USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
ORLANDO, Fla. – Pierre da Silva scored in the opening 10 minutes as Orlando City B took a 1-0 win against Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC in a preseason exhibition on Wednesday afternoon at the ChampionsGate Sports Complex.
Orlando Academy product Da Silva lifted home a left-footed finish in the seventh minute as the Lions took the lead. While Orlando included a number of MLS players, including veteran defender Aurelien Collin and former USL Most Valuable Player Kevin Molino in the side, Anthony Pulis’ first-half side also featured a youngsters Tommy Redding and Mikey Ambrose.
The second half saw featured almost exclusively players who will be with OCB this season, including defender Craig Nitti and former Rochester Rhinos midfielder Jonathan Mendoza. Despite this, the Lions were able to preserve their one-goal lead as goalkeeper Mark Ridgers put in a scoreless 45 minutes.
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“It was a good exercise for us. Obviously the first group was a mix, probably half and half of our OCB players and a few of the first team boys mixed in and we were pleased with the performance,” said Pulis.
“On the whole, everybody has come through unscathed, we moved the ball well, we were probably the better team first half. Second half was exactly what we expected it to be, we had a lot of younger boys out there, some Academy players and our focus today was more on the defensive shape and our organization and for the most part, we were pleased with that.”
Orlando’s preseason schedule continues this Sunday as it faces fellow USL club OKC Energy FC at IMG Academy.