Orlando City

Orlando City at Toronto FC: Player Grades and Man of the Match



Orlando City went to Toronto in need of points, but could not find the go-ahead goal after gaining the man advantage in the second half. Jason Kreis tried a version of the 4-4-2 diamond formation that was heavily speculated about upon his hiring, but quickly reverted back to the 4-2-3-1 after Toronto began dominating the midfield.

The Lions find themselves running out of time in a playoff race that currently has them on the outside looking in. With this point earned towards the effort, let’s see how your favorite Lions grade out.


GK, Joe Bendik, 7.5 (MOTM) – Did well to punch away a threatening free kick entry pass in the 25th minute. Pair of big saves in the 31st after the defense sprung a leak. His save in the 65th minute was really indicative of his good positioning throughout the match.

D, Luke Boden, 6 – Went a little too forward in the sixth and was caught out by the counter. Did well getting forward, but consistently has the worst clearances on the team, leading to opposing scoring opportunities more than once, including a near devastating one in the 92nd, putting the ball right on the foot of the onrushing Will Johnson.

D, David Mateos, 6 – His poor clearance in the fifth minute led to a chance and nearly a goal on the ensuing corner. Played the ball well to slow down Toronto’s attack in the 18th minute, forcing the the man on the ball sideways and allowing the defense to recover.

D, Jose Aja, 6.5 – Very strong in the air, but struggled with Toronto’s runs frequently for the first 30 minutes. Showed good awareness in keeping possession for Orlando late in the first half by intercepting outlet passes. Ate Tosaint Ricketts’ boot while making a clearance in the 70th minute that was Ricketts’ second booking of the match, putting the Lions a man ahead for the final 20 minutes. He got way forward late, but didn’t threaten the defense in a meaningful way.

D, Kevin Alston, 5 – Eaten alive by Morrow in the seventh minute, conceding a corner kick. Lost his man on a cross in the eighth that Toronto couldn’t quite finish. Seemed to find himself in good positions throughout the night, but couldn’t capitalize on them and was reluctant to get forward at times when the opportunities were there.

MF, Servando Carrasco, 6 – Was his usual pain in the ass self at the bottom of the midfield diamond, playing physically and stalling Toronto’s building attacks, but really struggled doing anything about Michael Bradley in general, leading Kreis to change the formation in the 40th minute with a substitution to get Carrasco a partner in the midfield.

MF, Brek Shea, 5.5 – Played a great ball to Molino in the 11th that The Original barely missed his touch on. Linked up well with midfielders in building a threatening attack throughout the first half. Another victim of the referee’s missing whistle when he ate Drew Moor’s shoulder and didn’t get the call, though the official found it in time to give Brek a yellow card after Shea let his thoughts on the no-call be known. He’ll miss the next match. He looked confident on the ball and was part of a handful of threatening sequences, but he has to be more poised than he was in dealing with the officials tonight.

MF, Kaká, 5.5 – Showed his quality on the ball in the 16th minute to get into the box, but his service was behind Kid Fantastic and left him with no chance at net. Was badly dispossessed by Michael Bradley, leading to Toronto’s pair of chances in the 31st minute. Showed his elite talent in the 73rd minute to get a shot at point blank range, but fired it straight at the goalkeeper causing no trouble. His effort throughout was admirable, but one has to wonder if his work rate at this fitness level tonight brought about diminishing returns.

MF, Kevin Molino, 6 – Missed a real chance on net from Brek’s service early in the match. Went down in the box in the 38th in what was Orlando’s best attack to that point in the match but did not get the call. His shiftiness on the ball was a big help towards the Lions retaining possession entering the final third, earning the positioning he wanted and creating chances once he had it. Molino had another chance late, but was caught up in traffic after Kaká worked tirelessly to create a threat with his dribbling in the 83rd minute. Subbed off for Baptista in the 86th.

F, Carlos Rivas, 4.5 – Not afraid to pressure high, stifling Toronto’s initiation early, but was not particularly threatening despite his speed putting him in advantageous positions. Was pulled in the 40th minute when Kreis went back to the 4-2-3-1 formation.

F, Cyle Larin, 5.5 – Was mauled on a breakaway in the 24th minute but the referee couldn’t find his whistle. Horribly mistouched Boden’s service in the 63rd after Orlando swung the ball from the right to the left side of the pitch with sound one touch passing under pressure.


MF, Cristian Higuita (40′), 5 – Helped facilitate the midfield and win the 50/50 balls in the middle of the pitch as soon as he came on, but didn’t swing the momentum of the match in any impactful way despite 50 minutes of action.

MF, Matias Perez Garcia (75′), 5 – Wasn’t particularly effective. Didn’t seem to be on the same page as Kaká, who was running in overdrive all night.

MF, Julio Baptista (86′), 5.5 – Did well to beat his man in the 88th, but the following touch was way too strong and led to a clearance.

Explain why I’m wrong and sound off on your man of the match below. And don’t forget to vote in our poll.

Polling Closed

Player Votes
Joe Bendik 34
Jose Aja 11
Kevin Molino 3
Kaká 20
Other 18


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