ORLANDO, Fla. – With its place in the USL Cup Playoffs on the line, Orlando City B needs a win on Thursday night at Orlando City Stadium when it plays host to a Tampa Bay Rowdies side aiming at second place in the Eastern Conference in the third and final I-4 Derby of the regular season. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Orlando City B news and notes
Current record: 10-9-12, 42pts
Orlando lost a thriller in its last match as its late comeback attempt came up short in a 6-5 defeat to the New York Red Bulls II on Saturday night at Orlando City Stadium.
Facing a four-goal deficit in the second half, Orlando got a goal and assist from Zach Carroll to cut the lead in half, but after New York added a penalty kick in the final minute OCB's two goals in stoppage time left the side just short of an equalizer.
Entering the week in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, Orlando must win its final game of the regular season to have a chance at returning to the USL Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive season. Should OCB take all three points, it would then need one of the New York Red Bulls II, Bethlehem Steel FC or FC Cincinnati to slip up in their final game of the regular season this weekend.
Orlando has the fewest total shots in USL with just 285, but sits ninth in the league in accuracy rate at 49.08 percent and and sixth in the league in chance conversion rate at 16.97 percent.
Tampa Bay Rowdies news and notes
Current record: 13-7-11, 50pts
The Rowdies come into this match following a 1-1 draw against San Antonio FC on Saturday night at Toyota Field.
Georgi Hristov gave the Rowdies the lead in the 69th minute with his 12th goal of the regular season, only for San Antonio to find an equalizer with two minutes to go to deny Tampa Bay its fourth road win of the season.
Rowdies midfielder Marcel Schäfer was named to the USL Team of the Week on Tuesday after playing a major role in the side going 1-0-1 in Week 29. The former German international is also tied for second in the USL with 10 assists this season.
A win for the Rowdies in Orlando would seal a top-four finish, and with it a home game in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs. It would also push the Rowdies into second place in the East, and put pressure on current second-place side the Charleston Battery to match its result on Saturday when the Battery visit the Charlotte Independence.
Orlando – GK: Earl Edwards, Jake Fenlason; D: Seb Hines, Kevin Alston, Conor Donovan, Rafael Ramos, Zach Hayden-Ellis, Jules Youmeni, PC, Scott Thomsen, Zach Carroll, Fernando Timbo, Leonardo Pereira; M: Richie Laryea, Tony Rocha, Lewis Neal, Danny Deakin, Jordan Schweitzer, Paul Clowes, Austin Martz, Ryley Kraft, Pierre Da Silva; F: Hadji Barry, Albert Dikwa, Ben Polk, Joe Gallardo, Michael Cox
Tampa Bay – GK: Nico Campbell, Matt Pickens, Akira Fitzgerald; D: Darnell King, Neill Collins, Zac Portillos, Tamika Mkandawire, Hunter Gorskie, Kyle Porter; M: Marcel Schäfer, Darwin Jones, Walter Restrepo, Alex Morrell, Leo Fernandes, Justin Chavez, Sebastian Guenzatti, Keith Savage, Michael Nanchoff, Joe Cole, Martin Vingaard; F: Georgi Hristov, Martin Paterson
Orlando - Accumulation warning: Seb Hines, Richie Lareya, Zach Carroll, Zach Hayden-Ellis
Tampa Bay – Accumulation warning: Keith Savage, Michael Nanchoff, Darnell King
REF: JONATHAN BILINSKI
AR1: Walter Heatherly
AR2: Luis Casas
4TH: Natalie Simon
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