A season for Orlando City that has had its fair share of highs and lows, has now come to an end on what will surely be remembered as one of the lower lows. Falling 6-1 to a Philadelphia team that the Lions had beaten earlier this year is a tough pill to swallow, especially when you consider that Orlando got more shots off, and won the possession battle.
As a whole in this game, the Lions found a way to continuously shoot themselves in the foot. Since soccer is played with your feet, that’s something that is definitely going to make the game more difficult for you as a team, and as individuals.
I was always told as a kid, that things are going to get worse before they get better. Well, this was Orlando City at its worst, so let us hope that this means things are looking up for the off-season, where we can pretty much assume some drastic changes will be made.
GK, Earl Edwards Jr. 2 — ‘The Landlord’ was awarded his well deserved first career start in MLS after a stellar season with OCB and an injury to regular starter Joe Bendik. Edwards Jr. ended up having a very rough day, with little to no help from his back line, making only one save, from seven Philadelphia shots on goal. That one save came in the closing moments of the game, after a very poor giveaway by Antonio Nocerino. That one save was nice too, for what it’s worth.
D, Victor “PC” Giro, 1 — In a rare start for PC, not a lot went well for him. He was beat down the line quite a few times, which led to goals and goal-scoring opportunities. Even when PC got forward, poor touches, and crosses into the box didn’t help the team going forward.
D, Leo Pereira, 2 — I give Pereira a slightly higher score than the rest of the defense, primarily because he made it through the entire game. There is not a lot I can really say about Pereira’s performance though because his effort was incredibly forgettable.
D, Seb Hines, 1 — Tonight was a real struggle for all of the defense, but it seemed as though Hines may have suffered the worst. He just found himself in poor positions time after time which just made the balance of the game always tip in Philadelphia’s favor. His speed is also a massive problem after seeing how badly he was burnt by Picault on C.J. Sapong’s first goal. The team’s carelessness with the ball predictably put Hines in footrace situations and that’s not good.
D, Scott Sutter, 1 — Sutter could have had a higher rating had it not been for that awful header back towards goal from midfield. That ball was scooped up by the Philly speedster Picault, which he put in the back of the net for his second goal of the game. He also got beat in the air on Picault’s first goal. Needless to say, our entire back line should have nightmares of Fafa Picault, Marcus Epps, C.J. Sapong, and Ilsinho for the way those four players outclassed our defense in the first half.
MF, Richie Laryea, 3 — I was really excited to see Laryea get a start and a full game with the first team. He did do some things well, but the team’s poor play overall really overshadowed any good he was able to do. He drew a multitude of fouls in good areas, and also played some good balls into threatening areas, including a great pass in to Barnes in front of the net.
MF, Dillon Powers, 2 — Much like Pereira it was a very forgettable performance from Powers. Given the opportunity to start and make a good impression with that, I feel as though he squandered his chance. He got one shot off that was wildly erratic, and his best moment was a header in to Dwyer off a corner, which resulted in a shot and a fine save by Andre Blake.
MF, Yoshimar Yotun, 4 — One thing I will say about Yoshi is that he has one heck of a left foot. His assist on Dwyer’s goal was one of the few bright spots in this game. The other positive for Yotun is how great he is at trying to win the ball back when he loses possession. It was far from a great game by Yotun, but you could tell he was still playing with heart all the way through the final whistle.
F, Carlos Rivas, 3 — Rivas moving forward actually played some of the better balls into the box. He put crosses and through balls in to dangerous areas that resulted in chances created. Again it was a lackluster performance overall, but if he can continuously do the things he did well in this game, I’d be content on bringing him back under a regular contract next season. But if he’s going to play on the forward line, he must get into the box.
F, Dom Dwyer, 4.5 (MotM) — Orlando’s lone goal, which came from a diving effort off of a free kick, was great, albeit a little late to make an impact on the result. Dwyer was really all alone in the running for Man of the Match for me. He drew fouls, he was tenacious getting back, and had five shots, four of which were on target, and two caused Andre Blake to make great saves. I’m excited to see Dwyer next year for a full season in purple.
F, Giles Barnes, 3.5 — A lot of the primary action moving forward came through the feet of Giles Barnes, he was creative on the ball, and fought hard to maintain possession. Late in the game he played a ball across to Dwyer, and his shot caused a fantastic save by Blake. On that play I would’ve liked to have seen Barnes be more selfish and have taken Blake on himself as he had the Philadelphia defense beat.
D, Tommy Redding (46’), 3 — Coming in for Seb Hines, it wasn’t too hard for Redding to look better by comparison. The defense still let the ball into the net twice in the second half, and you could debate that Redding not stepping in on a counter attack could be the reason why Philadelphia scored its fifth goal.
D, Donny Toia (46’), 3 — Similar situation to Redding: with how bad the defense looked, Toia was an improvement. Played some decent crosses in, but still lacked the pace to keep up with Ilsinho on his second goal of the night.
MF, Antonio Nocerino (66’), 2.5 — Nocerino really wasn’t an improvement on Rivas, and didn’t do much to impact the game when he came on. One bad giveaway that resulted in a great save from Earl Edwards Jr. But that isn’t much of a contribution to be proud of.
That’s how I saw it today in the season finale from Talen Energy Stadium. It was a pretty abysmal display if you ask me, but what I want to ask you, is did you see it differently? Have a different Man of the Match? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Personally, with a depleted roster I would’ve liked to have seen Jason Kreis play more of the younger kids like Hadji Barry and Pierre Da Silva. They might be mainstays on the first team roster next year. In a blowout like this, it wouldn’t have hurt to give them some minutes with absolutely nothing to lose.