The month of May saw only one victory from Orlando City, which was over Real Salt Lake to start the month. Orlando City’s six-game winning streak ended at the hands of Atlanta United, which started a losing streak that has extended to four straight games.
After a strong April, the Lions seemed to sputter in the month of May with Dom Dwyer’s injury and players such as Amro Tarek and Yoshimar Yotún leaving for their respective international teams ahead of the World Cup in Russia.
Here are The Mane Land’s picks for the best goal, save, and player of the month of May.
Goal of the Month: Cristian Higuita vs. Toronto FC
Again, The Mane Land staff was pretty clear on this one. Higuita had a very solid month of May. His goal against Toronto FC in a 2-1 loss was superb as it leveled the game at 1-1, but wasn’t enough for the Lions to pick up the victory. The goal was set up by Mohamed El-Munir, who gave an outstanding effort to get into the box and set up a wild chain of events that eventually led to Josue Colmán finding Higuita, who smashed it past Alex Bono. The play itself set up to be one of the best Orlando City has generated throughout the season as a perfect mix of effort, passing, and a solid scoring chance led to Higuita’s finish to earn the title of goal of the month.
Save of the Month: Joe Bendik vs. Real Salt Lake
Joe Bendik had a rough month of May, conceding seven goals in four games. But his save against Real Salt Lake’s Corey Baird in a one-on-one situation was easily the save of the month. The save at the time kept the game level, which proved to be a big play as Orlando City eventually ran away with the game, 3-1 to extend its win streak at the time to six games. Baird did score before the save in the 12th minute, so the save became sweet revenge for Bendik. As for the game as a whole, the Orlando City goalkeeper faced nine shots on target, saving eight of them in one of his best games so far this season. This was the unanimous winner of the save of the month for May, so hats off to Bendik for providing us with another great save.
Player of the Month: Cristian Higuita
This cannot come as much of a surprise. Higuita was one of the brights spots from a month that didn’t serve Orlando City too well. The Colombian international started every game in the month of May, scoring two goals, something that came as a surprise with his positioning on the field as a defensive midfielder. He actually scored his two goals on just four shots on target, so he was also very accurate. Higuita didn’t stop at just goal scoring. He picked up 15 tackles on the defensive end of the pitch, along with a 91.5% pass success rate. He was easily the best player on the pitch for the Lions throughout the four games of May and is deservedly the player of the month for May.
— Cristian Higuita (@CristianHiguit2) May 27, 2018
After the rough month of May and a loss already to start the month of June, Orlando City is looking to get back in the groove it had on its six-game winning streak. The Lions start their U.S. Open Cup run against Miami United on Wednesday. Orlando will then return to MLS action against Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. Three of the four matches Orlando City plays in June are on the road, so it won’t get any easier for the Lions this month.
Agree or disagree? Comment below and tell us your thoughts on our awards for May 2018.