(Photo by Victor Tan / New Day Review)

Match Recap

ORLANDO, Fla. – Three points in their second-to-last regular-season match would have secured Orlando City B their second-consecutive United Soccer League appearance in as many years. Unfortunately for the USL Lions, OCB (10-9-12, 42 points) fell to New York Red Bulls II (13-13-5, 47 points), the same side that knocked OCB out of the playoffs in the first round in 2016, 6-5 Saturday night at Orlando City Stadium in front of 1,009 fans.

“[The performance] shocked me, to be honest,” OCB head coach Anthony Pulis said after the loss. “Like I said, we’ve defended so well recently, especially—obviously, we’ve had the second-best defensive record in our conference, so it was a shock. Training’s been good the last couple of days.

“Listen, this stuff happens sometimes, especially with young players, but the important thing, now, is that we react properly and we make sure that we win the game against Tampa.”

Trailing 5-1 in the 67th minute, OCB began their late but folly rally. A set-piece free kick by Lewis Neal, who scored OCB’s first goal of the match, found the head of a diving Zach Carroll for a goal against his former team to make it 5-2.

Neal and Carroll connected, again, in the 77th minute to help draw OCB within two goals. On a free kick from the left, Neal found Carroll on the far post, who headed it back into play to second-half sub Fernando Timbó to make it 5-3.

“Individual errors have cost us, but the massive positive for me was the way that the guys kept going, and they didn’t give in, and they kept fighting, right the way to the final whistle,” Pulis said. “And as I’ve just said to the men, ‘It’s not over.’ Everybody’s sick in there and really disappointed and really down, but, when we get back in at the start of the week, it’s really important that we, as a staff, rally them, get them going again and make sure we put in a good performance and we get a result against Tampa on Thursday to keep the pressure on the three or four teams around us for that last game of the season.”

OCB’s rally was impeded by a penalty kick on a foul by Timbó in the 87th minute. That didn’t slow OCB’s scoring effort, though, as the Central Florida side knocked on two more in second-half stoppage time.

In the 90th minute, forward Michael Cox penetrated the heart of New York’s box and was taken down from behind, calling up Hadji Barry to attempt the effort from the spot. Moments after Barry secured OCB’s fourth goal, Austin Martz burst down the left side and into New York’s box for OCB’s fifth and final goal of the match.

“I think, just to start off with, [the difference in the second half] was urgency,” Carroll said after the match. “We knew, you know, we needed to win this game—or we wanted to really badly. And, you know, it’s—yeah, it’s just—I guess it was just urgency. You know, I think we tried to play too much in our half to start off with, and we started turning ‘em around and switching the field quickly on them and got them in their own half and had them defending there, and, you know, we should our quality sometimes, and, yeah, it was just a matter of getting it in their half and keeping it there.”

New York’s Stefano Bonomo recorded his hat-trick by the 51st minute after scoring the third and 41st minutes. Florian Valot helped extend New York’s lead early in the first half, scoring one of his two goals in the 12th minute. Junior Flemmings was instrumental in distribution for New York, as he assisted on Bonomo’s third goal and Arun Basuljevic’s first and only goal in the 55th minute.

Man of the Match: F Stefano Bonomo

Bonomo recorded his hat-trick by the 51st minute, as he posed a threat to OCB all evening. His four shots (three on goal) paced New York, as he also completed 75 percent of his 24 passes, recorded a tackle and drew three fouls.

What’s next?

OCB conclude the 2017 regular season with a matchup with their I-4 neighbors, the Tampa Bay Rowdies. This season, OCB are 0-1-1 against Tampa Bay, most recently drawing at home 1-1 on July 13.


NDR Notes

  • OCB’s loss to New York, an 11-goal game, was the highest-scoring match it’s been a part of. The previous high was a seven-goal match.
  • Neal recorded his third goal and third assist of the season in the loss to NYRB II.


Time Team Goal-scorer Assisted by
3’ New York Red Bulls II Stefano Bonomo Ethan Kutler
12’ New York Red Bulls II Florian Valot n/a
16’ Orlando City B Lewis Neal Michael Cox, Hadji Barry
51’ New York Red Bulls II Stefano Bonomo Junior Flemmings
55’ New York Red Bulls II Arun Basuljevic Junior Flemmings
67’ Orlando City B Zach Carroll Lewis Neal
77’ Orlando City B Fernando Timbó Zach Carroll
87’ New York Red Bulls II Florian Valot PENALTY
90’+1’ Orlando City B Hadji Barry PENALTY
90’+2’ Orlando City B Austin Martz Richie Laryea

Statistics and Starting Lineups

Goals Assists Shots Shots on Goal Possession %
Orlando City B 5 5 14 10 47.6%
New York Red Bulls II 6 3 18 11 52.4%

Orlando City B starting XI (4-2-3-1): Earl Edwards Jr. (GK); Victor “PC” Giro, Conor Donovan, Zach Carroll, Zachary Ellis-Hayden; Richie laryea, Tony Rocha; Pierre da Silva, Lewis Neal (C), Michael Cox; Hadji Barry

New York Red Bulls II (4-2-3-1): Evan Louro (GK); Ethan Kutler, Gideon Baah, Hassan Ndam, David Najem; Andrew Tinari, Dan Metzger; Junior Flemmings, Florian Valot, Arun Basuljevic; Stefano Bonomo

For more on OCB, as they find themselves into the playoffs, follow Victor Tan on Twitter at @NDR_VictorTan.