FC Cincinnati 2 face Orlando City B on Sunday, June 11 at Osceola Heritage Park in a quick turnaround following Thursday’s midweek match against Inter Miami CF II. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. ET and can be streamed live on mlsnextpro.com.
FC CINCINNATI 2 at ORLANDO CITY B – SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2023 – 6 p.m. ET – OSCEOLA HERITAGE PARK
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The Orange and Blue will square off against the Lions for the fourth time after meeting three times in MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season. FC Cincinnati 2 are 1-1-1 against Orlando City B and 1-0-1 on the road.
SCOUTING ORLANDO CITY B (6-4-2, 21 PTS., 4TH EASTERN CONFERENCE)
Orlando City B hit the ground running to open their second season in MLS NEXT Pro, winning three straight matches to begin the year and going unbeaten over their first six. The Lions have cooled off since, winning two of six matches following a 3-2 win over Toronto City FC II on April 30.
Jack Lynn remains the focal point of the Lions attack after a dominant 2022 season in which Lynn scored 15 goals and finished third in the MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot Race. Entering the weekend, Lynn has six goals and leads Orlando City B in shots (23) and shots on target (13) in limited minutes.
Orlando City had three first round picks in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, selecting forward Shakur Mohammed with the second overall pick and defender Abdi Salim with the 17th. The pair of youngsters have made 16 appearances for OCB this season while Salim has started in all seven of his regular season appearances.
Martín Perelman leads the Lions in his second season as head coach of OCB. Perelman previously managed Comunicaciones of his native Argentina where he won a Primera B title in 2021. Perelman enjoyed a 12-year career as a player with various clubs across the globe.
HALSEY HEATING UP – Bret Halsey picked up his third assist of the season Thursday night against Inter Miami CF II. The assist marks Halsey’s third goal contribution over the last four matches including his first goal for the Orange and Blue against Philadelphia Union II on Sunday. Halsey is now one assist shy of sharing a team lead and ranks third amongst field players in chances created.
THE DADO SHOW – Gerardo Valenzuela, who inked a first team contract in May, continues to impress at the MLS NEXT Pro level. In nine league appearances, Valenzuela has scored two goals, added one assist and leads the team in shot attempts (24) and chances created (2). His two goals both proved to be match winners, earning the Orange and Blue a total of six points against Toronto FC II and Philadelphia Union II.
A HELPING HAND – FC Cincinnati 2’s 16 assists are tied for the fourth most across MLS NEXT Pro. Seven of the Orange and Blue’s last eight goals have featured an assist as four FCC 2 players now have multiple assists on the season.
DEFENSIVE CONSISTENCY – Isaiah Foster made his 10th appearance of the season Thursday night against Miami and has proven to be one of the Orange and Blue’s most reliable defenders. Foster leads the team with 22 tackles and is second on the team in interceptions (22) and successful duel percentage (62.2) among players with more than five starts.
OFFENSIVE FIREWORKS – Last year’s three game series between FC Cincinnati 2 and Orlando City B produced a total of 16 goals, including the Orange and Blue’s 5-3 win on the road on May 29, 2022. FCC 2 have scored 20 goals this season averaging 1.8 goal per match while OCB have tallied 21 goals at a clip of 1.75 goals per match.