For the third time in three years Orlando City and the San Jose Earthquakes failed to produce a winner — this time in a 1-1 draw at Avaya Stadium in the wee hours East Coast time. Considering a huge rotation of the squad by Head Coach Jason Kreis, a point is not a bad result. But, considering the Lions led on a goal in the 81st minute, it still feels like a letdown.
Nevertheless, it’s another point in the standings and a chance to come home with several starters fresh for Sunday’s match with New York City FC.
Here are my individual ratings for Orlando City’s participants in the match.
GK, Joe Bendik, 6 — Joe made two saves on a night when the Quakes didn’t threaten the goal much, with 11 shots but only three on target. He perhaps could have gotten out to square up on Chris Wondolowski quicker but came in at an angle, allowing Wondo to poke in a floating cross off his arms for the equalizer. He got a hand to a free kick from Jahmir Hyka in the 26th minute on a ball that might have hit the bar or gone over but he did well to take no chances. Made a comfortable save on Marco Urena in the first half. His distribution wasn’t terrible but could have been a bit better. A solid if not spectacular game.
D, Victor “PC” Giro, 8 (MotM) — PC made his MLS debut and it was quite an introduction. His vision in setting up Rivas’ goal was extraordinary and he provided energy all night while maintaining integrity on defense for the most part. He started early, earning a free kick in the ninth minute with a nice overlap with Luis Gil. Nearly opened his account in the 32nd with a stunning strike that beat David Bingham but not the crossbar. He led Orlando in tackles (5) and interceptions (4) and his passing rate of 71.4% was pretty good. His game on this night was better than his previous appearances with OCB this year and he’s earned more minutes.
D, Leo Pereira, 6.5 — Like PC, the young Brazilian made his MLS debut at Avaya Stadium tonight and the moment certainly wasn’t too big for him. Leo played within himself throughout the game, winning balls in the air. He was forced to take a tactical yellow in the 25th minute after a midfield turnover by Servando Carrasco, conceding a dangerous free kick chance. His vital clearance of a cross by Marco Urena in the 43rd minute snuffed out a dangerous chance. In the 79th, he again bailed out Carrasco after a turnover. His passing rate of 67.7% could have been better but he led the team in pass attempts (65) and didn’t make any errors in tight spaces under pressure. He led the team in clearances (5), with two tackles, three interceptions and a blocked shot. Not a bad debut but he was the closest defender to Wondo on the corner kick and lost track of him.
D, Jose Aja, 6.5 — The young Uruguayan took a lot of abuse from the opponents and got very few calls out of it but he stayed focused, kept his anger in check, and played a sturdy game. His two interceptions and two clearances were OK, his passing rate of 73.1% was decent, and contributed a key pass and two shots on offense, one of which just missed a bit high. He paired up well on the right side with Scott Sutter to snuff out most of the danger that came from that side.
D, Scott Sutter, 7 — Sutter may have been Orlando City’s best player in the first half. He was so cool and calm under pressure and in possession that you could chill your beer on his forehead. His long throw-in led to PC’s shot off the crossbar and he had an early cross for Luis Gil that was on target but a defender got there first. He recorded one tackle, two interceptions and three clearances, and connected well with Matias Perez Garcia up the right channel much of the game. His passing rate of 76.5% led the back four and he contributed one key pass while raining five crosses into the penalty area.
MF, Will Johnson, 7 — Will is probably going to take some heat from fans for keeping Wondo onside on the tying goal, but when the ball fell for Tommy Thompson, he retreated to guard the post and it was just unfortunate that the Earthquakes youngster mishit a shot attempt that somehow worked out for San Jose. His influence was noticeable throughout the game as he was often charged with starting possessions as Pereira and Aja fed him the ball deep to start the play. He passed at a solid 87.1% rate with the second most passes (62). In the 10th minute, he served in a free kick to Cyle Larin but the Canadian’s header was high. He finished with two key passes, four tackles, an interception, two clearances and generally ran his tail off all night.
MF, Servando Carrasco, 5.5 — I guess the word for Servando’s night is “workmanlike.” He finished with a passing accuracy of 89.7% — highest of all starters — but he also made the most glaring giveaways on the night. He had a terrible turnover in the 25th minute that started a San Jose break and forced Pereira to take a yellow and give up a dangerous free kick. He was dispossessed twice and both turned into scary moments for the defense as a result (the second came in the 79th minute). He finished with two interceptions, two clearances and one shot attempt. Overall he did a decent job of shielding the back line but will want to eliminate those giveaways.
MF, Luis Gil, 6 — Much of the night for Gil was spent providing coverage for the young Brazilian defenders behind him. Whenever the Quakes came forward, Gil was there to provide a second pressure point on the ball with PC and/or Pereira. But he wasn’t all defense, though he had two tackles and an interception. He played a nice give-and-go with PC early to set up a free kick when the latter was taken down. He had one key pass and got his one shot on target, though he didn’t get all of it as he tried to use a defender to screen his attempt from Bingham. His passing rate (68.4%) could have been better, though many of his attempts were with guys he hasn’t played with yet.
MF, Gile Barnes, 5 — The Jamaican didn’t leave much of a mark on the game offensively, with only a 40% passing rate and one shot that was off target — although that was the result of taking Fatai Alashe’s studs to his shin and didn’t get him so much as a free kick. His main contribution seemed to be gumming up the the works whenever San Jose tried to play out of the back. He gutted out much of the game after taking that horror tackle from Alashe.
MF, Matias Perez Garcia, 6.5 — It certainly looked like MPG was in the mood against his old team. The pocket-sized Argentine started the game with a great deal of energy, getting under the skin of his former teammates. He could have played Larin in on goal in the 24th but put too much on his through ball. Started a break in the 44th minute that forced Anibal Godoy to take a yellow card for a tactical foul. He was quick to the ball throughout the match, winning a team high six fouls on the night. He had three key passes, one shot, two tackles, and two interceptions. However, his score could have been much higher if not for a 39.3% passing accuracy. This was one performance where the stats don’t tell the story of the player’s impact on the game.
F, Cyle Larin, 6 — If the Canadian ever figures out how to face a defender out wide and beat him off the dribble, he’ll be an unstoppable force, but too often the Quakes comfortably defended Orlando attacks when Larin got the ball wide. He maybe should have done better in the 10th minute on a free header off a free kick, but headed over the bar. His header in the 18th minute forced a diving save from David Bingham to keep it out of the bottom corner. He earned a couple of early second-half corners — one on a shot blocked by Florian Jungwirth and the other on a dangerous-looking cross. He passed at a 68.4% rate, but there were too many of the unsuccessful ones that could have been a final through ball for a scoring chance. Still, he had one key pass and three shots (one on target).
MF, Kaká (63’), 6.5 — While it wasn’t the captain’s best performance since his return, he did make a big positive impact. He got the hockey assist on Orlando’s goal by drawing two defenders toward him at the top corner of the box and played PC down the left channel for the cross. He had a couple giveaways but did well to track back to defend afterward with a tackle and a blocked shot. It was only a 64% passing night for the Brazilian and he had the game on his foot in the 91st but his shot couldn’t beat Bingham and maybe he could have squared it to a wide-open MPG for the finish there.
F, Carlos Rivas (63’), 7 — In less than half an hour of work the Colombian led the team with five shots and scored what looked like the game winner in the 80th minute. His pace made an impact on the game over the last half hour as he always looked dangerous in space. As usual, he wasted a few shots in the stands, but overall it was a good shift. He passed at an 83% clip created a chance with a ball to Kaká in the 91st minute. Those maddening shots over the net were the only blemishes on Carlos’ night.
MF, Cristian Higuita (85’), N/A — The Colombian came on for Carrasco and he didn’t get booked, which is the most important thing he did (or didn’t do) because he’s sitting on four yellows. He completed all eight of his passes but surprisingly didn’t record any defensive statistics. Not enough time on for a fair grade.
That’s how I saw it. What did you think? Vote for your Orlando City MotM below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.