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Orlando City vs. Atlanta United: Player Grades and Man of the Match

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That sucked. Orlando City went up north to Atlanta but forgot to bring any energy, limping to a 3-0 drubbing. Nobody for the Lions had a good night, but let’s see how each player fared in a night to forget.

Starters

GK, Adam Grinwis, 5.5 — He played exactly as well as you’d expect. Grinwis did make three decent saves and there wasn’t much he could do about the goals. One was a header off the turf into the corner, one was a deflection by his own man, and the other was a free shot from the top of the area just inside the other post. He made two huge saves in the final minutes of the game on Brooks Lennon and George Bello to keep the score from getting completely out of hand. Grinwis completed 12 of 15 passes, but was inaccurate with all three long ball attempts.

D, Joao Moutinho, 5 — Moutinho had some decent moments in this game, including a tackle and an accurate cross, but he didn’t have his best showing. He completed 48 passes at 86%, and one was key pass. Defensively he was largely overmatched by Luiz Araujo at times and didn’t do a great job. He completed a tackle, made an interception, and had five ball recoveries.

D, Robin Jansson, 5 — I thought Jansson was the better of the two center backs, but neither was great. He did a decent job stepping up at times when the midfield was overrun, but gave too much space for Atlanta to attack. He made two tackles, a clearance, and four ball recoveries in his 90 minutes of action. With the ball he was fine, completing 31 of 35 passes.

D, Antonio Carlos, 4.5 — This was one of Antonio Carlos’ weaker performances for Orlando. He got beat at times and made more mistakes than usual. He made three clearances. an interception, and seven ball recoveries. He completed 76% of his passes and conceded a pair of fouls, including a yellow card.

D, Ruan, 4 — Ruan was almost invisible all game. Nothing noteworthy to report offensively, with just 20 pass attempts, although he completed 16 of them. But he contributed no real offensive moments. Defensively he was even worse, losing all of his duels, giving away three fouls, and making zero defensive actions except three ball recoveries.

MF, Joey DeZart, 3.5 — Orlando was really bad in the middle of the park Friday and these grades reflect it. DeZart was too slow and sloppy in possession. Even though he completed 93% of passes, his passing was mostly conservative and the few times he tried progressing the ball he turned it over. He got dispossessed twice and had no answers for Atlanta’s dribblers, sans one foul and one tackle. He also made six ball recoveries. Nowhere near good enough in central midfield.

MF, Andres Perea, 4 — Perea was better than DeZart, but still not particularly good. In possession he was ok, completing 39 passes at 87%, but he made mistakes and didn’t link the lines or find Orlando’s playmakers consistently. Defensively he put up a lot of numbers — three tackles, an interception, a clearance, and eight ball recoveries — but, like with DeZart, it was too easy for Atlanta to progress the ball. Perea was also dispossessed twice and completed a dribble.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 (MotM) — Pereyra was pretty good, all things considered in this game. When he got on the ball, he was mostly effective, completing 34 passes at 83% including six of seven long balls and a key pass. He also completed a dribble, drew four fouls, made a tackle had one interception.

MF, Benji Michel, 4.5 — A pedestrian performance for Benji Michel. He showed flashes progressing the ball, but wasn’t dangerous in the final third and was sloppy, particularly with giveaways early in the game. Michel was dispossessed twice, completed no dribbles, and hit on nine of his 11 passes (82%). He had one shot after Moutinho set him up in a good spot but he fired off target with his left foot. That was it in terms of attacking output. He also registered a tackle, an interception and six ball recoveries.

F, Nani, 5.5 — Neither Designated Player was particularly at fault for Orlando’s lackluster performance. Nani was one of the few creative sparks for the Lions, finishing with two key passes and one of the team’s two shots on target. The quality wasn’t quite there, especially with his crossing, with only one of his seven crosses finding a target. He completed 24 of 33 passes (72.7%), and dropped deep to try to orchestrate play, while also finishing with two successful dribbles and two shots. His lack of defensive effort allowed plenty of room for the cross on Atlanta’s first goal. Defensively, he finished with three ball recoveries.

F, Daryl Dike, 4.5 — It’s hard to judge whether the team did a bad job feeding Dike or if Dike wasn’t good enough to impact the game. Either way, the striker had a poor game. The own goal off an Atlanta set piece is the obvious lowlight, although it hit off Nani first and he couldn’t do much about it, but his lack of offensive impact is what did the Lions in. He had only 21 touches, with no shots or key passes. He completed just six passes (66.7%) and made one dribble. Defensively he made a clearance and a ball recovery. Not all his fault since the service was largely non-existent, but his hold-up play and first touch wasn’t good enough.

Substitutes

F, Silvester van der Water (68’), 5.5 — The Dutch winger had some flashes of creativity but didn’t create much of a tangible impact. He completed just three passes, was dispossessed once, and his lone shot was off target. He also made three ball recoveries.

MF, Uri Rosell (68’), 6 — If Rosell started this game, it might have gone a lot better for Orlando City. He was much sharper with the ball, completing 97% of his passes and making relatively few mistakes. He also had a shot, made an interception and six ball recoveries. He was the only midfielder that made Atlanta uncomfortable enough to play negative balls in his short time on the pitch.

F, Tesho Akindele (74’), 5 — Not much to report on Tesho’s game with just eight touches in 16 minutes of action. To his credit, one of those was a key pass. He finished with two complete passes and was dispossessed once.

F, Chris Mueller (74’), 5 — He attempted — and whiffed on — a bicycle kick and killed a potentially dangerous attack where he was offside. He tried at least, but didn’t do much. Mueller completed six of eight passes including a key pass, and was dispossessed once.

D, Kyle Smith (83’), N/A — A brief cameo appearance for Smith, but he did have a decent cross. He completed three of five passes and made two ball recoveries in his brief time on the pitch.


That’s all I’ve got for this one. Leave your thoughts below and vote for your Man of The Match.

Polling Closed

PlayerVotes
Mauricio Pereyra5
Uri Rosell11
Nani2
Other (Comment Below)7

Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/13/24

Orlando City B hosts Chattanooga FC tonight, USMNT earns draw against Brazil, MLS’ Juneteenth celebrations, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

How’s it going, Mane Landers? Between my cat finally deciding I’m worth hanging out with and reading a pair of books that have been collecting dust on my shelf, I’ve been having a pretty good week. I’m looking forward to the feast of soccer both in Orlando and abroad over the next few days as well. But for now, let’s get this Thursday started with today’s links!

Orlando City B Hosts Chattanooga FC Tonight

In an enticing midweek match tonight at 7 p.m., Orlando City B will take on Chattanooga FC at Osceola Heritage Park. If not heading to watch OCB in person, you can catch the game on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+. The last time these two teams squared off was on May 4, with Chattanooga winning the penalty shootout for an extra point after a 1-1 draw in Tennessee. The Young Lions are coming off of a 2-2 draw with one of the league’s worst teams this season, Carolina Core FC, but winning the shootout after a late rally could give them the kind of momentum needed to take down Chattanooga. Beating one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference would be quite the statement from OCB during what’s been a middling season so far.

USMNT Draws With Brazil in Orlando

Playing in Orlando at Camping World Stadium, the United States Men’s National Team drew 1-1 against Brazil in a friendly billed as the Continental Clasico. Brazil scored first, but Matt Turner and the USMNT didn’t collapse under the pressure and earned the team’s first ever draw against the South American powerhouse. All in all, it was a much better result than the USMNT’s 5-1 loss to Colombia on Saturday. This was the USMNT’s final match until Copa America later this month. The Yanks will start their campaign against Bolivia on June 23 before playing Panama on June 27 and Uruguay on July 1.

MLS Announces Initiatives for Juneteenth

In partnership with Black Players for Change and Adidas, MLS announced some of the ways the league will be celebrating Juneteenth. Pre-match shirts acknowledging the change players can provide will be worn during warm-ups and fans can buy their own shirts as well, with a portion of the proceeds going toward organizations focused on racial equity and social justice. There will also be a campaign highlighting the connection between professional and academy players, as well as educational content across the league’s social media to raise awareness of the holiday.

Euro 2024 Kicks Off on Friday

A loaded gauntlet of summer tournaments finally begins Friday, as Germany hosts Scotland for the first match of Euro 2024. From Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential swan song to a brutal group that includes Spain, Italy, and Croatia, storylines abound for the tournament and each team brings something worth watching to the table. For Orlando City fans, defender David Brekalo was called up by Slovenia, which was drawn in a group with England, Denmark, and Serbia. I’m looking forward to seeing which underdogs prevail and which players make a name for themselves in this tournament.

2026 World Cup Schedule Revealed

The full schedule for the 2026 World Cup was unveiled, which gives a slight glimpse at the paths each host nation could take in the tournament. If the U.S. wins Group D after matches in Los Angeles and Seattle, it will stay on the West Coast for a knockout game in San Francisco before a potential round of 16 game in Seattle and quarterfinal in Los Angeles. Mexico and Canada have similar incentives to win their groups, as they will then host in their country until heading to the U.S. for the quarterfinals, should they make it that far. Here in Florida, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami will serve as the venue for four group games, a round of 32 match on July 3, a quarterfinal on July 11, and the third-place match on July 18.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando Pride Assistant Coach Yolanda Thomas was announced as a panelist for the Black Soccer Coaches’ summer symposium on July 22. She will also have a field session at the event to discuss the role of the midfield when building out of the back.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and rest of your week!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/12/24

Leagues Cup forgets Orlando’s U.S. Open Cup win, USMNT U-23 loses to Japan, NWSL expansion options, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. The USMNT plays tonight in Orlando, and I hope that you have tickets. If not, we can still watch as we wait for the Orlando City and Orlando Pride matches this Saturday. On a personal note, this Friday will mark my ninth anniversary with The Mane Land. It’s been a heck of a ride, and I’m glad you’ve been there with us. Here’s to many more years to come. Let’s get to the links.

Leagues Cup Forgets Orlando’s U.S. Open Cup Win

Orlando City is playing in the Leagues Cup starting at the end of July and here’s a nice guide to Orlando’s group for the tournament. Of course, the Leagues Cup organizers want you to be pumped so that you watch and buy tickets. I think that is something we should do simply to support the club. However, I don’t think they went about promoting the competition in quite the right way. In a tweet that has since been deleted, the tournament’s social media team stated the Leagues Cup would be Orlando’s chance to win its first trophy. Did you catch the mistake? Taylor Twellman did.

Good on you, Taylor. Facundo Torres was indeed brilliant in that match, as was Benji Michel. Of course, there were others that caught the faux pas as well.

I think we should also be mentioning the USL Championships, but what do I know? Evidently, more than the Leagues Cup’s social media team.

USMNT to Honor Pulse Victims

There’s plenty of fake, corporate shows of support for Pride Month , but in general I think that the USMNT and USWNT have done a good job of being legitimate allies to the LGBTQIA+ community. Tonight, the USMNT will play a friendly against Brazil at Camping World Stadium on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The players will be wearing Pride jerseys to honor those who lost their lives so senselessly eight years ago.

In terms of the game, the USMNT will be without Josh Sargent for the match, and Tyler Adams will only get limited minutes if he plays, as both are coming back from injuries. Get well before the Copa America, lads.

Lions on International Duty

The United States U-23 Men’s National Team lost 2-0 to Japan in its final friendly match before the Olympics. Orlando City’s Duncan McGuire found himself on a bit of an island up top as the U.S. had difficulty moving the ball through the midfield. Hopefully, the U.S. got such play out of its system heading into the Olympics.

OCB’s Wilfredo Rivera made the most of his time playing in Puerto Rico’s World Cup qualifier against Anguilla, scoring a brace in the 8-0 victory. This win comes after a scoreless draw with El Salvador last week and Puerto Rico’s remaining group games during this round of qualifying will be next June.

Exploring NWSL Expansion Options

The NWSL will be expanding to 16 teams in 2026 with many cities vying for the next franchise. The leaders include Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Minneapolis. Atlanta, Denver, and Jacksonville are potential choices as well. If it was to be given to either Atlanta or Jacksonville they would be regional rivals for the Orlando Pride. The league is expected to make a decision by the fourth quarter of 2024.

Free Kicks

  • Congratulations to the U-15 United States Women’s National Team, which won 4-0 over Germany.
  • Did you ever have one of those dreams that was a little scary, but also absolutely hilarious? This preview of Inter Miami’s new mascot is a bit like that. To misquote Jaws: “Ever seen an Inter Miami mascot’s eyes, Chief? He’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes.”
  • The Cayman Islands Men’s National Football Team forfeited its match against Cuba because many of its players are on visas in the United States. If those players were to travel to Cuba, the U.S. may have canceled those visas due to travel restrictions.
  • This is one of the most ridiculous no-calls I’ve ever seen. India got royally hosed.

That will do it for today. Check back as we get you ready for the Orlando City and Orlando Pride matches this Saturday night. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/11/24

Julie Doyle up for Goal of the Week, scouting Brazil ahead of USMNT match, Valencia fans convicted of racial abuse, and more.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Happy Tuesday, everyone. After a brief break, Orlando City will be back in action when it takes on LAFC at home on Saturday. The Orlando Pride will visit a struggling North Carolina Courage side on the same day, while Orlando City B will have an oddly placed Thursday match against Chattanooga FC. With such a busy week ahead of us, it’s little surprise that we have a lot to talk over this morning. Let’s get into it.

Julie Doyle Up for Goal of the Week

Pride forward Julie Doyle has been nominated for NWSL Goal of the Week for her strike against the San Diego Wave during Friday’s 1-1 draw. Doyle opened the scoring in the 36th minute with an extremely well taken goal that came from a Barbra Banda assist. The Zambian forward made a run down the right wing and crossed for Doyle, but the ball was a little behind her and the chance looked to have gone. It hadn’t though, because Doyle contorted her body, hung out a foot, and let the momentum from the ball carry it into the back of San Diego’s net. Make sure you go vote for her to win!

Brazil Scouting Report

The United States Men’s National Team will play its final friendly before Copa America Wednesday night at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The idea of any USMNT game is slightly nauseating after the Yanks were throttled 5-1 by Colombia on Saturday, but the fact that they’ll square off against a loaded Brazil side means things aren’t going to be any easier. While Brazil has struggled early in World Cup qualifying, it will likely run out a front three of Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr., and Raphina that’s capable of causing plenty of damage. Brazil prefers to control the ball and build from the back with short passing movements, but has no qualms about ceding possession and breaking on the counter, something that caused no shortage of issues for the U.S. against Colombia.

Valencia Fans Convicted of Racial Abuse

A trio of Valencia fans will serve eight months in prison after being convicted of racially abusing Vinicius Jr. Additionally, they are barred from entering soccer stadiums for two years and will pay for court proceedings. The convictions are the first for racism in professional soccer in Spain, and a case was opened after the fans made monkey noises and gestures during a game in May of 2023. The Brazilian forward in particular has faced racial abuse during his time playing in Spain, but he’s far from the only player, as the trial for a fan accused of abusing Inaki Williams during a match in 2020 has still yet to even begin.

The Soccer Tournament Concludes

The Soccer Tournament wrapped up Monday night with a pair of engrossing championship matches. In the women’s bracket, US Women defeated the North Carolina Courage 6-3, with Talia Dellapuerta scoring the winning goal. US Women featured United States Women’s National Team greats Heather O’Reilly and Ali Kreiger, and the team won the first women’s edition of the tournament and the $1 million prize that comes with it.

On the men’s side, former Orlando City player Nani and his team, Nani FC, fell to La Bombonera, which scored mere minutes into the match and never looked back on its way to a convincing 4-0 win. La Bombonera becomes the second team to win it all following Newtown Pride FC’s victory in last year’s inaugural tournament.

Free Kicks


That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!

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