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Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Player Grades and Man of the Match

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Orlando City got its 2022 MLS campaign off to a great start, defeating CF Montreal 2-0. Goals by Alexandre Pato and Benji Michel led the way as the Lions won their first season opener since 2017.

Let’s take a look at how each player performed for the Lions.

Starters

GK, Pedro Gallese, 7 — The Lions’ starting goalkeeper didn’t have a whole lot to do in this game, only facing two shots on target. However, he did well throughout the game coming off his line to collect balls before the attacker could reach it. Additionally, Gallese’s distribution was solid, successfully completing seven of his nine long balls. He only had a pair of saves, but must be given credit for recording his first clean sheet of the season.

D, Joao Moutinho, 6 — Moutinho’s performance didn’t stand out in this game, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While Ruan often pushed forward on the right, Moutinho stayed back more than he did much of last year, putting himself in a better position to defend any counter attacks. He ended the game with one clearance, one blocked shot, and three fouls defensively. He completed 81.5% of his 54 passes and had one key pass in the attack. However, most importantly, Montreal wasn’t able to do much on that side because of the left back’s strong play.

D, Robin Jansson, 6 — Jansson was unquestionably the man of the first half in this game. The Swede was fantastic defending early when the Lions weren’t able to get anything going offensively. He ended the game with two tackles and four clearances. Additionally, he completed 91.5% of his 47 passes, including four accurate long balls.

Had Jansson finished the game on the field, his grade would’ve been higher. However, he made an unnecessary tactical foul in the 81st minute, resulting in a red card. Despite the fact that his first caution was questionable, Jansson knew he was on a yellow and there were defenders behind him. The Lions were up a man at the time and the sending off put undue pressure on the team to hold on for the win.

D, Antonio Carlos, 7.5 — Carlos was absent for much of preseason as he had trouble getting his visa to re-enter the country, but showed how important he is to this team. The Brazilian was fantastic alongside Jansson. Carlos had two tackles, one interception, and a team-leading nine clearances. He also won two aerial balls, tied for the team lead. Going forward, he completed 93% of his 43 passes, including completing four of his five long balls.

D, Ruan, 6.5  — Ruan spent much of the game pushing forward into the attack, something that’s become common since he joined the team. He completed 81.1% of his 37 passes and was accurate in one of his three crosses. His biggest contribution was delivering the low cross into the box that led to Pato’s opening goal, although some bad defending by Montreal helped.

Defensively, Ruan didn’t record any tackles or interceptions, but had two clearances. The lack of defensive stats was because Ruan wasn’t able to get back much. Instead, he went down frequently in the attack, forcing Cesar Araujo to cover for him. Still, it was a solid game by the Lions first-choice right back.

MF, Andres Perea, 5.5 — It wasn’t a bad game by Perea but he wasn’t as involved as Head Coach Oscar Pareja probably would’ve liked. The 21-year-old only completed 83.3% of his 24 passes, allowing Montreal to break on multiple counter attacks during the first half. Defensively, Perea only recorded one tackle. The young midfielder was substituted for Junior Urso at halftime.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6 — Araujo was very active in his first MLS game, recording 61 touches, tied for most on the team alongside Moutinho. He completed 88.5% of his 52 passes and got a shot off that went off-target. Defensively, Araujo didn’t have any tackles, but did have two interceptions and picked up a yellow card in 90 minutes of action.

MF, Benji Michel, 6.5 — The Orlando City Homegrown Player did well in his first start of the season. He only had 23 touches on the left, but completed 92.3% of his 13 passes. More importantly, Michel put away his only shot of the match in the 59th minute, giving the Lions a commanding 2-0 lead.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 — Pereyra didn’t have the most impactful 75 minutes, only recording 42 touches despite being the number 10 on a team that won 2-0. He completed 83.3% of his 36 passes, including the pass to find Ruan in a dangerous area on the team’s first goal and assisting on the second. His one shot was off-target. He also completed all four of his long passes, something of importance considering how deep he tends to play.

MF, Facundo Torres, 6 — The 21-year-old Uruguayan played well in this game but didn’t have the impact many had hoped. He was on the ball slightly more than Pereyra, recording 49 touches, and only completed 82.4% of his 34 passes. Playing on the right, he did have seven crosses, but only one reached its target. Additionally, he got two shots off, but both were off target. He was involved in the buildup on the opening goal.

F, Alexandre Pato, 7.5 (MotM) — Pato missed most of last year after he was injured in the 2021 season opener against Atlanta. However, the Lions saw what Pato can give the team in this game. Playing alone up top, Pato was excellent. He only completed 73.3% of his 15 passes, but was involved and recorded 25 touches.

Pato was terrific in the attack, putting two of his three shots on target and scoring his first goal in MLS. A surprising part of Pato’s game was his hold-up play. The forward is usually best when the ball is at his feet, but the 5-foot-9 striker was excellent with his back to goal. He was able to win clearances and shield defenders until other attackers could catch up to the play.

Substitutes

MF, Junior Urso (46’), 6 — Junior Urso came on at halftime for Perea in the central defensive midfield. He had five fewer touches (25) than Perea and only completed 77.8% of his 18 passes. However, Urso was more active defensively, recording one tackle and two interceptions. Additionally, he recorded a secondary assist in the build-up to Michel’s goal, starting the play by intercepting a goal kick.

F, Ercan Kara (69’), 5 — Kara came off the bench for the final 21 minutes after recovering from a preseason injury. The new Designated Player didn’t have the biggest impact, only recording seven touches and completing one of his three passes. He also didn’t get any shots off.

Kara’s game could’ve been better when he was sent through late, but he was taken down before he could reach the ball. It’s arguable that it should’ve been Montreal’s second red card as he was taken down by the last defender, but the referee only issued a caution.

F, Silvester van der Water (76’), 5 — Similar to Kara, van der Water didn’t do much in his 14 minutes. Coming on late for energy, the Dutch attacker only touched the ball seven times and completed two of his three passes. He did well to pull the ball back and maintain possession when it was needed, but his one incomplete pass was an attempted switch that gave the ball right back to Montreal.

MF, Sebas Mendez (76’), 6 — Mendez was brought on for defensive purposes and to maintain possession. He did much more with his nine touches than other substitutes, successfully completing all seven passes. He also recorded a clearance, which was part of his role as the Lions looked to hold onto their late 2-0 lead.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel (83’), 6 — Schlegel may not have expected to enter the game down the stretch, but Jansson’s second yellow card forced the Argentine to come on at center back. He wasn’t forced to make any defensive plays in his late appearance, but did complete all three of his passes, getting the ball out of the back.


That’s how I saw the performances in Orlando City’s 2-0 win over Montreal. Let us know how you saw the game and don’t forget to vote on your Man of the Match below.

Polling Closed

PlayerVotes
Alexandre Pato51
Robin Jansson6
Antonio Carlos31
Benji Michel3
Mauricio Pereyra11
Other (Comment Below)11

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions perform in Orlando City’s 2-2 draw with CF Montreal?

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Image courtesy of Orlando City / Mark Thor

Orlando City scored in second-half injury time for the second consecutive weekend to claim points. However, this time it was an equalizer as the Lions drew CF Montreal 2-2 north of the border. The Lions ended their two-game road trip with four points and extended their points streak to four games after dropping three straight. It’s an improvement as they look to climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

Here’s how I saw the individual performances in the draw.

Starters

GK, Pedro Gallese, 5.5 — Gallese conceded a pair of goals in this game, though neither were necessarily his fault. The first was a breakaway after Robin Jansson kept Mason Toye onside and the second was blocked wide, but Kyle Smith was caught flat-footed. However, he did concede twice while saving three of Montreal’s five shots on target. Additionally, the Lions’ goalkeeper completed 55.6% of his 27 passes, including eight of his 20 long balls.

D, Kyle Smith, 5.5 — Smith had a solid game other than one specific play. The left back had a team-high 86 touches and completed 78.3% of his 60 passes, including five of his 12 long balls. Defensively, he recorded two tackles, two clearances, an interception, and a blocked shot. Unfortunately, his most impactful play was getting caught watching on a Gallese block while Ariel Lassiter beat him to the rebound to give the hosts a late lead. That play lowers his grade for this otherwise quality performance.

D, Robin Jansson, 5.5 — Similar to Smith, Jansson had a solid game apart from one play. He had 72 touches and completed 79.7% of his 59 passes, including a key pass and three of his 14 long balls. He added a tackle, an interception, a blocked shot, and a team-high seven clearances to his stat sheet. But his failure to step up in the 16th minute enabled Toye to get behind the back line and score the opening goal, lowering his grade.

D, David Brekalo, 6 — Brekalo has proven himself to be the first-choice partner for Jansson and he was arguably the better center back in Montreal. The Slovenian international had 53 touches and completed 85.1% of his 47 passes, including two of his five long balls. The defender recorded two tackles, an interception, and three clearances defensively in a strong performance.

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6 — Thorhallsson was in his usual right back position for this game, playing 90 minutes and recording 44 touches. He completed 82.8% of his 29 passes, but only one of his four long balls and neither of his two crosses. He cleared the ball twice and didn’t really get into the attack, but was solid in his defensive duties.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 6.5 (MotM) — This was possibly Cartagena’s best performance of the season. His 85 touches were second-most on the team and he completed 76.5% of his team-high 68 passes, including a key pass and two of his six long balls. It was his shielding of Nathan Saliba and strong pass forward for Duncan McGuire that started the last goal, though he didn’t get an assist. The defensive midfielder was also active defensively with five tackles and three interceptions, and he won a pair of aerial duels. His overall performance earns him my Man of the Match.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — Araujo had a similar performance to Cartagena, but fewer touches and more accurate passing. He recorded 55 touches and completed 93.9% of his 49 passes, including a key pass. He was less active than his partner defensively, recording three tackles, and was booked in the 63rd minute.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 6 — Angulo had one of his better performances in this one, recording 48 touches and completing 82.1% of his 39 passes. His biggest impact on the game came two minutes into second-half stoppage time, when he connected with an excellent Martin Ojeda cross to even the game at 2-2. He nearly scored a winner five minutes later, but the pass from Ojeda was just a bit too far for him. His goal was one of his two shots and the only one on target.

MF, Nico Lodeiro, 6 — Lodeiro’s 45 touches were the fewest of the Orlando City midfield, but he did the most with them. The playmaker completed 91.4% of his 35 passes, including a key pass, but couldn’t connect on his long ball or either of his two crosses. He was also caught offside and dispossessed twice before being replaced by Ojeda in the 77th minute.

MF, Facundo Torres, 6 — Torres’ 65 touches were the most in the Lions’ midfield and the fourth most on the team. He completed 83.7% of his 49 passes, but didn’t connect on his two crosses or four long balls. The attacker took three shots and put one on target. In the 22nd minute, the midfielder stepped up and buried his second penalty of the season and ninth as a Lion, continuing her perfect record from the spot.

F, Luis Muriel, 6 — While Oscar Pareja had previously been starting Muriel behind McGuire, the forward got the start alone up top for the second consecutive game. He had 34 touches and completed 68.4% of his 19 passes, including his lone long ball but neither of his two crosses. His biggest impact on the game came in the 20th minute, when he tipped the ball past Montreal goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois, drawing the penalty that resulted in the first equalizer. He also had a shot of his own, but it was off target.

Substitutes

F, Duncan McGuire (63’), 6 — McGuire came on in the 63rd minute for Muriel. He had 16 touches in 27 minutes, completing eight of his 10 passes (80%) with a key pass. His lone shot came in the 90th minute, when Jansson headed the ball over to him and he probably should’ve equalized, but his volley was just wide. The striker also won three aerial duels.

MF, Martin Ojeda (77’), 6.5 — Ojeda came on in the 77th minute for Lodeiro and, similar to Lodeiro last week, made a big difference. He had 15 touches and completed four of his six passes (66.7%), including a key pass. Two minutes into second-half injury time, his excellent cross found Angulo, who touched it in for the equalizer. Five minutes later, he had another great cross that nearly found Angulo for the winner, but was just out of his reach.

D, Rafael Santos (85’), 6 — Santos came on in the 85th minute for Torres as the Lions looked to see out a point. He had nine touches and completed two of his three passes (66.7%), but didn’t connect on his cross or long ball. Coming on to assure the defense, Santos did his job as he recorded a tackle, an interception, and two clearances.


This is how I saw Orlando City’s 2-2 draw with CF Montreal. Let us know how you saw the game and don’t forget to vote for your Man of the Match.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/22/24

Orlando City draws CF Montreal, Pride and OCB win, FA Cup drama, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. Orlando City drew, while the Pride and OCB both won over the weekend. I had friends in town, so I went to Wrigley Field to check out a Cubs game and show them around Chicago. Let’s wish former Orlando City midfielder Kaka and Pride defender Brianna Martinez a happy birthday! There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Lions Draw at CF Montreal

Orlando City again had to overcome a 2-1 deficit on the road when it faced CF Montreal Saturday night. The Lions needed a late stoppage-time goal from Ivan Angulo to walk out of Stade Saputo with a 2-2 draw. Orlando has now picked up points in each of the last four matches. Orlando City will face CF Montreal again on July 26 in the MLS Leagues Cup during the competition’s group stage. The Lions’ next match will be Saturday at Inter&Co Stadium as it takes on Toronto FC.

Orlando Pride Defeat San Diego Wave

The Orlando Pride shut out the San Diego Wave 1-0 on Friday at Inter&Co Stadium and got their second consecutive win with that same scoreline. Summer Yates scored the lone goal in the first half to seal the win for Orlando. Zambian international striker Barbra Banda made her debut for the Pride, coming off the bench in the second half. The Pride remain undefeated through five league matches and are fifth in the NWSL table with nine points. The team will be on the road to face the Washington Spirit Friday.

OCB Wins on the Road at Crown Legacy FC

Orlando City B got a 2-0 win against Crown Legacy FC at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Friday. Alex Freeman and Shak Mohammed scored for the Young Lions, and Javier Otero made six saves. OCB completed its two-match road trip, securing four out of a possible six points, and has kept its unbeaten streak on the road alive at four matches. OCB is in fifth in the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference with nine points, while Crown Legacy is winless in five matches. OCB will be back in action this Sunday as it hosts Toronto FC II at Osceola County Stadium.

Manchester United and Manchester City Advance to FA Cup Final

Manchester United won 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw against Coventry City in the FA Cup semifinals to advance to the final. It was a thrilling match at Wembley as United had a 3-0 lead before Coventry City rallied to get back into the match. USMNT forward Haji Wright scored the equalizer to tie the match 3-3 late into stoppage time. Coventry City thought it scored the game-winning goal late into extra time from Victor Torp, but it was ruled offside after video review. Casemiro missed his penalty for United, while Wright and Torp gave Coventry City a 2-1 advantage. United converted four straight penalties while Coventry City missed two to seal the win for the Red Devils. Manchester City edged past Chelsea 1-0 in their semifinal matchup, with Bernardo Silva scoring the lone goal in the second half. The FA Cup final will be played at the end of May and will feature a Manchester Derby for the second consecutive time.

Free Kicks

  • In case you missed it, check out this video on Orlando City’s social media page on Ivan Angulo’s equalizer to tie the match in stoppage time against CF Montreal on Saturday.

According to OptaJack, the Pride have secured the most points at home during the regular season since last May, with 26.

  • USMNT defender Sergino Dest suffered a knee injury during training with PSV Eindhoven over the weekend. Dest will miss the remainder of the Eredivisie season and could miss the 2024 Copa America this summer.
  • Real Madrid came back from being 2-1 down to defeat Barcelona 3-2 and stay ahead of its rivals by 11 points with six league matches left.
  • Bayer Leverkusen extended its unbeaten run to 45 matches after scoring a late goal from Josip Stanisic in stoppage time to get a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund.
  • Serie A side Udinese is reportedly set to hire former Juventus and Real Madrid player Fabio Cannavaro as its next head coach.

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

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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Five Takeaways

What did we learn from a 2-2 road draw against CF Montréal?

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City drew CF Montréal 2-2 on the road at Stade Saputo. It was a dominating first-half performance for the Lions, when the club finally showed some consistency with how potent the players could be up top. While there is a difference in prolificity and potency, it is the first match this campaign where the spark was there from all players in the attack. If the team can continue to find linkups in the final third as they did Saturday night, we might just see the team’s 2023 form return with plenty of 2024 season left to play.

Here are my five takeaways from the draw with the team of Club Foots.

Designated Players Can Score

It took Facundo Torres six matches, but he has finally opened his 2024 scoring account to prove that Orlando City Designated Players do in fact know where the enemy net is. Central midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro dinked a ball forward towards the penalty spot for striker Luis Muriel, who ran on with pace before being brought down in the area for a spot kick. Torres stepped up and continued his four-for-four streak from the penalty spot. While it would be great to see him score in the run of play, this might just be what he needed to really get going for the rest of the year.

Muriel Shows Serie A Spark

When Muriel joined Orlando City from Atalanta in Italy’s top flight, it was never a question of if he would be good enough for MLS but rather when his adjustment period would be over. This might have just been the performance we have been waiting for him to unleash. Throughout the first half, Muriel found the half-spaces to get on the ball as a target striker in holdup play but also making runs into the channel as needed as well. His first half was capped with a 70% passing success rate and ultimately drawing the penalty that leveled the score before the break.

Orlando Needs Nico

When Nicolás Lodeiro replaced his Uruguayan countryman Mauricio Pereyra, it seemed like an instant upgrade despite going up in age to a 35-year-old. However, a slow start in league play seemingly left question marks as to whether it was the right move after all. Lodeiro is part of the problem that is keeping Designated Player Martín Ojeda off of the pitch and starting XI, but the midfield maestro showed why Luiz Muzzi went after him this off-season with his passing proficiency against CF Montréal. Lodeiro set up the penalty and finished with 35 passes with a success rate of 91.4% across the night. He was able to connect the play from the back line to Torres and Muriel.

Super Substitutes Silence Stade Saputo

The Cardiac Cats once again proved their resiliencey, coming from behind not once, but twice, in the match. The second goal to draw level at 2-2 was inspired by the substitutions of Duncan McGuire and Martín Ojeda. McGuire laid off a perfect wall pass to Ojeda, who placed a brilliant low cross in front of goal, where Iván Angulo used his pace to beat the defender and tap one home late in the 92nd minute. It was yet another match in which McGuire came on late to impact the game. Just moments before, he barely missed a full volley that would have drawn the match level on his own, as a headed ball from Robin Jansson fell fortunately to him on the right side of the area.

Orlando Loves to Come From Behind

Yet again, Orlando City failed to find the game’s first goal. In this match, it was a 2-2 stoppage time draw, coming from behind CF Montréal. Last Saturday, it was a 3-2, stoppage-time victory, coming from behind to beat D.C. United. Before that, we witnessed a 1-1 draw gifted by the New York Red Bulls with an 89th-minute own goal. You have to look almost an entire month ago, to March 23, to see a match in which Orlando scored first and bagged a result. This isn’t to say that scoring first is required to win, but it is a whole lot easier to take home valuable points when you are the team doing so. If the Lions have any hope of making a deep playoff run, they will need to find a way to be the protagonists in the matches to come.


That’s what I saw in Orlando City’s come-from-behind draw against CF Montréal. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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