UPDATE (March 23, 2021): UPSL has sent a release naming Marcelo Neveleff as the head coach of the OC Academy 23 team. Luca Baglioni, OCB’s former team admin, will serve as the director of operations. Javier Carrillo (U-17 coach) and Roberto Sibaja (U-15 coach) will serve as assistant coaches, longtime Orlando City stalwart Marcos Machado will serve as goalkeeper coach.
With Orlando City B withdrawing from USL League One back in October of 2020, the plan was that the team would join the MLS Reserve league, which was reported by The Athletic last year. However, with the pandemic continuing and the quick turnaround from the end of last year, the league would not be ready until 2022.
With the Orlando City young talent in limbo, the Lions organization opted to instead form a U-23 team which will play a 10-game season in the United Premier Soccer League’s Premier Division.
Though a roster for this team has not been announced yet, the team’s schedule has. The young Lions will play five matches at Osceola Heritage Park, with the first four of the season being at home. They will compete in the Florida Central division of the Southeast Conference in the UPSL.
No coaching staff has officially been announced, however the expectation is that former Orlando City B manager Marcelo Neveleff will lead this team as well.
The team’s spring season will last from March 24th until June 2nd, with the potential of a fall season to be played starting around September.
Here’s the complete spring season schedule for the young Lions.
Wed., March 24
vs Deportivo Lake Mary, 8:00 p.m (Osceola Heritage Park)
Wed., March 31
vs CFL Gosa Spurs, 8:00 p.m (Osceola Heritage Park)
Wed., April 7
vs Orlando Rovers FC, 8:00 p.m (Osceola Heritage Park)
Wed., April 14
vs FK Orlando, 8:00 p.m (Osceola Heritage Park)
Sat., April 17
at Clay County SC, TBD, (TBD)
Sat., April 24
at Inter Jax FC, TBD, (TBD)
Sat., May 15
at Atletico Orlando FC, TBD, (TBD)
Sat., May 22
at Leg A-Z International, TBD, (TBD)
Wed., June 2
vs OFC Barca, 8:00 p.m (Osceola Heritage Park)
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