The Rhinos drew with Orlando 1-1 Wednesday night in the first of a three-game road stretch.
The story of the match was all about goalkeeper Josh Saunders. The seasoned Major League Soccer veteran came to Orlando City this season from New York City FC, and played his first action with the club. With nearly 175 career MLS appearances, the backup goalkeeper found himself with the ‘B’ squad to get playing time and he was about as hot-and-cold and you could get.
The match started off slow and picked up quickly in the middle of the first half. The 23rd minute saw Monroe Community College graduate Hadji Barry strike first for OCB. A beautiful ball from Richie Laryea saw Barry get in behind the Rhinos defense. Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez came off his line only for Barry to touch it around him and slot it into the empty net.
The lead wouldn’t last long as the Rhinos got on the board less than two minutes later. Ryan James fed Ray Lee on the left wing who fired his cross through the box. Saunders would drop the ball right into the path of Antonio Correia who scored his first Rhinos goal in his first USL start.
Despite having just 44% of the possession, the Rhinos would put the pressure on late in the match and had several chances to win. In the 82nd minute, Wal Fall nearly scored one of the goals of the season. He gave his defender a quick body feint, shifted the ball to his left foot and put a shot on goal to the bottom-left corner from about 22 yards. Saunders went across his line and got his fingers on it, robbing Fall of his fourth goal of the season.
In the 88th-minute and stoppage time, Kenardo Forbes got behind the OCB defense on two separate occasions and was one-on-one with Saunders who came off his line and denied Forbes spectacularly on both attempts.
After two minutes of stoppage time, Samuel Edoung-Biyo nearly replicated his US Open Cup heroics. Jordan Dover; who continues to be a force at right wingback, drove a ball to the corner of the six-yard box for Edoung-Biyo, who clipped the ball just over the bar. The referee would blow his whistle, and the match ended at 1-1.
The Rhinos move to 4-4-1 on the season and are now 6 games unbeaten in the USL, 8 matches overall. Rochester will head southwest to Tampa Bay to take on the Rowdies. The Rhinos won the first contest between the two sides 1-0 on May 24th.
Rochester will then head back north and go straight to Providence College to face the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on June 14th.
The Rhinos’ next home match will be on June 17th against the Ottawa Fury.