U23s Match Preview: 5.31.2012 vs. IMG Bradenton
U23s on the road Thursday to face IMG Bradenton AcademicsORLANDO, Fla. The Orlando City U23s look to keep their unbeaten streak alive in PDL regular season play this Thursday, May 31, against IMG Bradenton Academics. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at the IMG Academies Soccer Stadium. Thursday marks the first time the U23s will be on the road in the 2012 season as all four of Orlandos matches have been at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
Orlando City currently sits tied for first place in the Southeast Division with a record of 3-0-1 and ten points. The Lions share the division lead with Ocala, who Orlando defeated 3-1 on Saturday at the Seminole Soccer Complex, and IMG.
After starting the season strong with a 3-0-1 record, Bradenton has slipped as of late. A 1-0 loss to VSI Tampa and 2-0 fall to Panama City Beach in the last week has the Academics looking for answers. The club is led by their top scorer in Forward Marco Lobo, who has three goals and one assist through six matches. The Head Coach of IMG is Scott Dean, who also serves as their Soccer Academy Director.
The calling card for the Lion U23s so far in 2012 is their defense. Through four matches, the U23s have only allowed one goal the lowest amount of any team in the PDL through four games. Orlando City U23s Head Coach Joe Avallone commented on the importance of defense for his club and what he expects out of his opponent on Thursday.
We have been preaching to our boys that defense wins games, said Avallone. Thats what we rely on. I think IMG will be a good club, as their record clearly shows that. We just have to play our type of game on Thursday and hope for the win.
For more information on the U23s match and more, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.
Player to Watch- Oumar Diakhite:
Defender Oumar Diakhite is one of the reasons why the Orlando City U23s defense has been outstanding so far in 2012. Diakhite, a graduate of Montverde Academy, has started all four matches for Orlando, becoming a key piece for the Orlando City defense. Look for the Dakar, Senegal, native to have a strong presence in the midfield and on defense for the U23s against IMG on Thursday.
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, Louis Ojeco, Nicolas Russo, Harrison Heath, Darvin Ebanks.