Match Recap: U23s Earn Draw in First Match of 2012

05/04/2012 8:11 PM
By: Chris Jones

Orlando City U23s 0, Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy 0

Misconduct Summary: FTL – Pierre Adler (Caution; professional foul) 5th
FTL – Jamal Johnson (Caution; professional foul) 57th
ORL- Adame Mbengue (Caution; dissent) 63rd
FTL- Steve Oliveri (Caution; professional foul) 90th


Orlando City – Charles Sanders, Ezequiel Pedraza, Joseph Toby (Anthony Arico 84), Oumar Diakhite, Ryan Griffin, Johan Bergfeld, Nick Sowers (David Graydon 69), Adama Mbengue, Will Frandsen (Ricardo Campbell 75), Moses Aduny (Stephen Williams 69), Drew Helm (Jowayne Laidley 70)

Substitutes not used: Keneil Baker, Edvin Worley

Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy – Eric Perilla, Pierre Adler, Tony Papp, Alan Carvalho, Henry Donovan, Levent Guter, Steve Oliveri, Jose Abrams, Michael Binns (Andrew Livingston 90), Jamal Johnson, Carnell Learmond

Substitutes not used: Drinnan Saute, Lawson Crider, Alex Bidos

Referees: Referee – Micheal Miscanon Center Referee’s Assistants – Chris Real, Hevert Castano

Match Facts: Time of Game – 7:00 p.m. Weather – Clear, 84 degrees Attendance - 315

ORLANDO, Fla. – In the first match of the 2012 PDL regular season, the Orlando City U23s earned a 0-0 draw against the Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. The Lions earned multiple chances throughout the match but failed to capitalize, moving to 0-0-1 on the season.

The U23s coaching staff only had two full practices with the team that was fielded on Friday night, making every minute during the match valuable for the young team. During the first minutes of the match, each player was getting a feel for the other – meshing more and more as the game progressed.

Right before the whistle blew for halftime, the U23s had two scoring opportunities that nearly put City up before the 45 minute mark. The first came in the 44th minute, when Midfielder Nick Sowers found a streaking Adama Mbengue in front of the goal. Mbengue, with a clear lane in front of him, put a little too much on his touch as the ball went just over the Fort Lauderdale goal and sailed out of play.

Another opportunity sprung up only a minute later, as Sowers found himself alone right outside the Fort Lauderdale box- blasting a shot that skimmed by the left post and out of play.

U23s Goalkeeper Charles “Chip” Sanders proved to be invaluable between the posts, saving multiple attempts by the Fort Lauderdale forwards and keeping a clean sheet on the day for City. Sanders, who was most recently a part of the Baton Rouge Capitals (PDL), showed his previous PDL experience by leading the U23s defense all throughout the night. City contained Fort Lauderdale for much of the game, not letting chances develop while keeping everything in front of them.

With the defense intact, Orlando continued to press the Fort Lauderdale back line as the match drew to a close. The U23s had one last-ditch effort in the 86th minute, when Anthony Arico attempted to cross a charging Stephen Williams inside the box. The pass went just ahead of Williams, who was in position to easily notch an Orlando goal.

The match concluded soon after, with U23s Head Coach Joe Avallone commenting on his team’s performance and what they can improve on moving forward.

“We created plenty of chances tonight,” Avallone said. “We have to finish those chances next week. I know with the more practice we get the better we’ll be.”

The Orlando City U23s conclude the back-to-back series against Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy at the Seminole Soccer Complex next Friday, May 11. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the game one hour before the match begins, with pricing starting at $5 for kids and just $10 for adults. For more information regarding the U23s, go to

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