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Orlando City B

Orlando City B vs. Atlanta United 2: Final Score 3-1 as OCB Falls for the First Time This Season

OCB was dominated by Atlanta United 2 in their first loss of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City B

Orlando City B (3-1-0, 9 points) was thoroughly outplayed in its first-ever game against Atlanta United 2 (1-2-1, 4 points) in Kennesaw, GA. Erik Lopez opened the scoring and Nick Firmino scored a brace, giving the hosts a 3-0 lead early in the second half. Cristofer Acuna got one back for OCB late, but it wasn’t enough as the Young Lions fell 3-1 for their first points dropped of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman made two changes from the team that beat Inter Miami II 2-0 last weekend, both on the back line. Franco Perez wasn’t in the team for tonight’s game, replaced by Tahir Reid-Brown. Abdi Salim was initially listed as starting alongside Thomas Williams, but was replaced by Nabi Kibunguchy shortly before kickoff. As a result, the defensive unit in front of Javier Otero was Alex Freeman, Kibunguchy, Williams, and Reid-Brown. Imanol Almaguer, Cristian Medina, Jhon Solis, and Juninho made up the midfield with Favian Loyola and Jack Lynn up top.

In their first three games, OCB got off to a strong start, scoring inside the first five minutes and eventually taking a 2-0 lead. In two of those games, the Young Lions continued on the front foot, providing relief for their defense. While Atlanta had yet to win this season, the hosts were the better team from the opening kickoff.

Neither team was able to build much in the first five minutes, but Atlanta took the first attempt in the seventh minute when Jonathan Villal found Kofi Twumasi outside of the box. Despite the long distance, Twumasi took a shot, but Otero did well to get down and block it away.

The hosts almost had another opportunity in the 10th minute when Tyler Young sent a cross towards the back post. Otero jumped up and got a hand to it before it could reach an Atlanta player.

In the 12th minute, Luke Brennan found Lopez in the box. The pair that caused trouble on multiple occasions for OCB connected, but the cross was a little too high for Lopez to get over it. Falling backwards, his header bounced off the crossbar, keeping the game scoreless.

The first chance for OCB came in the 14th minute, when Lynn found Loyola making a run into the Atlanta box. Unfortunately, Loyola’s first touch was a bit strong, causing him to reach out for the ball. The action caused him to learn back in his attempt at goal, sending the ball high and wide of the target.

The Young Lions’ defense was shaky throughout the early parts of the game and that came back to haunt them in the 23rd minute. Brennan dribbled into the box and was ultimately challenged by Reid-Brown. The two got tangled up, resulting in Brennan going down, but the ball went directly to Lopez. After a  brief hesitation, Williams slid in to challenge Lopez, but his tackle was too late and the forward went down. Referee Anya Voigt took a minute to think about her decision, but ended up pointing to the spot.

After drawing the penalty, Lopez stepped up to take it himself. As Otero dove to his right, Lopez sent the ball down the middle. Otero was able to keep a leg back and got a piece of the ball, but not enough as it went in to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

OCB had scored inside the first five minutes of each of its first three games and hadn’t trailed. In addition to failing to score an early goal, the penalty saw the Young Lions fall behind for the first time this season.

As OCB went to midfield to kick off, Otero remained down in his box. He was attended to by the OCB medical staff, and was eventually helped off the field. It was a tough break for a goalkeeper who has been key to the Young Lions’ successes these past two seasons. Backup Dominic Pereira replaced the starting goalkeeper for OCB’s first change of the game.

In the 32nd minute, a quick one-two between Solis and Juninho enabled the latter to attempt a cross. The ball was blocked out by Twumasi, giving OCB its first corner of the game. After Loyola’s short corner was knocked out of play, he attempted a longer corner. These crosses were the first time OCB had a sustained threat, but nothing came from it.

During the first corner, Villal went down and required attention. Rather than going down a man for three minutes, Atlanta made a substitution, bringing on Firmino. That change had a significant impact on the game..

While Loyola’s first few corners didn’t find anyone in white, he found the head of Williams in the 37th minute. However, an Atlanta defender did well to challenge the first-team center back and Williams’ header was well off target.

The fourth official held up six minutes of injury time, enough for Atlanta to double its lead. In the second minute of first-half added time, Firmino took advantage of an OCB turnover near midfield. The substitute carried the ball all the way into the Atlanta box and took a left-footed shot as he fell backwards. The shot probably would’ve been handled by Pereira or gone wide, but it deflected off Almaguer and then Kibunguchy, sending it to the opposite corner. Pereira was defending the near post and the ball rolled in the far side to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Atlanta dominated the first half with more possession (51.9%-48.1%), shots (6-2), shots on goal (4-0), crosses (8-5), duels won (25-21), and passing accuracy (85.2%-79.9%). The only statistics led by OCB in the first half were corners (3-0) and tackles won (8-6).

Trailing 2-0 after 45 minutes, Perelman made an attacking change at halftime, with Moises Tablante replacing Solis. Just 10 minutes into the second period, Perelman made two more changes, with Ian Garrett and Alejandro Granados coming on for Reid-Brown and Medina. Unfortunately, those substitutions didn’t change the trajectory of the game.

The first chance of the second half came when Firmino took advantage of a turnover in the back. In the 53rd minute, the attacker took a strong shot from the outside of the box. It was on target, but Pereira did well to get down to make the stop.

A constant threat while on the field, Firmino netted his second goal in the 56th minute. It started when a poor throw-in from Garrett to Juninho went directly to Lopez. The first-half goal scorer dribbled into the box but three OCB defenders converged. Lopez lost the ball, but it went right back to Firmino at the top of the box. Firmino fired from the top of the 18, putting it past Periera and into the corner, giving Atlanta a commanding 3-0 lead.

OCB got its first shot of the second half in the 60th minute when Tablante fired from distance. The shot was on target, but was no trouble for Atlanta goalkeeper Vicente Reyes, who easily collected it.

The Young Lions had another opportunity in the 66th minute when Juninho played the ball forward for Tablante, who quickly sent it to Loyola in front of the goal. The forward’s first touch was on target but he didn’t get much on it and Reyes made another easy stop.

In the 72nd minute, Lynn crossed the ball into the Atlanta box, where Garrett was charging in. Reyes beat the substitute to the ball, but had trouble collecting it. However, he got enough contact to send it towards the top of the box, enabling his defenders to clear.

In the 74th minute, Firmino had a chance to complete his hat trick from about 20 yards out when no OCB defenders stepped up to challenge him. He accepted the challenge to shoot from distance and didn’t miss by much as the ball sailed just over the crossbar.

Perelman made his final change in the 77th minute, bringing Acuna on for Lynn. It only took four minutes for Acuna to make an impact when his short corner nearly resulted in an OCB goal. Juninho accepted the pass and sent the ball towards the back post. Williams headed it down in front of goal where Kibunguchy knocked it in. However, the flag was up for offside on the initial cross.

Just before injury time, another short corner gave the Young Lions a chance to avoid the shutout. This time it was to Tablante, who dribbled into the Atlanta box. He got by Karim Tmimi, who came on as a second-half substitute, and was taken down. This time there was no hesitation by Voigt and OCB had a late penalty.

Acuna stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Reyes the wrong way. As Reyes dove to his right, Acuna calmly slid the ball into the bottom left corner to cut the OCB deficit to 3-1.

Despite the game already being out of reach, Acuna celebrated with passion and OCB took the ball back to the center circle. However, it was Atlanta that created the last good chance of the game. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Lopez played a dangerous ball into the box. Tmimi was charging in and collided with Pereira at the top of the six. Fortunately, the ball skipped past both of them, allowing OCB to clear.

In the end, OCB had more possession (51.3%-48.7%), corners (5-1), crosses (13-12), and tackles won (16-13). But Atlanta had more shots (9-8), shots on goal (6-3), and, most importantly, outscored the Young Lions.

OCB got off to its best start in team history by claiming nine points from the first three games. This looked like a different team tonight with Atlanta dominating play from the start. Even when the Young Lions did get chances, they were from long distance or they didn’t get much on their shots.

This game provided the young team with adversity the players hadn’t seen yet this season, falling behind. They didn’t respond well to the challenge, continuing to concede possession and chances. Moving forward, Perelman will be looking for his team to have more energy and attack when trailing.


The Young Lions will look to rebound from this difficult loss when they host New York CIty FC II at Osceola County Stadium next Sunday night.

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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