After a one-year hiatus from the USL, Orlando City Soccer Club will make its return to its origin league. Orlando City B will play its season-opener against the Wilmington Hammerheads Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Titan Soccer Complex of Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne, Fla.
The Lions are no strangers to winning in the USL. In 2011, the club’s inaugural season, the Lions were regular-season champions and USL Pro champions. The 2012 and 2014 squads earned the club top regular-season accolades as well.
Orlando City has some history with its season-opening opponent. In 2012, the Hammerheads eliminated the Lions from the playoffs in the semifinals with a 4-3 victory. But if Wilmington’s season last year is any indication of how they will do in the season-opener, the Lions could be staring at an early-season victory.
Last season, the Hammerheads finished with a depressing 3-16-10 record, at one point losing 13 of 19 games.
The team’s scoring was led by Americans Nick Zimmerman and Brian Ackley, who netted three goals each.
For OCB, expect to see appearances from goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar, defender Tyler Turner and striker Bryan Róchez, as Orlando City announced all three players would be season-long loans to the the second-team on Friday. Goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr., midfielders Harrison Heath and Richie Laryea and striker Hadji Barry have been loaned for Saturday’s season-opener.
Among the aforementioned seven, Róchez has the most experience. In addition to making 16 MLS appearances, the 21-year-old Honduran scored five goals, including two game-winners against Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Fire.
All players on loan, except Stajduhar, are subject to the right of recall, which allows the club to call the players up to the first team at any point during the MLS regular season.
For a livestream of the team’s season-opener, click here.
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