U23s Match Preview: 7.12.12 vs. VSI Tampa
U23s need to win two remaining matches to secure playoff spotORLANDO, Fla. Despite a disappointing loss on Tuesday, the Orlando City U23s can still clinch a playoff spot by winning their remaining two matches, starting with VSI Tampa Flames on Friday, July 13, at Seminole Soccer Complex. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Admission to the match is free as the U23s celebrate fan appreciation day at SSC.
Orlando (7-3-4, 25 points) fell to IMG Bradenton Academics (8-5-2, 26 points) on Tuesday by a score of 3-1. Academics Midfielder Milo Kapur notched a hat trick with goals in the 22nd, 25th and 69th minutes, leading his club in the win over Orlando. With the win, IMG moved into second place in the division, just one point ahead of the Lions.
Despite the loss on Tuesday, the U23s still control their own destiny. By winning their remaining two matches against VSI Tampa on Friday and JC Jax Destroyers on Sunday, the Lions would secure the second spot in the Southeast Division and advance to the 2012 playoffs.
VSI and Orlando have only met one time this season, resulting in a scoreless draw at JC Handly Park in Brandon, Fla. Current standings have Orlando in third place in the division with VSI Tampa right behind in fourth spot. Both clubs still have an opportunity to earn a playoff spot with a win on Friday.
The Southeasts first playoff spot has already been wrapped up by the Ocala Stampede (10-3-2, 32 points). Ocala secured the first seed in the Southeast Division with Orlandos loss Tuesday night.
Gates open an hour before kickoff at 6 p.m. Admission will be free as the U23s celebrate fan appreciation day during their last home match of the regular season. For more information on the U23s match on Friday and more, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com. You can follow the U23s on Twitter by visiting their page @OrlandoCityU23s for all your City U23s news.
Player to Watch- McKauley Tulloch:
U23s Forward McKauley Tulloch has been a force since joining the Lions three weeks ago. Tulloch showed no fear while scoring the lone goal in Orlandos 3-1 defeat to IMG on Tuesday, charging toward the oncoming goalkeeper despite an imminent collision. The forward will need to show that same kind of determination in Orlandos next two matches if the team wants to secure a playoff spot in 2012.
Moses Aduny, Johan Bergfeld, Ricardo Campbell, Oumar Diakhite, David Graydon, Will Frandsen, Ryan Griffin, Ezequiel Pedraza, Joseph Toby, Steven Williams, Sean Reynolds, Anthony Arico, Keneil Baker, Jonathan Mendoza, Nicolas Russo, Verneri Valimaa, Jowayne Laidley, Darvin Ebanks, McKauly Tulloch, Gonzalo Demohita, Alexander McDonald, Chip Sanders, Sam Fairhurst