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Orlando City B

Orlando City B vs. Charlotte Independence: Final Score 1-1 as Lions Come from Behind

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Orlando City B came from behind on Albert Dikwa’s first professional goal to close its three-game home stand with a 1-1 draw against the Charlotte Independence in front of an announced crowd of 1,512 at Orlando City Stadium. Dikwa’s goal leveled after Lewis Hilton had put the Independence (0-1-1, 1 point) up in the second half to close the home stand with 1-1-1 split.

After playing midweek, Head Coach Anthony Pulis made six changes to his starting XI. In place of Lewis Neal, Zach Carroll was honored with the captain’s band. 

“It’s big pride for me [wearing the captain’s band],” Carroll said. “It was the first time in my professional career and as a player you work towards things like this, and it’s about going out there and trying to lead the team.”  

The game started out shaky for the young Lions (1-2-1, 4 points). In the fourth minute, Carroll’s poor clearance led to the first chance of the game. Yann Ekra took control of ball and got into the box before winning a corner. On the ensuing corner, the ball fell to Luke Waechter’s head but his attempt went harmlessly out for an OCB goal kick. 

OCB immediately went on the attack. Richie Laryea took control and tried to spearhead the attack before being taken out hard by Callum Ross. Referee Esteban Rosano gave Ross a talking to and gave a free kick to OCB.

The first chance for Orlando came in the eighth minute. Joe Gallardo got into the box before being covered by two Charlotte defenders. Gallardo was able to dribble around some and win the first corner of the game for OCB. The set piece was taken short and Gallardo ended up with the ball on the corner of the box but Charlotte defended it easily.

The Independence tried to immediately go on the counter but Ryley Kraft broke up the attack with a hard foul, earning the first card of the game in the process. 

The Lions’ first big opportunity came in the 11th minute from Laryea, but his shot went wide of the goal. Four minutes later, the Charlotte defense deflected a pass from the young Lions and the ball fell at Dikwa’s feet. He made a great run into the box before passing ball back to Austin Martz. Martz took the shot but Joel Johnson was there for Charlotte to make the block. 

In the 20th minute, Laryea once again had the ball as he took it across midfield before Ross’s viscous foul stopped him and drew the second card of the game. 

Charlotte nearly went ahead five minutes later. Johnson put a cross in to Casey Townsend, who chested it down and vollied it to Ekra in the box. Ekra’s attempt was poor though, and the header did not threaten Earl Edwards, Jr.

The game was back and forth for the remainder of the first half, with both teams getting chances but unable to find that last touch to break the deadlock. Right before halftime came the closest moment to breaking the tie. Zach Ellis-Hayden put the ball into the box, finding Kraft. The midfielder took the shot on the volley, which was destined for goal, if not for Henry Kalungi. Kalungi was lucky though, as his header nearly found the back of his own net, just narrowly missing.

The game was deadlocked at half. Zero goals, possession nearly even, Charlotte with one more shot than OCB, and one yellow card each. Neither team played particularly well, but both the Lions and Independence improved in the second forty-five minutes.

“I thought it was a tale of two halves to be honest,” Pulis said after the match. “I thought the first half we started sluggish, our press was a little bit too disorganized for my liking, a little bit too far off them, and in possession I don’t think we were as crisp and our passing was as fluid as we’d want it to be. But second half we upped it. We were crisper, we were sharper, we had a little bit more purpose to our play.” 

To try to change it up, Charlotte made the first substitution of the game to start the second half, as Hilton came on for Ross.

The substitution could not have gone better for the Independence, as Hilton scored the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute. Alex Martinez played a perfect through ball to the Englishman, who powered it into the top of the net from close range.

After going a goal down, the young Lions immediately picked themselves up and looked like a completely different team. Laryea and Dikwa had multiple chances up top, but it was not until the 69th minute that OCB found the equalizer. Leo Pereira provided a great through ball to Scott Thomsen down the left hand side. Thomsen then put the ball on a platter for Dikwa, who touched the ball into the far corner.

Four minutes later, Laryea almost found the game winner. After Edwards made a finger-tip save on a point-blank shot attempt to keep OCB level, he started the counter attack, which led to Laryea all alone up top, with only the keeper to beat. Laryea hesitated for just a moment, but it was long enough for Cody Mizell to come off his line. Laryea may have had a chance to round Mizell but he took the shot early and the Independence goalkeeper made a game-saving stop.

“I was able to get by the two defenders, and I rushed the shot,” Laryea said. “I should have taken it around him but I didn’t realize how much time I had.”

Moussa Sane got his first professional minutes, coming in for Martz in the 72nd minute. Although he got some important minutes, he ultimately did not create much of an impact on the match.

It looked like Charlotte would scrap out a victory in the dying minutes as OCB gave up a bad foul in its own end. The free kick came to no harm, however, as the cross was headed right at Edwards, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

“All-in-all a point it’s probably a fair result,” said Pulis. “If you look at the chances, Richie Laryea’s chance [in the 73rd minute] was a massive chance that you could probably go on and win it, but then they had two or three and Earl [Edwards] kept us in the game again.” 

The referee had much work to do tonight, as he gave seven yellow cards, five of which came to the home side. Both Laryea and Pulis were frustrated by the officiating after the game. Laryea laughed when asked about it saying, “I don’t want to comment on it.” 

“Some of [the cards] were a little harsh, some of them probably deserved it,” Pulis added. 

The young Lions are back in action again on Friday when they travel north to take on defending champion New York Red Bulls II at 7 p.m.

Orlando City B

Orlando City B Announces Schedule for 2024 MLS NEXT Pro Season

Discover where, when, and who Orlando City B will play during the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

The 2024 MLS NEXT Pro schedule was released this afternoon for Orlando City B. This season will see an increase from 27 to 29 teams in the league with the additions of Carolina Core FC and Chattanooga FC — the first independent clubs in the league since 2022. The schedule remains at 28 games, with each team playing 14 at home and 14 away. Most OCB home games will take place at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, but the location of the home opener against Inter Miami II has yet to be announced.

OCB will start the 2024 season with a two-game road trip, beginning on March 16 against Atlanta United 2 and concluding on March 22 against Huntsville City FC. The home opener against Inter Miami II will take place on April 2 with a location to be determined in the near future. The season will end on the road as well, as the Young Lions will face FC Cincinnati 2 at TQL Stadium, home of the first team, on Oct. 6. The Eastern Conference games on Decision Day will all begin at 1 p.m.

MLS NEXT Pro has decided to change its division format to include the new teams. OCB will be a part of the new Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference, including Atlanta United 2, Huntsville City FC, Inter Miami II, Crown Legacy FC, Carolina Core FC, and Chattanooga FC. Chicago Fire II, Columbus Crew 2, and FC Cincinnati 2, former members of the Central Division with OCB, will move to the Northeast Division.

For the third consecutive season, MLS NEXT Pro teams will only play opponents from their own conference, limiting travel. The Young Lions will play each team in the Southeast Division three times and the teams from the Northeast Division once. The exceptions are New York Red Bulls II and New York City FC II, who they’ll face twice this year.

The busiest month for OCB this season will be in April when it plays five games. The Young Lions will play four games in May, June, July, August, and September, twice in March, and once in October. The team will compete on all seven days of the week this season. The most common day the Young Lions will play is on Sunday (13 games), which was expected since the first team usually plays on Saturday. Additionally, they have five games on Saturday, three games each on Wednesday and Friday, two games on Thursday, and one game on Monday and Tuesday.

The addition of two teams sees an expansion of the playoffs from 14 to 16 teams. The top four seeds in each conference will host the first round and, for the second consecutive season, pick their opponents. The highest remaining seed will pick its opponent in the second round, setting up the conference semifinal matchups. The postseason will include 15 games this year, concluding with the MLS NEXT Pro Cup.

The rules from the 2023 season are returning to MLS NEXT Pro for the third consecutive year. The league has been a place for MLS to try out new ideas, some of which are included in the top division this season. Once again, games tied after 90 minutes will go directly to a shootout for an additional point. Rules regarding players receiving treatment, serving red card suspensions against the same team, and substitutes leaving the field within 10 seconds all remain in place this year.

The majority of regular season games and all Decision Day games will again air on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass. The remaining games will be streamed live on mlsnextpro.com.

Orlando City B’s 2024 Schedule

  • Saturday, March 16 at Atlanta United 2, 3 p.m.
  • Friday, March 22 at Huntsville City FC, 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 2 vs. Inter Miami CF II, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 11 at Philadelphia Union II, 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 14 vs. Carolina Core FC, 3 p.m.
  • Friday, April 19 at Crown Legacy FC, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 28 vs. Toronto FC II, 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 4 at Chattanooga FC, 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 8 vs. New York Red Bulls II, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 15 at Columbus Crew 2, 12 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 26 vs. Huntsville City FC, 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 2 at Inter Miami CF II, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 13 vs Chattanooga FC, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 26 vs. Atlanta United 2, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29 at New York City FC II, 8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 7 vs. Carolina Core FC, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 14 vs Inter Miami CF II, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 21 at New York Red Bulls II, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 27 at Chattanooga FC, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 3 at Carolina Core FC, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 11 vs. Crown Legacy FC, 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 18 vs. New York City FC II, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 23 at Atlanta United 2, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 1 vs. Huntsville City FC, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 8 at Crown Legacy FC, 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 15 vs. New England Revolution II, 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 23 vs. Chicago Fire II, 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 6 at FC Cincinnati 2, 1 p.m.
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Orlando City

Orlando City Signs Defender Tahir Reid-Brown to Homegrown Player Contract

Orlando City has signed teenage defender Tahir Reid-Brown to a Homegrown Player contract.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City announced this afternoon that the club has signed defender Tahir Reid-Brown to a first-team contract. The four-year deal runs through the 2027 season with a club option for 2028. Reid-Brown becomes the 15th player to sign a Homegrown contract with the club.

“Tahir is a player that has been in our academy system for a while now and someone that we’ve seen really grow through our development pathway,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “He has great potential for growth as a player and we’re excited to see how he takes his opportunity with the first team.” 

The 17-year-old joined the Orlando City Development Academy in 2020 and quickly rose through the ranks, signing an academy contract with OCB for the 2022 season. In two seasons with the MLS NEXT Pro side, Reid-Brown has made 16 appearances with four starts and recorded 409 minutes. Most of those appearances occurred in 2023, when the defender made 10 appearances and one start.

Reid-Brown also made 13 appearances in the academy during 2023, helping the U-17 team reach the MLS NEXT Cup semifinals for the third consecutive year. His time with the academy team saw him named to the 2023 MLS NEXT All-Star Game, the third Orlando City player to receive the honor.

Internationally, Reid-Brown has been a part of the United States Men’s National Team youth setup. He made his debut for the U.S. in November 2022 and was named to the 2023 FIFA Under-17 World Cup squad, making three appearances in the competition.

What It Means for Orlando City

Reid-Brown is a recent star in the Orlando City academy, joining in 2020 at 14 years old. This past year was a big one for him in which he became a regular for his national side and on the OCB team sheet. At just 17 years old, the 6-foot-2 defender still has a lot of development before he’ll make regular first-team appearances, but this signing makes him available for selection if necessary.

Before he becomes a first-team regular, Reid-Brown will need to become a regular with the second team. In addition to his 10 appearances, he was an unused substitute 14 times in 2023. The regular starting center backs were Abdi Salim and Nabi Kibunguchy with Franco Perez at left back — the two positions Reid-Brown plays. He’ll be looking to work his way into the starting lineup for the Young Lions this coming season.

Whether Reid-Brown becomes a regular center back or left back remains to be seen. The club also has a Homegrown center back in 19-year-old Thomas Williams, but he’s seen a significant dip in playing time with OCB and hasn’t been impressive while on the field. Reid-Brown could take over Williams’ spot as the up-and-coming defender with a strong 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

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Orlando City B

Top 10 Moments of 2023: Jack Lynn Named MLS NEXT Pro MVP

Our No. 5 moment of the year features Orlando City’s Jack Lynn being named MVP of MLS NEXT Pro and earning a share of the league’s Golden Boot.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

As we count down to the new year of 2024 — which will be Orlando City’s 10th in MLS and the Orlando Pride’s ninth in the NWSL — and say goodbye to 2023, it’s time to look back at the club’s 10 best moments of the year as selected by The Mane Land staff via vote.

Jack Lynn no doubt entered his second pro season looking to get more first-team minutes. He had an excellent rookie season in MLS NEXT Pro with Orlando City B in 2022, setting an OCB single-season record with 15 goals and staying in the league’s Golden Boot race up until the final few matches of the season. He saw five minutes of action with the first team, and with a strong year with the reserve side, it’s likely the young striker felt he was ready to step into a larger role in 2023.

Lynn joined Orlando City through the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, when he was selected in the first round by the Lions with the No. 18 overall pick. He was then signed to a one-year deal in February of last year with options for the next three years.

But Lynn didn’t see much more time with the MLS Lions in 2023. He made three appearances with the senior side, all of which came as a substitute, and finished with 33 minutes played. On the attacking end, he won four aerial duels, took one shot, which was on target, drew two fouls, and completed three long balls while passing with 76% accuracy. He did not score a goal or assist on one. Defensively, he recorded one interception and two clearances, while committing one foul.

As in 2022, the majority of Lynn’s season was spent in MLS NEXT Pro with Orlando City B. He had a phenomenal year in the developmental league, and his campaign finished with him piling up the accolades for his play on the pitch. He finished the season with a share of the Golden Boot with his 19 goals. He was also named to the league’s Best XI for the second consecutive season. However, his biggest prize yet was being named MLS NEXT Pro Most Valuable Player on Oct. 20.

Lynn played in 26 of the Young Lions’ 28 games this past season, 19 of which were starts, and he racked up 1,760 minutes. He also played in OCB’s postseason loss at Columbus Crew 2. On the offensive end, he took 72 shots and put 40 of them on target, scored 19 goals, drew 15 fouls, and passed with 74% accuracy while completing 13 long balls and 12 key passes (but, surprisingly, no assists). Defensively, he recorded three interceptions, committed 16 fouls, and was shown four yellow cards.

Although the young striker wasn’t named MLS NEXT Pro Player of the Matchday at any point in the 2023 season, he did win Goal of the Matchday once — against Chicago Fire II on July 23. It was, by Lynn’s standards, a typical goal. He made a smart run, attacked the ball in the air, and headed it past the goalkeeper.

Lynn added a second goal in the 72nd minute and the Young Lions went on to win 3-2 that day.

The 23-year-old was a vital piece of Martin Perelman’s attack for OCB throughout the season, helping the Young Lions reach the postseason for only the second time ever and the first time since joining MLS NEXT Pro. To capture the trophy as the league’s most valuable player is a major honor for Lynn and shows how vital he was to OCB’s success during the 2023 season.

That accomplishment is certainly worthy of being immortalized among our top moments for the club in 2023.


Come back through New Year’s Eve as we count down the remainder of Orlando City’s top 10 moments of 2023.

Previous Top Moments of 2023

10. The Orlando Pride select breakout stars Emily Madril and Messiah Bright in the 2023 NWSL Draft.
9. OCB draws at Chicago and then wins a shootout, clinching its first playoff spot since 2016.

8. Orlando Pride dump Portland Thorns 3-1 in June, kick-starting the team’s push for the playoffs.

7. Orlando City gets a late goal to defeat Santos Laguna 3-2 in Leagues Cup play, earning its first win over Liga MX competition.

6. Orlando Pride sign Brazilian international Adriana.

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