Orlando City

Orlando City vs. New York City FC: Player Grades and Man of the Match



That sucked. After a great win against the Philadelphia Union on Thursday, a hodgepodge Orlando City lineup got absolutely dusted in a 5-0 loss by a good New York City FC side in Yankee Stadium. Orlando was without its top offensive weapons and had so few players available that it put two goalkeepers on the bench.

This was one to forget, so let’s see how everybody played in this one.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 7 (MoTM)  — Gallese wasn’t his best in this game, but was easily Orlando’s best player. In the first half, he was a wall, keeping a lackluster Orlando side alive with multiple huge stops. He probably could’ve done better on at least one or two of New York’s goals, especially the third, but I’m not going to criticize him too much. The team around him collapsed and he had to make nine saves, eight of which were in the box. He completed 20 of 29 passes for a 69% success rate, including nine accurate long balls in a performance that was pretty on par from him in terms of distribution. 

D, Emmanuel Mas, 5 — The left back’s debut in MLS was solid. He didn’t look the part of an offensively-adept overlapping fullback, but he did well in a defensive role that was similar to a third center back. Mas made a handful of defensively savvy plays that you hope to see from an experienced player and his positioning disrupted a quality chance on goal for New York and helped clean up a rebound on a great Gallese save. However, when Orlando had the ball, Mas wasn’t particularly good. He completed only 57% of his 21 passes and didn’t do anything offensively. In 57 minutes of play, he finished with a tackle, an interception, and two clearances. It was a solid, although unspectacular, debut for the Argentine.

D, Antonio Carlos, 4.5 — This is the worst game Antonio Carlos has ever played for Orlando City. To his credit, he made several good plays, particularly in the first half, but as the game descended into disaster, he completely fell apart. Two of New York’s goals can be pegged on him, although the first also came from him being grabbed and pushed by Valentin Castellanos. Carlos didn’t look anywhere near the player he can be in the second half. Even when passing the ball he wasn’t particularly good, only completing 77% of his 35 passes. Carlos had no tackles in the match, but had four interceptions and six clearances.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 5.5 — This game was one of Schlegel’s weaker performances as a Lion. He occasionally got caught upfield or would put a foot wrong, giving NYCFC dangerous space to attack into. To his credit, he continues to stuff the stat sheet defensively, with three tackles, seven clearances, and an interception. When defending becomes desperate, Schlegel is good at making the necessary play. Like Carlos, he had a hard time building out of the back, with only 74% of his 34 passes finding their mark. Schlegel wasn’t good per se, but there were certainly worse performances on this team. 

D, Kyle Smith, 5 — It was not a great performance from Smith. He finally received a rest in this game, only playing the first half, and he definitely warranted the substitution. He completed 55% of his 22 passes and wasn’t much of a presence pushing forward with one attempted cross that was unsuccessful. His defensive work left something to be desired as he had no tackles or interceptions and made one clearance. NYCFC was dangerous attacking down Smith’s right flank and while he wasn’t terrible, he hardly shut things down. With all that being said, he gets some slack considering the sheer number of minutes he’s played this season.. 

MF, Andres Perea, 4.5 — Perea wasn’t good in this game. He had an excellent chance right on the doorstep to open the second half and perhaps could have changed the tone of the match, but couldn’t get a quality shot on the ball and hit it right at Luis Barraza. If he gets that ball just past the keeper, this could have been a much different game. Despite playing in a key midfield spot, Perea was barely involved in possession, only completing 14 of 18 passes in 90 minutes. That’s nowhere near good enough for a central midfielder, even if he was tasked with a more offensive role in this game. He completed one of his two attempted dribbles, made a clearance, and pressed the ball well, but his impact was barely felt throughout this game.

MF, Uri Rosell, 4 — Maybe I’m a little too harsh here, but I was thoroughly unimpressed with Rosell in this game. His lack of pace cost him when he got caught upfield and he provided next to nothing in terms of tenacity in the middle of the park. Keaton Parks and the rest of the NYCFC midfield were able to cut through Orlando City and routinely run into open space. The entire team is responsible for that, but Rosell was, to me at least, the most noticeably poor of the bunch. Rosell is a player whose passing ability typically compensates for his lack of defensive chops, but he only completed 78% of his 32 passes — though that was still fourth best on the team out of anyone who played more than half the game — and struggled to maintain possession or break the NYCFC defense. Defensively, he did chip in with three tackles.

MF, Joey DeZart, 5 — I like DeZart and thought he showed flashes of quality in this game, but it wasn’t good enough. He’s a solid linking player, but lacks the ability to control the game with his passing. He completed 93% of his 27 passes, including a key pass. DeZart was a little too conservative with his passing and was generally too slow with the ball, being dispossessed twice. His technical ability is good, but the speed at which he plays and sees the game was not at an MLS level in this game. Defensively, he made eight ball recoveries, but got walked through at times alongside Rosell. He also had a shot, but it wasn’t much of a chance. In a better lineup, DeZart could be a solid role player, but in this setup, he lacked the quality the Lions needed. 

MF, Alexander Alvarado, 6 — It was the first MLS start for the Ecuadorian winger and it wasn’t bad. In a terrible offensive performance for Orlando City, Alvarado was the closest thing to a threat offensively. He created one of the only good chances for the Lions in the game, sliding Silvester van der Water in behind with a good through ball, and looked comfortable and occasionally dangerous with the ball. He completed 17 of his 21 passes for an 81% success rate and drew four fouls. However, Alvarado is still a little too slow with the ball and has a tendency to turn the ball over, being dispossessed twice in this game. He did make an interception and three ball recoveries defensively. 

F, Silvester van der Water, 6 — The Dutchman wasn’t outright bad in this game, but he hasn’t come close to his early season form. In his first few appearances, van der Water looked like a dynamic playmaker out wide, but he’s created nothing for himself or others in recent weeks. In one half of action, he only had 19 touches, but several of those were promising. He had a shot that forced a save out of Barraza, as well as a key pass and three successful long balls. For all the good some of these underlying stats show, he just wasn’t a particularly effective wide forward. Maybe if he continues to build his fitness and acclimate to Orlando and MLS he can perform more consistently, but right now he’s not much of a weapon for Orlando. He completed nine of his 11 passes and also had an interception. 

F, Benji Michel, 4 — Michel was in good form heading into the match, but he was completely ineffective playing up top against New York. He had no service and didn’t get into dangerous areas, registering no shots in 90 minutes. Michel also had a key pass and was successful on one of his four attempted dribbles. He needed to be more dangerous and much better in holdup play. To be fair, this isn’t really his fault as Michel has evolved into a legit inverted winger and isn’t effective as a striker. When Orlando switched to a 3-5-2, Michel looked a lot better, able to drift further wide with more numbers around him in attack. He also got back for some defensive work, finishing with five ball recoveries and a clearance. His passing stats were unsurprisingly low, with only 11 completed passes on 16 attempts for a 69% success rate.


D, Ruan (46’), 5 — Welcome back, Ruan! After a seemingly endless injury absence, the quick Brazilian made his return to the lineup, playing the entire second half. He did look dangerous on a few attacks, burning down the touchline with his blistering pace, but he lacked the final ball. He completed six of nine passes and completed a dribble but never had a big offensive moment. Defensively, he wasn’t great, giving up a lot of space for New York to attack into. He made a clearance, but wasn’t in good positions and made no impact on that side of the ball. But he received minutes and should give Orlando a serious boost once he’s back to his best. 

D, Robin Jansson (46’), 5 — A facemask-wearing Jansson came in to give Orlando a third center back in the second half, but he wasn’t particularly good. While solid with the ball, completing 11 of his 13 passes for an 85% completion rate, Jansson did little to prevent the onslaught from New York late in the half. He made two interceptions and two clearances, but his overall defensive performance left a lot to be desired. I don’t think Jansson was too terrible individually, but he wasn’t at his best and the entire defense was awful. 

D, Joao Moutinho (57’), 5.5 — The left back pushed forward and looked like an offensive threat, even though none of his four crosses found their mark. Moutinho finished with a pair of clearances and he completed eight of his 12 passes. This was a step forward for him as he continued to show some forward thrust, and hopefully he can reach his form from last year in a stronger lineup. 

D, Michael Halliday (69’), 4.5 — The Homegrown Player was on the field for 20 minutes, but was almost completely invisible. Halliday only had seven touches and completed both of his attempted passes. On defense he made a clearance, a ball recovery, and an interception. Frankly, it was an unremarkable outing from the young fullback.

MF, David Loera (69’), 5.5 — Loera has played sparingly for Orlando City, but got about 20 minutes of play in New York. He completed all four of his passes and looked solid on the ball in his eight touches. Loera even put a shot on target, one of just three all game for Orlando. I really wish there was a U.S. Open Cup this season, because that seems like a perfect setting for Loera to receive more minutes. He’s an intriguing player, but might not be good enough to contribute at an MLS level right now.

That’s how I judged this one, what were your thoughts? Leave your ratings below and vote for your man of the match.

Polling Closed

Pedro Gallese35
Alexander Alvarado1
Rodrigo Schlegel1
Other (Comment Below)3


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