standing there watching us, it looked like Louisville had a little more cohesiveness to their play. We’re going to get that. That’s part and parcel of being an MLS 2 team. We know that when we come up against these independent teams that train together and work together on a daily basis, we’re going to have these difficulties. But we started off slow last year and we grew as the season went on. I don’t see any reason why we can’t do the same this year.”

OCB returns to action on Tuesday, April 4, against Toronto FC II. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium. The Lions then face another quick turnaround when they host the Charlotte Independence on Saturday, April 8. Tickets can be purchased at www.OrlandoCitySC.com/OCB/tickets or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.


Orlando City B – GK Earl Edwards, Jr., D Kevin Alston, Conor Donovan, Zach Carroll, Léo Pereira, M ⓒ Lewis Neal, Ryley Kraft, Austin Martz (Danny Deakin 81’), Pierre Da Silva, F Ben Polk (Dikwa Albert 46’), Michael Cox (Joe Gallardo 81’)

Substitutes: GK Jake Fenlason, D Zach Ellis-Hayden, Scott Thomsen, M Paul Clowes

Louisville City FC – GK Tim Dobrowolski, D Kyle Smith, Oscar Jimenez, Sean Totsch, Tarek Morad, M Brian Ownby (Guy Abend 70’), Richard Ballard (Niall McCabe 64’), George Davis IV, Speedy Williams, Paolo DelPiccolo, F Cameron Lancaster (Luke Spencer 29’)

Substitutes: GK Micah Bledsoe, D Sean Russell, Paco Craig

Attendance: 2,741

More photographs at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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