Orlando City B (4-10-3, 17 points) went on the road to York Lions Stadium in Canada and lost 3-0 against Toronto FC II (8-6-3, 29 points). After a scoreless first half filled with plenty of chances for Orlando, Toronto scored in the second half and never looked back. Reshaun Walkes came off the bench and had a brace, with fellow substitute Julian Altobelli also scoring.
OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman made three changes to the lineup that lost 3-1 to Philadelphia Union II on July 24. Goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar made his first appearance for OCB this year as he returns to action following his jaw surgery in June. Neicer Acosta and Erick Gunera both returned as starters, with Nick Taylor on the bench and Moises Tablante not in the lineup after they both started in the previous game.
— Orlando City B (@OrlandoCityB) August 7, 2022
The Young Lions had the game’s first real chance in the fifth minute as Jack Lynn dribbled into the midfield and laid the ball out to the wing for Acosta to charge into the box. Acosta’s shot rocketed past Toronto goalkeeper Luka Gavran and struck the underside of the crossbar. Victor Yan was able to get his head to the rebound, but couldn’t get enough power or direction behind it.
Toronto’s first shot came in the 16th minute as Themi Antonoglu slipped a through ball for Rothrock to chase down in the box. Rothrock was forced to get his shot off early without much behind it and Stajduhar was able to easily collect it. Stajduhar faced a bit of a tougher test in the 21st minute but still came up with the easy save as Jordan Perruzza was given space outside of the box to shoot and fired a strong shot towards goal.
The Young Lions had a barrage of chances soon after that shot, but lacked the finishing touch to give Orlando the lead. In the 22nd minute, Lynn dribbled into the box but didn’t have the best angle and shot it wide of goal. Favian Loyola’s first shot of the game came minutes later, with Alex Freeman making a nice run to draw attention, giving Loyola space to shoot. However, the low shot didn’t have enough behind it to sneak into the bottom right corner as Gavran made the save.
After missing earlier from the right, Lynn had an opportunity from the left side of goal in the 26th minute. Acosta laid the ball off for Lynn to dribble into the box, but his shot lacked the needed pace to reach the far post and Gavran collected it.
Yan had a shot of his own a few minutes later, thanks to a nice cutback pass from Acosta to find him open in the box. He one-timed the shot and, like many of Orlando’s shots in this match, it didn’t have enough power behind it to trouble Gavran.
OCB’s best chance of the half came in the 35th minute when Lynn delivered a great cross that skipped all the way across the face of goal to find Acosta racing towards the back post. Acosta’s shot looked destined for the back of the net but was stopped by a sliding Kadin Chung to send the ball out for a corner and keep the game level.
— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) August 7, 2022
A long-distance shot from Ignacio Galvan that was sent straight at Gavran was Orlando’s last chance of the half and the team survived a pair of corners from Toronto as the game stayed level.
At the half, Toronto barely edged Orlando in possession (50.9%-49.1%) but the Young Lions had far more shots (12-3) and put more on target (5-2). OCB was more accurate than Toronto when passing (87.8%-82.3%) and was able to capitalize on some of those turnovers to create dangerous opportunities.
The start of the second half was filled with fouls and stoppages, but the Young Lions continued to push for a goal with plenty of possession in the attacking third. While individual skill on the ball allowed the Young Lions to dribble into open space, Toronto did well putting bodies behind the ball to block shots and clog up the passing lanes.
While most of Orlando’s success in the first half came in the run of play, Acosta nearly gave the visitors a breakthrough from a free kick in the 58th minute. The shot was well taken from distance, but missed and hit the side netting near the top right corner of the goal.
Toronto was content absorbing Orlando’s pressure and then heaving the ball up the field to counter and it almost paid off in the 60th when a poor clearance by Andrew Forth on a ball over the top left the ball bouncing in front of Perruzza with only Stajduhar to beat. Stajduhar misplayed the ball but stalled the play just enough for Thomas Williams to get back and put his body in front of goal. Perruzza tried to dribble around Williams, but the defender poked the ball towards the end line before sliding to stop the shot. It was enough of an effort by Williams for Stajduhar to recover and make the save at the near post. Still seated, Williams cleared the ball out for a corner to finally put out the fire.
The game shifted when Walkes and Altobelli came on in the 63rd minute to add some bite to Toronto’s offense. Lynn lofted a cross towards the far post to Galvan a few moments later, but Adam Pearlman cleared it away and it was Orlando’s last chance before Toronto scored.
With a loose ball up for grabs, Forth simply waited for the ball to come to him rather than stepping up to play it and Walkes took full advantage of the defensive mistake. Williams was the only defender left and couldn’t cover both Walkes and Paul Rothrock. Walkes passed to Rothrock, who fed it back to Walkes while Williams was stuck on an island between them, and the substitute easily tucked the ball past Stajduhar for the first goal of the game in the 67th minute.
— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) August 8, 2022
Toronto continued to torment Orlando on the counter and found its second goal just a few minutes later in the 71st. A weak shot from Galvan was saved by Gavran and then Toronto was off to the races, sending the ball wide for Walkes to sprint down the left wing. Walkes found Steffen Yeates making a run into the box and then the ball was cut back near the penalty spot for Altobelli. Desperate defending from Forth while sliding wasn’t enough to stop Altobelli from putting the ball in the back of the net.
And just like that Altobelli doubles the lead!🔥
— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) August 8, 2022
Walkes, Yeates, and Altobelli continued to cause problems for Orlando’s defense, with Stajduhar getting just enough on a shot by Walkes in the 73rd minute to keep Orlando in the game.
Orlando’s offense struggled to regain its form though after conceding twice. Diego Pareja replaced Gunera in the 71st minute and then Nick Taylor, Tahir Reid-Brown, and Dominic Bell came on for Loyola, Forth, and Williams in the 81st. The changes weren’t enough to revitalize Orlando’s offense or stop the bleeding as Toronto put the nail in the coffin in the 84th minute.
Toronto’s Rohan Goulborne squeezed a pass between Alejandro Granados and Bell to send Walkes in on goal and he beat Stajduhar again to complete his brace and secure the win for Toronto.
— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) August 8, 2022
Ian Silva came off the bench to replace Yan in the 87th minute and Orlando’s last touch of the game was a shot by Lynn that sailed over the crossbar as the Young Lions were shut out on the road.
In the end, Orlando finished with more possession (51.5%-48.5%) and shots (21-11), but both teams finished with the same amount of shots on target (7-7). Gavran came up with more saves than Stajduhar (6-4) as OCB wasn’t able to make the most of its scoring chances in this one.
This was Orlando’s first time being shut out since a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia back on May 16. The Young Lions have now lost seven of their nine games on the road and are ninth in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the Central Division with seven games left this season.
It was a rough start to a busy month for OCB and the Young Lions will look to bounce back against New York City FC II on the road on Friday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PawedCast Episode 396: Preseason Rewind, Cavalry FC Preview, and More
Lion Links: 2/20/24
Orlando City’s 10th Anniversary is the Time to Remember the Club’s Originals
Orlando City Unveils New Legacy Kit Ahead of 2024 MLS Season
Lion Links: 2/19/24
The Legacy Kit: Initial Reactions
Opinion2 weeks ago
Striker Still a Position of Need for Orlando City
Lion Links2 weeks ago
Lion Links: 2/7/24
Orlando City2 weeks ago
Orlando City Announces Signing of Slovenian International Center Back David Brekalo
Lion Links2 weeks ago
Lion Links: 2/6/24
Opinion2 weeks ago
Duncan McGuire Staying in Orlando Benefits All Parties (Except Blackburn)
Lion Links2 weeks ago
Lion Links: 2/8/24
Orlando City2 weeks ago
Orlando City Signs Center Back Robin Jansson to New Contract
Lion Links2 weeks ago
Lion Links: 2/9/24