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2018 Orlando City Season in Review: Adam Grinwis

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Orlando City signed goalkeeper Adam Grinwis in early January to compete with Earl Edwards Jr. for the backup role behind incumbent Joe Bendik. By late September, he had surpassed Edwards and Bendik on the depth chart, starting five of the Lions’ final six matches in 2018. Only an infection kept him out of the match at FC Dallas or it would have been six straight appearances for the former Saint Louis FC stopper.

“Adam impressed in our preseason friendly last season and has a track record of success in the USL,” General Manager Niki Budalic said in a club press release. “His athleticism, character and competitiveness will fit in well with our group of goalkeepers.”

Budalic was correct about Grinwis’ athleticism and character, but it was his footwork and shot-stopping ability that combined to push him past his two teammates and onto the field in the late stages of the season.

So, how did he do this year?

Statistical Breakdown

Grinwis appeared in five matches in 2018 — all starts for 450 minutes — allowing six goals and making 14 saves on 20 shots on goal in that span. He faced one penalty kick and stopped it when he kicked away Derrick Etienne’s attempt in the season finale against the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 28. He compiled a 1-3-1 record as a starter with a shutout in his MLS debut — a 0-0 draw at home against the Houston Dynamo on Sept. 22.

Ironically, Grinwis had the worst passing percentage of the three Orlando City goalkeepers in 2018, connecting on just 58%, compared to Bendik’s 62% and Edwards’ 77%. But Grinwis played more safely, averaging 8.2 long ball attempts per game, while Edwards (7.8) and Bendik (6.1) took more chances with short passes under pressure on average.

He did not appear in any U.S. Open Cup matches.

Best Game

The easy move here would be to take his lone victory against Columbus or his shutout draw against Houston. Another choice might be to go with the game in which he received Man of the Match from both the staff and readers — the 2-0 loss at the New England Revolution. But instead, I’m going with the 1-0 loss at New York Red Bulls to end the season.

Grinwis kept the Lions in the game throughout the 90 minutes, giving his team a chance to win — the thing goalkeepers are supposed to do. He made three saves on four shots on goal, with the Red Bulls keeping a lot of pressure on Orlando City, particularly in the second half. He faced 13 total shot attempts and came off his line to punch the ball away twice. He only had one shot on target to face in the first half, but it came from the spot, when Derrick Etienne tried to fool him up the middle. Despite committing to his right, Grinwis was able to kick out his feet and not only stop the shot, but also make sure there wasn’t a rebound to tap into the net. The penalty wasn’t the best, but what made it even more difficult was Etienne’s sudden stop-and-hop on the run-up.

He nearly got down in time to deny Etienne’s powerful shot in the second half, getting a touch on it despite the pace on it. Additionally, he made a good stop to deny Bradley Wright-Phillips in the 83rd minute and another on Daniel Royer in the 94th minute. It was a good night overall for Grinwis despite the loss against a determined New York team gunning for a Supporters Shield.

2018 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Grinwis a composite score of 7 for the 2018 season. It’s a small sample size, but that is in line with his individual grades, of which 5.5 was the lowest and he got a 7.5 three times as his highest of his five single-game scores. His play was far from perfect but Grinwis showed that at the very least he can serve as a capable MLS backup goalkeeper. His shot stopping and reflexes were strong, his distribution was mostly good, he was very calm under pressure, and he read counter attacks well. He came off his line aggressively and put attackers under pressure rather than absorb it himself. He sometimes didn’t get a good view of shots from distance and he got caught in between two minds on the first goal in the Seattle game, but for a young guy seeing his first MLS games, he was impressive more often than not.

2019 Outlook

Grinwis’ deal is set to expire at the end of the 2018 calendar year per Transfermarkt and it’s unclear what Orlando City will do with its goalkeeping position, considering it was not a team strength in 2018. However, at just $67,500 in guaranteed money this year, Grinwis was a bargain and even with a raise he’d be an economical option as a backup goalkeeper who could push for starting minutes and handle himself well on the pitch when called upon. The game doesn’t seem too big for him. The Lions could do worse than to bring back Grinwis and continue to develop him behind a clear-cut starter — whether that ends up being Bendik or someone else.


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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Cavalry FC, Concacaf Champions Cup: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

The Lions play their first competitive match of 2024 north of the border in the Concacaf Champions Cup.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Welcome to your match thread for a Wednesday night Concacaf Champions Cup matchup between Orlando City and Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League at Starlight Stadium in Langford, British Columbia at 10 p.m. (FOX Sports 2, TUDN). It’s the first meeting ever between the teams and Orlando City’s first ever match against a CPL team.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.

History

There isn’t any. These teams have never met, nor has Orlando City faced anyone in the Canadian Premier League before.

The Lions will be experiencing their fourth international cup competition and their second foray into Concacaf Champions League/Cup, having drawn twice against Tigres UANL last season. Orlando bowed out of last year’s competition due to the away goals tiebreaker. Orlando City has also competed twice in Leagues Cup.

Overview

Both teams will be playing their first competitive match of the 2024 season. Orlando City is coming off a 4-0-1 preseason, drawing 1-1 against Flamengo before reeling off four straight wins against Rhode Island FC, the New England Revolution, the Houston Dynamo, and the Colorado Rapids. City reached the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in 2023 and is looking to build on its most successful season to date in MLS.

Cavalry FC is coming off a season in which it finished top of the table in the regular season, but fell 2-1 after extra time in the CPL championship match against Forge FC. As far as CPL teams go, the Lions will be facing one of the league’s best, as you’d expect in a competition called “Champions Cup.”

“We’re very proud and very happy to bring Orlando City to this beautiful city and this excellent competition,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “(We’re) Feeling proud of playing in Champions Cup in Concacaf and obviously aiming for the best prize, and here we are starting the season with obviously a very competitive game.”

Pareja is suspended for tonight due to his red card in the second leg against Tigres in 2023.


Projected Lineups

Orlando City (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.

Defenders: Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Michael Halliday.

Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Wilder Cartagena.

Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Nico Lodeiro, Facundo Torres.

Forward: Duncan McGuire.

Cavalry FC (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Marco Carducci.

Defenders: Bradley Kamdem, Daan Klomp, Eryk Kobza, Fraser Aird.

Defensive Midfielders: Charlie Trafford, Jesse Daley.

Attacking Midfielders: William Akio, Sergio Camargo, Ali Musse.

Forward: Myer Bevan.

Officials:

REF: Juan Gabriel Calderon (Costa Rica).
AR1: William Arrieta (Costa Rica).
AR2: Henri Pupiro (Nicaragua).
4TH: Keylor Herrera (Costa Rica).
VAR: Oscar Mejia (Mexico).
VAR1: Erick Miranda (Mexico).


How to Watch

Match Time: 10 p.m.

Venue: Starlight Stadium — Langford, British Columbia.

TV: FOX Sports 2, TUDN.

Streaming: The match can be streamed on FOX Sports GO, the FOX Sports app TUDN.com, and the TUDN app.

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City’s official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).


Enjoy the match. Go City!

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Lion Links: 2/21/24

Orlando City takes on Cavalry FC tonight, Lions sign Jeorgio Kocevski, USWNT wins in Concacaf W Gold Cup, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you in Florida as we get to watch the Lions in action tonight in the Concacaf Champions Cup. There’s not much new with me this week other than staying busy covering high school basketball and hockey. Let’s also wish a happy birthday to Orlando Pride forward Amanda Allen. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Takes on Cavalry FC Tonight

Orlando City will be in action tonight in the first round of the Concacaf Champions Cup, as it takes on Cavalry FC at Starlight Stadium at 10 p.m. This matchup will be the Lions’ first competitive match of 2024, with their MLS season opener against CF Montreal set for Saturday. The Lions were knocked out by Tigres due to away goals in last year’s Concacaf Champions League. Cavalry FC will make its debut in this competition tonight and qualified by winning the 2023 Canadian Premier League Shield. The second leg between these two sides will be on Feb. 27 at Inter&Co Stadium.

Orlando City Signs First-Round Draft Pick Jeorgio Kocevski

Orlando City signed 2024 MLS SuperDraft pick Jeorgio Kocevski to a contract through the 2024 season, with club options for 2025, 2026, and 2027. Kocevski scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time in Orlando’s final preseason match against the Colorado Rapids this past weekend. The midfielder was selected 21st overall in the first round of the 2024 MLS SuperDraft by the Lions in December. He played four years for Syracuse, recording seven goals and 18 assists in 71 matches. Kocevski is the only player the club has signed from the Lions’ 2024 draft class and will likely get some minutes with Orlando City B this season.

St. Louis City and Philadelphia Union Win in Champions Cup

Orlando City isn’t the only MLS team kicking off its Concacaf Champions Cup campaign this week. St. Louis City edged out the Houston Dynamo 2-1, with rookie Hosei Kijima scoring the winner in stoppage time. The Philadelphia Union were on the road in Costa Rica to face off against Deportivo Saprissa and won 3-2 thanks to a hat trick from Julian Carranza in the second half. As for other tournament matches this week, the New England Revolution face Independiente in Panama tonight, with Nashville playing Moca FC in the Dominican Republic and FC Cincinnati taking on Jamaica’s Cavalier SC tomorrow.

USWNT Beats the Dominican Republic in W Gold Cup

The United States Women’s National Team got its Concacaf W Gold Cup campaign off to a great start with a 5-0 win against the Dominican Republic in Group A. Olivia Moultrie scored her first USWNT goal to give her team an early lead, with Lynn Williams giving the U.S. another goal before halftime. Moultrie scored another in the second half to earn her brace, and Jenna Nighswonger converted a penalty for her first USWNT goal as well. Former Pride forward Alex Morgan replaced Mia Fishel on the roster due to injury and scored from the penalty spot in stoppage time. The USWNT’s next game will be against Argentina on Friday at 10:15 p.m.

UEFA Champions League Roundup

The UEFA Champions League had plenty of drama as the round of 16 continued. Inter Milan won 1-0 in its first leg against Atletico Madrid at home, with Mark Arnautovic scoring the only goal in the match. In the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven and Borussia Dortmund played to a thrilling 1-1 draw. The second legs for both matchups will be played on March 13. There is more Champions League action today, as FC Porto hosts Arsenal while Napoli takes on Barcelona.

Free Kicks

  • The latest MLS power rankings are out just before the regular season begins. Orlando City begins the season in the fifth spot.
  • Orlando City and the Orlando Pride announced fan experience upgrades at Inter&Co Stadium featuring Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in merchandise shops, stadium Wi-Fi upgrades, and a jersey history experience.
  • The MLS Players Association released a statement on the ongoing referee lockout.
  • Here is the list of MLS Season Pass commentator assignments for opening week.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.

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Orlando City

Orlando City Signs First-Round Draft Pick Jeorgio Kocevski

Orlando City signs its first-round draft pick Jeorgio Kocevski to a one-year deal with three option years.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City SC announced the signing of first-round 2024 MLS SuperDraft pick Jeorgio Kocevski today. The deal is through the upcoming 2024 season with club options for 2025, 2026, and 2027. The Lions selected the Syracuse midfielder with the 21st overall pick in the draft in December.

“Jeorgio has had a really strong preseason camp with us, demonstrating everything we saw in him when we were scouting him and analyzing his game in college,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “He’s done well working his way into the group, even starting in our friendly against Flamengo and holding his own against some of the best in Brazil, and we’re excited to have him with us this season.”

The box-to-box midfielder made three appearances this preseason, starting against Brazilian club Flamengo and the following scrimmage against USL Championship side Rhode Island FC. He came on at halftime against the Colorado Rapids last weekend, scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute.

Prior to being selected by the Lions, the Liverpool, NY, native made 71 appearances with 65 starts and logged 5,599 minutes for Syracuse in four years. He scored seven goals and recorded 18 assists, putting 33 of his 93 shots on frame. Additionally, he was part of Syracuse’s 2022 NCAA national championship team, playing 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw, but missing in the team’s victorious shootout over Indiana.

Kocevski had a breakout junior year, being named to the United Soccer Coaches’ All-South Region third team, All-ACC third team, NCAA All-Tournament team, and ACC All-Tournament team. During his senior year, he wore the armband for the Orange and was named All-ACC first team and ACC Co-Midfielder of the Year.

What It Means for Orlando City

Kocevski was the most likely pick from this most recent draft to be signed by Orlando City. The departure of club captain Mauricio Pereyra left a spot in the midfield and Head Coach Oscar Pareja seemed to feel the rookie could fill it from early on. His start against Flamengo was in the place of regular starter Cesar Araujo, who was on international duty with the Uruguay U-23 national team. He played against Flamengo’s best lineup and did quite well in almost an hour on the field in his first minutes of play at the professional level.

While a spot was open for the signing of Kocevski, he likely won’t see much of the field for the first team this season. In addition to being behind starters Araujo and Wilder Cartagena, the defensive midfielder will be behind Felipe on the depth chart. In all likelihood, the rookie will slot in with Orlando City B in MLS NEXT Pro to get some minutes, but there is room for him to start regularly with that team.

Kocevski is currently the only player signed by the club from the Lions’ 2024 draft class. West Virginia midfielder Yutaro Tsukada, Pittsburgh midfielder Filip Mirkovic, and Charlotte midfielder Riyon Tori remained unsigned, with the latter opting to return to school for his senior season.

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