VIDEO: Orlando City B’s Season Ends With 4-0 Loss In USL Playoffs To New York Red Bulls II
By Orlando City B // October 2, 2016
ABOVE VIDEO: In the last match of its inaugural United Soccer League (USL) season, No. 8 Orlando City B fell 4-0 to No. 1 New York Red Bulls II in its 2016 USL Playoff first-round match Sunday evening at Red Bull Arena.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – In the last match of its inaugural United Soccer League (USL) season, No. 8 Orlando City B fell 4-0 to No. 1 New York Red Bulls II in its 2016 USL Playoff first-round match Sunday evening at Red Bull Arena. Goalkeeper Mark Ridgers made five saves.
“When I look back on this season, there is a lot to be proud of. We’ve moved on Tony Rocha and Mikey Ambrose to the First Team, and I think there’s a few more guys with that potential. And we’ve made the playoffs,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said.
“But right now I’m disappointed. Credit to the Red Bulls, we got beat by the better team tonight.”
The Lions clinched a playoff spot in their regular season finale on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Bethlehem, when they were faced with a must-win match after Wilmington jumped into eighth place the night before. OCB earned its fifth shutout of the season as Johnny Mendoza and Lewis Neal scored to earn a 2-0 win.
Their first-round exit caps a successful inaugural season for OCB.
With a brand new roster, the Lions overcame a tough early going and rattled off a nine-game win streak, including stunning stoppage-time victories against Toronto FC II and Louisville City FC.
OCB battled all season to earn a playoff spot in a tight Eastern Conference and did so without two mainstays in Pulis’ starting XI. On Aug. 4, Orlando City head coach Jason Kreis signed midfielder Tony Rocha and left back Mikey Ambrose to Major League Soccer (MLS) contracts. The pair had combined for 37 appearances through the Lions’ first 20 games.
Pulis, who is in his first year as a head coach, called their signings one of the proudest moments of his young career. Rocha and Ambrose have combined for five starts and 11 appearances for the First Team and their signings are an indication that Orlando City’s professional development team is on the right track.
In addition to Rocha and Ambrose, several of the Club’s other promising young stars made great strides with OCB. 2016 MLS SuperDraft first-round picks Hadji Barry and Richie Laryea earned valuable minutes, as Barry finished the regular season with four goals and two assists in 10 games while splitting time with the First Team and Laryea earned over 1,500 minutes and notched two assists.
Defenders Conor Donovan, Tyler Turner and Devron García were all fixtures in the lineup.
The Lions were led throughout the season by veteran midfielder Lewis Neal. The 35-year-old captain used his years of experience to teach OCB’s youngsters and guide many of them through their first season as professionals.
Ridgers was another bright spot for OCB. The Scotsman consistently ranked among the league’s leaders in saves and finished the regular season with the most stops in the USL at 106.