April 4, 2017 Toronto FC II USL--Orlando City B vs Toronto FC II (from uslsoccer.com)

OCB’s Identity Emerges in Decisive Win
By CHARLIE CORR - charlie.corr@uslsoccer.com, 04/05/17, 10:00AM EDT 

Fluid offense and ability to handle shorthanded stretch lead to first victory

With back-to-back losses to open the year, Orlando City B had a gut-check moment early 
this season. Coach Anthony Pulis met with his roster over the past weekend and put 
everything on the table.

“We really got a lot of stuff out in the open – not just football stuff, but stuff off 
the field and our culture, and our identity, and our values and standards, and what 
we want from the group on a daily basis,” Pulis said. “For the most part, in the 
preseason we’ve been really pleased with the group.

“The first two games, I wasn’t so pleased with a number of things.”

Needless to say, Orlando responded quite well to the tune of a 3-1 victory against 
Toronto FC II on Tuesday at Orlando City Stadium.

“The reaction after that meeting and in the two training sessions we’ve had since then 
were absolutely fantastic,” Pulis said after the match. “It’s an old cliché, but it’s 
not about getting knocked down; it’s about getting back up. We really wanted to see 
a reaction, and I thought we saw a real positive reaction tonight from the group.”

Orlando and Toronto traded goals in the early going, with OCB’s Paul Clowes heading home 
a scrappy goal and TFC II’s Malik Johnson finding an equalizer. Then, Orlando’s fluid 
runs and passing paid dividends on either side of halftime.

Hadji Barry converted a tap-in in the 41st minute and Lewis Neal went top-shelf in the 
51st minute to create some breathing room with a two-goal cushion. Pierre Da Silva, 
who had a setback with a second-half sending off, set up both tallies.

“We played some really good football, especially on the counterattack,” Pulis said. 
“I thought we were really dangerous.”

Defensively, OCB held its ground down the stretch despite Da Silva’s absence for the 
final 20-plus minutes, with Pulis specifically pointing out the center back duo 
of Zach Carroll and Leo Pereira being integral pieces en route to the victory.

“They were outstanding, those two, tonight,” Pulis said. “I think you saw the real 
Zach Carroll. We obviously watched Zach when we played against him last year when 
he was at Red Bulls II and knew he was one of the best center backs in the league. 
We were delighted when we signed him.

“Leo Pereira was excellent as well. He played left back last week against Louisville, 
which is probably not his best position. … I think he showed everybody tonight that 
he’s got a lot of potential.”

OCB has a quick turnaround as it gets set to host the Charlotte Independence 
on Saturday at Orlando City Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET | Match Center). Now that the first 
win is under the team’s belt, OCB is hoping this marks the start toward a run u
p the Eastern Conference table.

“The hardest thing is always to get on the right track, which is to get the first 
win of the season,” Barry said. “We got that today, so hopefully we can move forward 
and get more wins.”

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