U23s Match Recap: 7.15.12 vs. FC Jax Destroyers
Orlando City U23s top Jax Destroyers, face Laredo Heat in Southern Conference Championships next weekMisconduct Summary:
JAX- Rilwan Salawu Red (Reckless Behavior) 72
ORL- Alexander Macdonald (Jonathan Mendoza) 41
ORL- Nicolas Russo (Jonathan Mendoza) 71
ORL- Nicolas Russo (Verneri Valimaa) 78
JAX- Adam Black (Tornubari Nyonebue) 90
Orlando City Charles Sanders (Brendan Moore 46), Joseph Toby, Will Fransden, Ryan Griffin, Sean Reynolds, Jonathan Mendoza, Anthony Arico (Verneri Valimaa 46), Alexander Macdonald, Sam Fairhurst, Moses Aduny (Nicolas Russo 67), Drew Helm (Gonzalo DeMujica 69)
Substitutes not used: Johan Bergfeld, David Graydon
FC Jax Destroyers Andy Murphy, Matt Glodack, Arnie Selman, Dom Cutrofello, Josh Heseltine, Dan Jackson, Andi Scnable, Steve Scrivens, Adam Black, Rilwan Salawu, Tornubari Nyonebue
Substitutes not used: Andre Brunelli, Casey Tafuri
Time of Game 7:07 p.m.
Orlando, Fla. The Orlando City U23s topped FC Jax Destroyers 3-1 at Christs Church Academy in Jacksonville, Fla., qualifying the U23s for 2012 PDL postseason action. City will travel to Ocala, Fla., to play Mid South Division top-seed Laredo Heat in the first round of the Southern Conference Championship.
Orlando (8-3-5, 29 points), who needed only one point to secure a spot in the PDL playoffs heading into the match, got on the scoreboard first. Right before halftime, Jonathan Mendoza led Alexander Macdonald toward goal, with the midfielder putting his attempt past FC Jax (1-11-4, 7 points) Goalkeeper Andy Murphy to put Orlando up 1-0.
After a rousing halftime speech by U23s Head Coach Joe Avallone, the Lions come out with all cylinders pumping in the second half. Orlando stayed on the attack, not allowing Jacksonville to respond to their 41st minute goal. The attacking mindset paid off in the 71st minute, with a through ball played from Mendoza to Nicolas Russo fooling Murphy for Orlandos second score of the match.
Soon after, frustration boiled over for the Jacksonville side as a red was handed to Midfielder Rilwan Salawu after punches were thrown. Orlando then pounced on the 10-man FC Jax club, with Russo scoring his second of the half with the assist credited to Veneri Valimaa to give the Lions the 3-0 advantage. Despite a late goal by the Destoryers, the Lions held strong, taking the 3-1 victory.
The Southern Conference Championships will be held next weekend in Ocala, Fla., due to Southeast Division champs Ocala Stampede finished with the best record in the Southern Conference (11-3-2). Joining the U23s and the aforementioned Stampede are Mid South Divisions Laredo Heat and Austin Aztex.
To begin the playoffs, Orlando will square off against Mid South leaders Laredo Heat, who finished atop their division with a record of 10-3-3 and 33 points. The Heat are a decorated PDL franchise, winning the PDL Championship in 2007 while tallying five division titles since their inception in 2004. Should Orlando get past Laredo, theyd either face Ocala or Austin in the Southern Conference Championship.
Times of playoff matches will be announced early this week. Visit Orlandocitysoccer.com for the most up to the minute updates regarding all U23 news. Be sure to also follow the U23s Twitter account @OrlandoCityU23s for more information regarding Orlando City PDLs club.