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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Player Grades and Man of the Match



Orlando City and Inter Miami battled to a scoreless draw at Exploria Stadium. A missed penalty by Tesho Akindele was just one part of an overall frustrating performance by Orlando’s offense. Defensively, the Lions secured their seventh shutout of the season against a Miami side that scored six goals in its previous two games. While the result may leave some pulling their hair at what could’ve been a win, the Lions stretched their unbeaten streak in MLS games to six games.

Now, let’s dive into how each Lion rated and who earned the title of Man of the Match.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — In his first start for Orlando since July 25, Gallese made two saves to secure his sixth clean sheet this season. In the 23rd minute, the ball fell to Rodolfo Pizarro after a corner and Gallese was able to get a strong hand to the striker’s shot at point-blank range. In the second half, Gallese did a good job covering every angle to stop Gonzalo Higuain’s shot from the end line. It was an otherwise quiet night for the Peruvian as he had just 18 touches and was accurate on one of his two attempted long balls.

D, Joao Moutinho, 6.5 —The left back put some great balls into the box throughout the match, including a few long throw-ins. Of his seven crosses, three were key passes that found their mark while one was blocked. Moutinho led the team with 83 touches and 66 passes. Of those passes, Moutinho completed 92% of them, which is fantastic considering the distance on his misses. He prevented much danger from coming down his side, made no massive mistakes, and he had one clearance. All in all, it was a good performance from Moutinho and he should benefit once Orlando’s offensive players fully recover to take advantage of his crosses.

D, Robin Jansson, 7 — The masked Swede seemed to have scored from a short corner, but Akindele made a faint touch on the ball from an offside position. Jansson has lurked outside the box during Orlando’s set pieces in recent weeks, so it was nice to see he has the chops to make that play work even if the goal was disallowed. Defensively, he did well to keep Miami’s attacking trio of Pizarro, Higuain, and Robbie Robinson relatively quiet. Jansson led the team with three clearances, putting out fires when Miami started to get momentum. He completed 55 of his 59 passes for a great 93% success rate. Of those four inaccurate passes, two were quite deep and Jansson did well sending the ball downfield for Orlando’s wingers to chase down. Jansson had 69 touches, third-most on the team, and did well on both sides of the ball.

D, Antonio Carlos, 7 (MotM) — Carlos had a good read on Higuain for most of the game, either making sure he was in position to cut off service to the Argentinian or trapping him offside. The Brazilian center back had three interceptions and two clearances on defense, showing some athleticism to make good plays on the ball no matter the angle. Yet again, he was a threat on corner kicks and nearly scored a game-winner. Nani delivered a good ball into the box and Carlos was able to get it on target, but Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman came up with a great save to deny Carlos of his third goal this season. Carlos had 67 touches and completed 89% of his 61 passes to help Orlando build out of the back. It was another strong performance from Carlos and would’ve been a night to remember if not for Marsman’s heroics.

D, Ruan, 6 — The right back used his speed to cause problems for Miami’s defense early on. However, his crossing left something to be desired as only one of his five crosses found their mark. His quickness helped cover up some defensive lapses, particularly late when Higuain picked his pocket and forced Ruan to run him down. Still, Ruan went the distance and had a tackle, an interception, and a clearance on the defensive end while still being able to turn on the jets late to help create chances late in the match. He had 66 touches and was successful on 87% of his 38 passes in a good performance.

MF, Junior Urso, 6.5 — The Bear had a good opportunity in the fifth minute, crashing the box on an early corner and sending his header just wide of goal. It was his first of two shots, the second coming late in the match as he tried to curl a shot into the top left corner but it didn’t dip enough and went into the stands. Urso had a strong defensive performance with two tackles, three interceptions, two clearances, and a defensive block. The Brazilian midfielder also finished second on the team in touches with 81 and completed 54 of his 60 passes for a solid 90% success rate. With the midfield decimated by absences, Urso played every minute and did well in this one.

MF, Joey DeZart, 6 — It was DeZart’s third straight start for the Lions and a solid outing in central midfield. He did well clogging up Miami’s passing lanes and connecting Orlando’s defense with its offense. The 23-year-old had to come off in the 73rd minute due to an injury. Hopefully it isn’t too serious as DeZart has certainly been improving by getting playing time with Sebas Mendez, Andres Perea, and Uri Rosell unavailable. DeZart finished with 51 touches, an interception, and 48 passes at an impressive 96% success rate.

MF, Silvester van der Water, 6.5 — The Dutchman made some nice runs and touches to help spark chances on offense and led the team with four key passes. He had 41 touches and one shot over the course of 72 minutes, not quite getting on top of a bouncing ball in the box and sending it off target. Defensively, he chipped in with a tackle and an interception as he hustled all over the right side of the pitch. Van der Water was also successful on four of his five attempted dribbles and completed 80% of his 20 passes. The 24-year-old showed plenty of skill and tenacity, but wasn’t able to contribute towards a goal in this scoreless affair.

MF, Chris Mueller, 6 — Mueller led the team with three shots, with one deflected and the other two off target. He was unsuccessful on all three of his attempted crosses, although one of them caught Nicolas Figal’s arm to cause the penalty. Mueller made a key pass from a corner kick to set up a great chance for Urso early on as well. The 24-year-old was only successful on two of his six attempted dribbles and didn’t have any defensive stats. He completed 90% of his 30 passes and had 55 touches before being subbed off in the 89th minute for fresher legs in the final minutes.

MF, Benji Michel, 6 — Michel did well when making runs downfield to put Miami’s defenders in tough positions. His touch was also much better in this match compared to recent matches as he brought down long balls sent his way with ease. However, both of his attempted crosses were thwarted by Miami and he was only successful on one of his three attempted dribbles. Michel played all 90 minutes and had two shots, sending a header wide and then having the other blocked in the box. He had 31 touches, a clearance, and was accurate on 87% of his 15 passes.

F, Tesho Akindele, 5.5 — The Canadian striker had a chance to give Orlando an early lead from a penalty kick in the 12th minute, but his shot was poor and barely troubled Marsman. It was the first of two shots from Akindele, the other being a header sent wide. Akindele was offside when he got a touch on Jansson’s shot from distance. It’s hard to blame Akindele on that play, especially considering his touch helped the ball find the bottom left corner, but it helped culminate in a frustrating night for the 29-year-old. His usual hustle created some opportunities, as he forced Miami into some long ball mistakes that created Orlando attacks. He was subbed off for Daryl Dike at the half and ended the game with 17 touches, a clearance, and eight passes at an 88% success rate.


F, Daryl Dike (45’), 5.5 It was Dike’s first Orlando appearance since July 3, coming on for Akindele at halftime to give the Lions some needed bite on offense. His only shot was a header from a difficult position that he couldn’t direct towards goal due to the speed and angle. Dike started to impose himself on the match as the game wore on, with his cros nearly causing an own goal and making a key pass in the box, but ultimately wasn’t able to break the deadlock. He had just 12 touches, a few of them much too heavy, but won both of his aerial duels, and completed two of only three pass attempts. His rust was apparent but with more minutes his form should return and it was important to get him back on the field.

MF, Nani (71’), 5.5 — Nani wasn’t able to give Orlando the finishing touch it desperately needed during this match. He had no shots or key passes and was unsuccessful on both of his attempted crosses in open play, although he whipped in a nice corner kick that Carlos nearly scored from. Nani delivered the team’s final two corner kicks of the match when it was in search of a winner, but neither made it past the defender on the near post to reach the crowded box. Still, it’s nice to see Nani get some action after his injury last weekend and traveling for the MLS All-Star events this week. He had 23 touches during his shift and completed 15 of his 16 passes for a 94% completion rate.

MF, Raul Aguilera Jr. (71’), 6.5 The 22-year-old came on for DeZart and did a decent job stringing together passes and hustling on defense. Aguilera amassed 26 touches and completed every single one of his 25 passes. With DeZart’s injury and the absences in the midfield, we may see more of the Homegrown Player as the season wears on.

D, Emmanuel Mas (88’), N/A — Mas came on late in the match to give the Lions some fresh legs. He completed both of his passes — short attempts on the left side — and had five touches. There wasn’t enough to properly grade him in this match.

MF, Alexander Alvarado (88’), N/A Alvarado had two touches and completed his only pass of the game in another brief cameo for the Ecuadorian winger. Like Mas, Alvarado didn’t get enough action for a rating in this match.

That’s how I saw things play out in Orlando’s 0-0 draw with Miami. Make sure to weigh in on how you feel about the grades in the comments below and to vote for who you think deserves the title of Man of the Match.

Polling Closed

Antonio Carlos17
Pedro Gallese12
Robin Jansson13
Junior Urso3
Other (let us know in the comments below)3

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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