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Orlando City B

Orlando City B vs. NYCFC II: Final Score 2-2 as OCB Takes An Extra Point on Penalties

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KISSIMMEE — An eventful first half saw Orlando City B (1-0-1, 5 points) draw New York City FC II (0-0-2, 2 points) 2-2 at Osceola County Stadium. OCB followed up the 2-2 draw by winning the penalty shootout, taking home an extra point. Moises Tablante and David Boccuzzo — the latter from the penalty spot — provided the offense for OCB, which remained unbeaten on the young MLS NEXT Pro season.

OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman made two changes from the team that beat Chicago Fire II last weekend. First-team players Joey DeZart and Thomas Williams entered the starting lineup, replacing Erick Gunera and Gonzalo Agustoni-Chagas. Other first-team players in the lineup included Jack Lynn, Wilfredo Rivera, and Alex Freeman.

NYCFC II got off to the stronger start, creating the first chance in the fourth minute. A corner kick resulted in a scramble in the box as the Young Lions were unable to clear. Eventually, Klevis Haxhari took a shot on goal that was blocked and OCB sent the ball up field.

OCB’s first good chance came in the 10th minute when Lynn was sent through on goal. It looked as though he would have a one-on-one against NYCFC II goalkeeper Alex Rando but the flag went up for offside.

A minute later, Freeman carried the ball into the box, beating a pair of defenders before going down. The defender was looking to draw a penalty but the referee was having none of it.

The best chance for NYCFC II in the first 20 minutes came in the 13th minute. The referee called a back pass that gave the visitors an indirect free kick at the corner of the OCB six-yard box. The Young Lions stacked the wall, allowing them to block the shot and clear.

The first goal of the game finally came in the 18th minute. A long ball for Lynn got the forward in behind the NYCFC II defense. Orlando City’s 2022 MLS SuperDraft pick immediately looked up and found Tablante darting toward the back post. Lynn slid the pass across the top of the six for Tablante, who calmly put away the opening goal.

“I was thinking that if it came to me, to stay calm and move my feet,” Tablante said about his goal. “And hopefully I get more goals this year.”

The Young Lions nearly doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Diego Pareja chipped the ball in for Rivera running through. Unfortunately, the ball was just beyond Rivera’s reach and nothing came of the chance.

NYCFC II came close again in the 33rd minute when a free kick ended up at the foot of Kenan Hot. Rather than sending a cross into the box, Hot decided to take a chance on goal. The shot appeared to be headed to the far corner, but just went just wide of the post.

After multiple near chances by both teams, the goals started flooding in late in the first half. In the 35th minute, Nick Taylor took down Jonathan Jimenez in the box, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.

John Denis stepped up to take the kick and sent OCB goalkeeper Javier Otero the wrong way, tying the game up at 1-1.

It didn’t take long for the Young Lions to respond. Just two minutes later, Freeman made a run down the right and sent a low cross into the box. It looked like Nicholas Benalcazar would clear, but Tablante stepped in front. Benalcazar hit the back of Tablante’s leg and the referee pointed to the spot again.

OCB’s spot kick ended up the same as the one on the other end. Boccuzzo sent Rando the wrong way, putting the Young Lions back on top.

OCB almost got a third goal in the 41st minute when Rivera sent a low cross into the box. Rando was unable to gather the ball and it skipped into free space. Unfortunately, no OCB players were there to put it away and NYCFC II was able to clear.

In the 44th minute, Rivera got taken down just outside the NYCFC II box, giving the Young Lions another great chance. Tablante took the shot, which appeared to be headed just inside the post, but Rando did well to make the diving stop.

With just two minutes added to the first half, it looked as though OCB would take a lead into the break. However, NYCFC II struck a second time just before the end of the first half. Stephen Turnbull sent Hot toward the corner with the midfielder collecting the ball near the box. 

A nice touch by Hot got him past Williams and provided enough space to shoot. Brandon Hackenberg attempted to make a late diving block, but the ball went between his legs and towards the far corner. Otero got his fingers to the ball, but it wasn’t enough as NCYFC II scored the equalizer just before halftime.

While OCB was disappointed to concede an equalizer just before the half, it was fortunate to even be tied. NYCFC II dominated the first 45 minutes, leading in possession (58%-42%), shots (12-4), shots on target (7-3), passes (178-135) and passing accuracy (78.7%-73.3%).

NYCFC II got off to the better first half start, but OCB was the aggressor to begin the second 45 minutes. In the 48th minute, Freeman found Rivera in front of goal but the dangerous midfielder missed to the right of the target.

Three minutes later, a Rivera free kick found the head of Lynn. After scoring a brace in the first game of the season, the rookie was unable to redirect the header on goal, sending it over the crossbar.

The Young Lions started the second half in a positive way but nearly made a crucial error in the 54th minute. Attempting to play the ball out of the back, Williams gave the ball away to Massimo Murania Yankowitz at the top of the box. The NYCFC academy product quickly shot on goal but it was blocked, allowing OCB to clear.

In the 55th minute, NYCFC II came inches away from taking its first lead of the game. Jimenez found Stevo Bednarsky in the box and the midfielder attempted to beat Otero to his near post. The ball got past the OCB goalkeeper but pinged off the crossbar.

OCB almost made another costly mistake in the 59th minute when Rivera slipped as the Young Lions attempted to play out of the back. NYCFC II quickly took advantage as Hot found Yankowitz in the box. The midfielder was looking for the far corner, but Otero made a great save with his foot, keeping the game even at 2-2.

NYCFC II nearly made a similar error to give OCB a chance in the 65th minute. The NYCFC II center back was backpedaling in an attempt to send a DeZart clearance back up field. But he tripped over his own feet,  resulting in a footrace between Rivera and Rando. Unfortunately, Rando got to the ball first and was able to send it away.

In the 71st minute, NYCFC II had another opportunity. As they closed in on Otero from the left, Freeman made up ground and slid in to make a game-saving tackle. The final 20 minutes were chippy, with both teams being booked, but neither team could create solid chances and the game ended 2-2.

Despite the score, it was a dominant performance by NYCFC II. The visitors ended the game with far more possession (62.6%-37.4%), shots (22-8), shots on target (9-3), passes (388-239), corners (15-2), and crosses (18-5).

The difference between a 2-2 draw and a dominating NYCFC II win was that the hosts were able to convert on a greater percentage of opportunities and come up with some key blocks. The notable stat to explain the draw was how many more blocks OCB had than the opposition (8-2).

“It was a match where we played against a young team because they came with young players.” Perelman said after the game. “They had a lot of energy. In the first half we did great, we did a good job. We can do better, but it was a good half and in the second half they were better than us, so the draw is okay.”

While the 90 minutes ended in a 2-2 draw, that wasn’t the end of the game. MLS is using its new developmental league to try out new ideas. One of those ideas is a penalty shootout following a draw. Similar to old MLS games, each team gets a point and the winner of the shootout gets an extra point.

NYCFC II shot first and the first five shots were scored, giving the visitors a 3-2 lead. DeZart then stepped up and his shot was saved by Rando. After Benalcazar and Lynn converted, the Young Lions needed Otero to keep them in the game. The young goalkeeper was up to the challenge, saving Turnbull’s shot.

Similar to Orlando City’s win over NYCFC in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, Lions streamed onto the field to congratulate Otero. However, to send the shootout to extra kicks, OCB had to convert one more time. Second-half substitute Liam Guske took that responsibility and put away the tying penalty.

Bednarsky was the next to kick for NYCFC II and Otero made his second consecutive save in the shootout. That gave Tablante the chance to win it. The OCB veteran didn’t miss the opportunity, sending Rando the wrong way and securing the extra point.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this in my life,” Perelman said of the regular-season shootout. “I’m 35 years old and 30 years in football and I’ve never seen something like this, so for me it’s also new. It’s strange, but it’s the league and we accept it and we are happy to take this point.”

“We’ve been training all week for that,” Tablante added. “I’ve been training myself and I scored, so thank God.”

After years of sitting near the bottom of multiple leagues, the Young Lions now sit near the top of the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference after the first two games. Their five points are tied for first with New England Revolution II and two points ahead of Inter Miami 2, Philadelphia Union II, FC Cincinnati 2, and Columbus Crew 2.


OCB will now make its first road trip of the season, traveling to Fort Lauderdale to take on Inter Miami II next Sunday and to Ohio to face Crew 2 on April 15. The Young Lions will then return home for a doubleheader with the senior team at Exploria Stadium on April 24.

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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