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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids: Player Grades and Man of the Match



It would be easy to look at Saturday night’s 2-1 Orlando City loss at Colorado and think, ‘same old Lions.’ After all, the team gave up a late goal to toss away points the way we’ve seen in the past.

And maybe that will prove to be the case by the end of 2020, but it’s too soon to tell if that’ll be where this year’s team ends up. But the team came out with a plan dedicated to stopping Kei Kamara. The Lions did that, but a lack of concentration late — always a danger when playing at altitude — undid a solid road performance.

So let’s have a look at how the Lions performed individually.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 5.5 — It would be harsh to lay blame at El Pulpo’s feet for the two goals Saturday night. On the first, Younes Namli exploded out of his midfield right down the middle and picked out a spot just inside the post. On the second, a low, whipped-in, outswinging cross came in at the top of the six, which is the dividing line on when to come out to try to punch or claim it. Gallese made three saves in the game, including a 29th-minute cannon shot by Keegan Rosenberry and a wicked blast from Andre Shinyashiki in the 35th. He completed six of his 12 long balls and completed 75% of his passes.

LWB, Joao Moutinho, 6.5 — It wasn’t quite as good of a performance for Moutinho on Saturday as he had in the season opener. As a wingback, he was asked to be part of the attack and he was. He attempted three of Orlando’s 14 shots. None were on target, but he sent one just over the bar in the 10th minute with his weaker foot. He also came within inches of picking out the far corner in the 36th minute. He recorded one tackle, one interception, one clearance, and passed at just a 61.3% rate. However, he did tie for the team lead with three chances created.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6.5 — The Argentine played a solid match in his MLS debut until his calf started cramping late in the game. With no subs left, Schlegel was moved up the pitch because he could hardly move, and thus he wasn’t in his normal spot when Sebas Mendez conceded the late corner that led to Colorado’s winner. He completed 86.5% of his passes, including six of his eight long balls. He led the team with seven tackles and added three clearances. He was booked for his only foul of the match as he took a tactical foul to break up an attack. It was a solid debut, and he led the team in touches (67).

D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — The beefy Swede was as solid as usual, with a team-high seven clearances to go with his back line-leading 89.7% passing rate. His one shot attempt was on target. He tried to close down Namli but there was no way to get there before the Colorado DP got his shot away. He was otherwise a calming influence on the back line and a leader on the field.

D, Antonio Carlos, 6 — Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? Until Carlos was late in identifying Drew Moor as his man and giving the Rapids the crack they needed to break through, he was having a Man of the Match type performance. I knocked him a full point off for the final play of normal time. Carlos was largely tasked with shutting down Kei Kamara and did a good job of it. There wasn’t much he could do on the first goal, with Namli splitting straight down the middle of the midfield, about the same distance from Carlos as from Jansson. Since Jansson stepped, Carlos had to be wary of someone slipping in behind for a pass. He made a huge play in the 71st minute to deny a pass in to Kamara right in front. He denied Kellyn Acosta at the last second early in the match and later kept a cross from Acosta from reaching its target in the box. Carlos finished with a tackle, an interception, six clearances, and a 79.6% passing rate.

RWB, Kyle Smith, 5.5 — Smith had the first good look at goal for Orlando in the 19th minute and hit his shot well but too close to Clint Irwin. It was his only shot but it was on target. His passing accuracy was 77.8% but he was only one for five on crosses and two for six on long balls. He had a few too many giveaways in his own half for my liking, and Shinyashiki was able to have success in lulling him to sleep, then blazing past him. Defensively, he had one tackle, one clearance, one interception, and one block.

MF, Andres Perea, 7 (MotM) — The 19-year-old had an outstanding first MLS start despite getting beat in the midfield by Namli on the first Rapids goal. He was Orlando’s co-leader in chance creation, with three, got his first MLS assist on Chris Mueller’s goal, and tied Moutinho for the most shots on the team (three), getting one on frame. His 70.3% passing accuracy (0-for-3 on long balls) leaves a bit to be desired, but he also filled the defensive stat sheet, finishing with three tackles, three clearances, and two interceptions. He also led the Lions in aerials won (3).

MF, Sebas Mendez, 6.5 — It looked like Mendez would open the scoring in the 26th minute, as he freed himself up for a blast that sliced a foot wide of the right post. As usual, Mendez had a good passing rate (86.8%) but he produced no key passes and got neither of his two shots on target. He also perhaps could have done more on Namli’s goal but he looked to be jogging — perhaps starting to feel the effects of the altitude at the 64-minute mark. He managed four tackles and an interception.

MF, Junior Urso, 6 — Like Mendez, it appeared that Urso could have done more to help corral Namli before the first goal. The Bear was solid if unspectacular, with a tackle, an interception, and a clearance. He got his one shot attempt on target and passed at an 84.1% rate, picking up a hockey assist on Mueller’s goal. It was basically the kind of quiet night you’d hope to get from out of one of your defensive midfielders.

F, Benji Michel, 5 — It’s not ideal when your two forwards combine for one shot and don’t get that one on frame. Michel had no shot attempts. But he did manage two key passes to stay involved in the attack. However, he was loose with the ball, with three unsteady touches, and was dispossessed twice — both team highs. His passing accuracy was decent (78.6%) but on only 14 attempts — the fewest of all Orlando’s starters — and he had only 25 touches in 78 minutes. He registered no defensive statistics.

F, Tesho Akindele, 5 — Akindele wasn’t as involved in the attack as you’d like. He fired one shot but it wasn’t on frame. He did manage 42 touches and passed well (84.4%), winning one aerial. He didn’t register a key pass but he did contribute a tackle and an interception. It wasn’t a bad night for Tesho — just a quiet one.


MF, Mauricio Pereyra (72’), 5 — Despite coming on with under 20 minutes remaining, Pereyra managed almost as many touches as Michel. Starting on the bench due to a bit of a quad injury, he came in cold off the bench and still managed a good passing rate (81.8%). His one cross was accurate but he didn’t register a key pass, a shot, or any defensive stats.

RWB, Ruan (73’), 5 — After dealing with an illness during the week, the Brazilian speedster couldn’t go the full 90 but tried to make a difference coming in off the bench. He wasn’t able to put his unique stamp on the game, but he passed well (80%) and registered a tackle. He had no shots, key passes or accurate crosses.

F, Chris Mueller (79’), 7 — With only 10 minutes to leave his mark on the game, Cash did so. His terrific run off the defender’s shoulder led to Orlando’s tying goal in the 82nd, as he slipped the ball past Irwin, appearing at the time to rescue a point for City. He attempted two shots, getting the one on frame, and completed all three of his passes, one of which created a scoring chance. Mueller managed 11 touches in his brief appearance. He made one interception and won an aerial, providing the optimal spark off the bench.

That’s how I saw the individual performances on Saturday night. What did you think? Vote for your Man of the Match below.

Polling Closed

Rodrigo Schlegel3
Robin Jansson3
Andres Perea25
Chris Mueller36
Sebas Mendez6

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Photo Gallery

An album of images from Orlando City’s hard-fought draw at home against the Herons.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

The Lions brought much more roar on Sunday night to face their southern rivals but had trouble finding the net, allowing the Herons to nick a point even while short staffed. None of Miami’s high-priced talent traveled for the match after facing Toronto midweek, and physicality ensued, firing up the sold-out crowd at Exploria Stadium.

Talking with some of the other photographers on the sideline who had flown in for this match, they rated the Orlando atmosphere top-notch; in their experience, other cities don’t compare to the in-stadium fan enthusiasm.

The Lions were in “the net is lava” mode, with Duncan McGuire and Iván Angulo each missing prime one-on-one chances with Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender in each half, McGuire leaving it straight at Callendar, and Angulo badly missing the net after a missed first touch. So of course Miami struck first, with David Ruíz scoring early in the second half.

This fired the Lions up even more and Martín Ojeda pinballed McGuire in behind the Miami back line, allowing Duncan to do what Duncan does to draw the score level. The Lions generally looked the more dangerous team for most (but not all) of the night. However, it is scorin ggoals that actually counts, leaving both teams unchanged in their respective Eastern Conference standings. Orlando remains second at 14-7-9, while Miami stays in 14th at 9-15-5.

The Lions continue to control their own destiny in terms of getting a top-four finish as they look to lock up home field advantage for a best-of-three matchup in the MLS Cup playoffs.

With home dates left against Montreal and a sputtering-but-dangerous New England remaining, there’s still plenty of time to be part of that world-class gameday atmosphere by going out to support the team as they push for a strong finish.

We hope that you enjoy these images from a hard-fought, come-from-behind draw against Inter Miami at Exploria Stadium.

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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Five Takeaways

Here’s what we learned from Orlando City’s 1-1 draw at home against Inter Miami.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Orlando City returned to Exploria Stadium after a midweek loss to New York City FC and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Inter Miami. The Lions did well to equalize after conceding first, but will likely feel that they left opportunity knocking as the Eastern Conference remains tight near the top. Here are my five takeaways from the third Tropic Thunder clash this year.

Lack of Execution Plagues the Lions

Orlando’s offense struggled to put the ball in the back of the net in this match. That’s not to say they didn’t create quality chances, as the Lions served up good crosses and dangerous long balls throughout the match. Only three of Orlando’s 16 crosses found their mark in the end. The execution just wasn’t there when it came to finishing attacks, whether it be poor decision-making when the time came to play the final ball or just missing the target completely. Of Orlando’s 13 shots, six were on target and only a couple of those gave Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender much difficulty. Ivan Angulo missing the goal entirely after Dagur Dan Thorhallsson picked out a perfect pass for him stands out. Expecting every promising attack to end with a goal is unfair, but weak finishing cost the Lions from claiming a big win at home.

Corner Kicks Gave the Lions Headaches

While the Lions didn’t have any corner kicks in the match, Inter Miami had seven and created some of its best chances with them. In the 61st minute, a corner kick taken by Robert Taylor found Leonardo Campana all alone in the center of the box. The Ecuadorian forward’s header mercifully went wide, but it was indicative of how Orlando had its hands full on set pieces. Pedro Gallese had to come up with a remarkable save in the first half as well after Campana barreled through Cartagena to head the ball at goal. Even though the Lions didn’t concede from a set piece, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s something focused on this week just to ensure the team is organized enough to overcome uncalled fouls without needing its star goalkeeper or some luck.

Plenty of Physicality in Rivalry Match

It was easy to tell these two teams didn’t care much for each other, as they both fought hard on and off the ball. There were 27 fouls and seven yellow cards handed out by referee Armando Villarreal. Miami committed 16 of those fouls and received five of the yellow cards as they did whatever it took to slow down Orlando’s progress. Facundo Torres suffered the brunt of it and was fouled four times so that he couldn’t work his magic against Miami’s defense. It was the kind of physical match that can be expected of two rivals and made for an intense match that will likely have players from both sides seeking an ice bath. The Lions did well to stay composed for a majority of a very chippy match.

Duncan McGuire Shakes Off the Rust

Forward Duncan McGuire got back to his scoring ways with a crucial equalizer for his ninth goal of the MLS season. It was an important goal for reasons beyond the scoreline as well, as McGuire had squandered a golden opportunity to score earlier in the match by not being able to get his shot past Callender. He was also kicking himself for not getting on the end of a few other chances as well. His 84 minutes on the field were the most from him in one game this season, and the Lions will need him more often now that Ercan Kara is in Turkey. It was the rookie’s first goal since July and, although not perfect, the kind of performance to build upon moving forward.

Orlando Showcased Its Depth and Versatility

Head Coach Oscar Pareja switched things up at halftime, replacing Cesar Araujo with Martin Ojeda and having Mauricio Pereyra sit a bit deeper in the midfield to potentially create chances on the break a bit quicker using his service. Although Ojeda didn’t get a goal or an assist, his presence was notable on both sides of the ball and he played a key role in Orlando’s goal. Having a player of his caliber able to come off the bench has been a boon for Orlando this season, letting Pareja really kickstart the changes he wants to make to the team. Similar things could be said about Orlando’s other substitutes: Junior Urso, Ramiro Enrique, Gaston Gonzalez, and Michael Halliday. Their energy and skill kept Orlando pushing for more and gave the sense that a winner would have come had the game lasted a bit longer.

That’s what I took away from Orlando’s 1-1 draw with Inter Miami. Let me know what you gathered from the match in the comments below

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/25/23

Orlando City draws with Inter Miami, Viviana Villacorta out for the season, OCB wins last game of the regular season, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Last night’s Orlando City match wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either. It’s a pretty fitting feeling on a Monday, as we all get back into the swing of the work week after a nice weekend of soccer. There are plenty of ups and downs from a rollercoaster Sunday, so let’s dive right into today’s links!

Orlando City Draws With Inter Miami

In the latest edition of the Tropic Thunder rivalry, Orlando City and Inter Miami split the points at Exploria Stadium in a 1-1 result. Miami struck first, but the Lions did well to find an equalizer, even though they couldn’t find a winner in the end. It wasn’t Orlando’s best game by any means, but it was a decent response to a 2-0 loss on the road to New York City FC. Orlando now has 51 points, tying its club record for the most points in a season, set in 2021. The Lions will have a chance to break that record on Saturday when they host CF Montreal.

Viviana Villacorta Out for the Season

Orlando Pride midfielder Viviana Villacorta will miss the remainder of the NWSL season after suffering an ACL tear in her left knee during training. The 24-year-old was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft, but was not able to make her debut until 2022 due to sustained an ACL tear in her right knee that kept her out for all of the 2021 season. This year, she has 21 appearances across all competitions for the Pride and notched the first assist of her career in a big road win against the San Diego Wave on April 29. This is a tough blow to the Pride’s midfield with just three games remaining as she has ended her season early due to injury for the third straight year. The Pride are only a point out of a playoff spot and are back in action on Oct. 2 against Angel City FC.

Orlando City B Wins On Decision Day

On the final day of the MLS NEXT Pro regular season, Orlando City B won 2-1 at home over FC Cincinnati 2. The Young Lions had already clinched a spot in the postseason heading into this match, but the win secured their spot as the fifth seed. Jack Lynn briefly held the Golden Boot lead after scoring, but ended up tied at 19 goals with New York City FC II’s Matt Myers and Colorado Rapids 2’s Remi Cabral. The trio ended in a three-way tie for the league’s Golden Boot honors. OCB will hit the road for its first MLS NEXT Pro playoff game, although the opponent is not yet known thanks to the new rule where higher seeds choose which team they want to face.

USWNT Wins in Megan Rapinoe’s Final Match

The United States Women’s National Team beat South Africa in a 2-0 win at Soldier Field. Trinity Rodman and Emily Sonnett scored and the defense did well to secure its second shutout against South Africa after a 3-0 win this past Thursday. This game also marked forward Megan Rapinoe’s final game with the USWNT, with the 38-year-old subbed off for the last time in the 54th minute. These were solid wins from the USWNT following the World Cup and it will aim to keep the momentum rolling next month in a pair of friendlies against Colombia.

Free Kicks

  • Three Orlando City academy sides came up with shutout victories this weekend.
  • Before the USWNT’s friendly with South Africa, U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker stated that plans remain in place for a new head coach to be at the helm in time for the training camp in December
  • American midfielder Yunus Musah did well in his AC Milan debut, playing all 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Verona.
  • A match in the Netherlands between Ajax and Feyenoord had to be abandoned due to fans throwing fireworks onto the field while Feyenoord led 3-0. According to police, tear gas had to be used to stop unrest outside the stadium after the match, and Ajax later fired Sven Mislintat, its director of soccer.
  • Newcastle became the first English Premier League team to have eight different players score in a match after crushing Sheffield United, 8-0.
  • Atletico Madrid ended Real Madrid’s perfect start to the season by beating its rival 3-1, with Alvaro Morata bagging a brace.

That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have an easy Monday and rest of your week!

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