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Orlando City at Chicago Fire: Player Grades and Man of the Match

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Orlando City went to Chicago and will bring home one point that should have been three after a 0-0 draw against the Fire. We may never know if Ercan Kara actually handled the ball in the area, because the available replays were inconclusive at best, but referee Ismir Pekmic not only believed he saw Kara do it from those replays, which he watched repeatedly for several minutes, but after the game he also claimed Kara did it intentionally.

You really have to hand it to PRO — every year they find new ways to remove points from Orlando’s final total and absolutely lack any humility when doing it. If Kara clearly and obviously handled the ball intentionally on a goal originally ruled good, that should show up on the video in a matter of one viewing (because that’s how “obvious” works) rather than requiring several minutes of review.

Anyway, the Lions have to grin and swallow it yet again. They were at least able to keep a second straight clean sheet without the suspended Robin Jansson and get a result on the road.

Here’s how I saw the individual performances of the men on the pitch.

Starters

GK, Pedro Gallese, 7 — The Peruvian international did his job with four saves out of four on target and controlled his area for the most part. He didn’t have any especially spectacular saves. Of the four, the toughest was a rocket from outside the area that wasn’t too much of a reach for him and he was able to parry it over the bar for a corner, showing good control. The other three were fairly soft and right to him. He looked confident and passed at a strong 90.5% rate and connected on two of his four long balls. It was a good night for El Pulpo.

D, Joao Moutinho, 6 — The Portuguese fullback was mostly solid through the night, settling in after an early turnover to Xherdan Shaqiri. He didn’t allow attackers to get down to the end line for dangerous crosses and kept most of the play on his side out wide. He contributed two tackles, an interception and a clearance defensively while dealing with Chicago’s most dangerous midfielder much of the evening. He was able to get on the ball a lot, but like many of the Lions, he had trouble unlocking the Chicago defense, as the Fire’s back line and central midfielders did a good job on their own end. Moutinho passed at only a 71.2% rate. He connected four of his 10 long balls but none of his four crosses, but created a scoring chance from his left back position on a night when the Lions had few of those.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6.5 — Schlegel got his first start of the season with Jansson sidelined after last week’s second yellow card. The Argentine and central defense partner Antonio Carlos were aggressive, often coming up the field to crowd Shaqiri. He had a scary challenge in the area early on against Fabian Herbers that had the home crowd screaming for a penalty. I think it was a good no-call, with Herbers flying in out of control and getting a piece of the ball, but it looked more a case of the attacker getting into Schlegel than the other way around. He and Carlos did well to limit Kacper Przybylko’s looks at goal, which was his primary focus. The Polish striker was limited to just one shot attempt. Schlegel had a tackle, an interception, a blocked shot and three clearances. His 80.5% passing rate wasn’t bad on a windy night in Chicago, although he was successful on only one of six long balls. His biggest knock was conceding four free kicks, with a couple of them coming from dangerous spots.

D, Antonio Carlos, 7 (MotM) — The Brazilian continued to show that preseason is overrated with his second strong showing of the year. He helped limit Przybylko to one weak header attempt and, as usual, had more territory to defend than his central defense partner due to Ruan serving as a de facto wingback further up the pitch. Carlos had two interceptions, a team-high four clearances, and a blocked shot. His 82.4% passing rate was tops among all outfield starters, although he connected on only three of 10 long balls. He had a shot attempt on a late set piece but his header went wide.

D, Ruan, 6.5  — The Brazilian speedster was creating issues down Chicago’s left side for Miguel Navarro and Herbers throughout the night, helping force turnovers, but he couldn’t quite get his crosses right in the attack, going only one of five for accuracy. He attempted one unsuccessful long ball and completed 21 of his 28 passes (75%). Defensively, he did well overall with a tackle and three clearances. He nearly allowed a goal to Brian Gutierrez in stoppage time but his positioning wasn’t a problem so much as his height on that play.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — The MLS U22 Initiative midfielder has basically made the No. 6 role his own very quickly. Tasked with the difficulty of defending Shaqiri in the middle of the pitch, the young Uruguayan held his own. He had only one tackle, but largely worked well in either denying the ball to dangerous areas with his movement and positioning or forced the Fire to go wide into the channels. His 50 passes were the most by any non-back line player on the team and he completed 80%, including one of his two long balls. He unlocked the defense with a key pass, attempted one shot (off target), and drew a team-high five fouls (along with two of his teammates). His yellow card was laughably soft as he attempted to reach out and slow down an opponent but he whiffed.

MF, Júnior Urso, 6 — The Bear should have scored a goal, blasting a shot in off a defender in the 73rd minute, stepping into a layoff pass by Facundo Torres. Alas, the referee stole his moment along with two vital points. That would have been Orlando’s only shot on target in the game if it hadn’t been erased for…reasons. He had one key pass on 71.4% passing but was dispossessed a worrying, team-high five times. Still, he did well defensively with a tackle and two interceptions and kept the Orlando press organized.

MF, Facundo Torres, 6 — In their opening game, the Fire saw Inter Miami use the tactic of fouling Shaqiri a lot. It seemed that Chicago coach Ezra Hendrickson borrowed that tactic against Orlando, as his team employed it often, including five of them against Facu. One of those fouls, by Herbers, prevented an Orlando counter-attack and was sufficiently vicious that I honestly thought the red card would come out but it was only yellow. Torres was fouled well over those five times but only five were called as Pekmic allowed several two-handed shoves and clips from behind to go unpunished — mainly through the opening 45 minutes. Torres recorded one shot and three dribbles. His 62.1% looks quite pedestrian until you look at the rate of Orlando’s other starting attacking midfielders, though he was unsuccessful on three long balls and two crosses. His layoff for Urso should have been an assist if not for…well, you know. Defensively, he contributed a tackle and two interceptions.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6 — The captain wasn’t able to leave his usual mark on the game. His passing was just 55% as the Chicago defensive midfield and back line played aggressively all night, which is a tactic that was successful because the wind prevented Orlando’s ability to play over the top into spaces in behind. Pereyra attempted one shot and created one chance. He was successful just once on six long balls and on one of three long balls. He had one tackle, an interception, and a clearance. Like Araujo and Torres, he was fouled five times and, much like Torres, it should have been more than that.

MF, Benji Michel, 3.5 — The Homegrown winger had a tough night offensively, although his defensive hustle was evident while he was on the pitch. After he was subbed off for Tesho Akindele, Chicago fullback Boris Sekulic was able to get forward more often. Benji’s passing rate of just 16.7% was simply dreadful and his hold-up play was lacking (four unstable touches, dispossessed once), forcing Oscar Pareja to sub on Tesho. He recorded a tackle and an interception on defense but had no shot attempts and no key passes on the offensive end.

F, Alexandre Pato, 6 — Much like his attacking teammates, Pato was roughed up quite a bit whenever Orlando got the ball in the attacking half, and for some reason he wasn’t even able to get some of the calls Pereyra and Torres got, drawing just two foul calls. He had one key pass on 63.6% passing but no shot attempts. He had one chance to get into a good shooting position but took an uncharacteristically heavy touch and the chance evaporated. He was active defensively with one tackle, an interception, and two clearances.

Substitutes

MF, Tesho Akindele (52’), 6 — Tesho’s lack of lateral quickness allowed Sekulic to dribble past him a couple of times but the Lions’ hold-up play got noticeably better when he came on for Michel. His work rate and pressure was evident as always, as the Canadian posted two interceptions and a blocked shot. He passed at a 77.8% rate, giving the Lions something that had been lacking on the left, but he attempted no shots and didn’t create scoring chances on a night when the Fire were dealing with any attack by simply crushing guys. He did well to switch the play on the disallowed goal, getting the ball over to Torres on the left. That provided the space to score the goal, but…yeah.

F, Ercan Kara (72’), 5.5 — The Austrian came off the bench and made a difference in his first minute on the pitch, winning an aerial ball in the box, which led to Urso’s goal. It should have been a game-changing play. It’s possible that the ball hit his arm, but nothing shown on TV or on the referee’s monitor — which was shown on television and seemed to have the exact same two angles we saw — should have resulted in any overturned call. Kara was officially only credited with three touches and he completed his one pass attempt. He didn’t have a shot or a key pass but chipped in one defensive clearance. It will be nice to see what he can do when he’s 90-minute fit and fully integrated.

MF, Andres Perea (88’), N/A — Perea came on late for a tiring Torres but didn’t play enough minutes to warrant a grade or impact the match. He completed one of his three passes and won an aerial on his eight touches.


That’s how I saw the performances in Orlando City’s road draw. It’s difficult to look beyond the statistics sometimes but Chicago did a great job of playing the weather conditions, crowding the Lions up high to force low-percentage balls over the top on a gusty night and fouling everywhere. The Fire’s strategy was helped by a referee who was quite lenient until midway through the second half (which is, not coincidentally, when Orlando started looking more dangerous) and by Orlando’s complete lack of ability to hold onto the ball on the left side for the first 50+ minutes.

Be sure to vote in the poll below for your Man of the Match.

Polling Closed

PlayerVotes
Rodrigo Schlegel1
Junior Urso6
Pedro Gallese17
Antonio Carlos23
Cesar Araujo14
Other (tell us who in the comments)1

Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/6/23

Lions earn weekly honors, OCSC headed in the right direction, Kylie Strom lands on NWSL Best XI of May, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I got absolutely clattered during my Sunday league game over the weekend, and I’ve been hobbling around ever since. Fortunately, my fingers still work just fine, because there’s plenty of things to talk through this morning. Let’s get after it.

Lions Earn Weekly Honors

Orlando was well represented on the MLS Team of the Matchday following a 3-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls Saturday night. Facundo Torres and Ivan Angulo were both named to the starting lineup, while Oscar Pareja was given the nod as head coach. Torres scored two goals and Angulo recorded a goal and an assist in the victory. Dave Rohe gave Torres a 7.5 and Angulo an 8, along with the Man of the Match award, in our player grades. It was nice to see other people take notice of the performances they put in. Keep up the good work, fellas!

OCSC Heading in the Right Direction

Orlando City got the complete performance that it’s been looking for in recent weeks, and Oscar Pareja is very pleased with what he saw from his team. He went out of his way to highlight the fact that the Lions stayed vigilant and didn’t relax and give up a goal as the game went on, something that’s been a problem at times this year. While Pareja said that things aren’t perfect yet, he and Torres were both of the opinion that the team is playing better lately, and Torres felt that Saturday was OCSC’s best performance of the season.

Kylie Strom Earns Monthly Plaudits

Orlando Pride defender Kylie Strom has been named to the NWSL Best XI for the month of May. Strom started in each of the Pride’s four matches during May and went the full 90 minutes in all but one of them. She helped anchor a back line that only gave up two goals during those four games, but the highlight of her month came during the team’s home game against the Washington Spirit. Strom scored the winning goal in the second half as the Pride handed the Spirit their first loss of the season. Here’s hoping she continues the good form!

Fines and Bans Proposed for Vinicius’ Abusers

The four men accused of hanging an effigy of Vinicius Jr. from a bridge are set to have hefty punishments levied against them. Spain’s anti-violence commission has proposed fines of  €60,001 and two-year stadium bans as a result of their actions. Additionally, the three men accused of racially abusing the Brazilian winger during a match against Valencia may be given fines and a one-year stadium ban as well. All seven were arrested and, although they’ve been released, could still face criminal charges, although that would be unprecedented. The Real Madrid player has suffered repeated instances of racial abuse since arriving in Spain. Hopefully the punishments will do something to deter the ugly incidents from occurring.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City has picked up more points on the road than any other team in the Eastern Conference.

That’s all for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/5/23

Torres could be turning the corner, lights go out on OCB, U-20 USMNT knocked out of World Cup, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. It was quite the packed weekend of soccer, so I won’t blame you if you’re a little tired starting out your week. Orlando City’s victory over the New York Red Bulls was certainly the highlight, and I hope the Lions’ form continues next weekend when I come down to Exploria Stadium for the match against the Colorado Rapids. Let’s get to the links.

Torres Could Be Turning a Corner

Facundo Torres scored a brace in the match against the New York City Red Bulls on Saturday night, and perhaps it is the type of performance that will kick his season into gear. We saw the same thing last season, as Torres started slowly but came on in the second half of the season. Hopefully, Saturday’s match serves as notice he is about to do the same in 2023.

Torres’ two goals doubled his production on the season, with three of the four goals coming against the Red Bulls, and two of them on penalty kicks. Orlando City has desperately needed Torres to find his form. His performance earned him a nomination for MLS Player of the Matchday, so vote early and vote often.

Toronto FC II Turns Lights Out on OCB

OCB traveled to the Great White North to take on Toronto FC II at York Lions Stadium in Toronto, Ontario. It was a difficult night for the Young Lions as Toronto took an early lead and then doubled it before the end of the half. Mason Stajduhar made the start for OCB since Javier Otero was on international duty with Venezuela, but he was unable to help OCB, as the team in front of him played poorly.

After Toronto scored the third goal of the match to go up 3-0, the lights in the stadium went out, much like the hopes of any chance at a comeback for the Young Lions. It was supposed to be a short delay, but that was not the case. Ultimately, lights or no lights it was a night to forget for OCB. The lights never came back on and the match was abandoned and ruled a 3-0 final due to a local curfew. Sean Rollins has your partial match recap.

U-20 USMNT Crashes Out of the U-20 World Cup

The U-20 USMNT team lost 2-0 to Uruguay in the quarterfinal match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, continuing a trend of the U.S. bowing out in the same round. Heading into the match, the U.S. hadn’t given up a goal in the competition. That all changed in the 21st minute, when Uruguay’s Anderson Duarte scored to put his side up early. The U.S. didn’t help their cause in the second half thanks to an own goal by Joshua Wynder. Even when the U.S. started to get chances on goal, they would be blocked by their own teammates or take a bounce the wrong way. It was as if all the good luck and quality the team played with to get to the quarterfinal was turned against them. It was fun while it lasted.

U-20 USWNT Falls to Mexico in Concacaf Final

Two days after qualifying for the U-20 Women’s World Cup, thanks to a 2-1 win over Costa Rica, the U-20 USWNT lost to Mexico in the Concacaf U-20 Women’s Championship match by the same 2-1 score. Both teams left it late, with Mailin Orozco starting the scoring for Mexico and Onyeka Gamero equalizing for the U.S. A bit of poor defending allowed Mexico to get the game winning goal from Fatima Servin in the 87th minute.

Free Kicks

  • The U-16 Men’s Youth National Team closed out the 2023 International Dream Cup with a 2-1 win over the U-16 Nigeria Youth National Team. Orlando City academy goalkeeper Zackory Campagnolo got the start for the U.S.
  • Former Lion Cyle Larin’s Real Valladolid were relegated to La Liga 2 thanks to a final day 0-0 draw with Getafe. Larin Lead Real Valladolid with seven goals on the season in only 13 appearances.
  • LAFC took on Leon in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League final Sunday night. Leon came into the match up 2-1 on aggregate and won the 2023 Concacaf Champions League.
  • During the Concacaf Champions League match, Aaron Long attempted a header for LAFC and had to be subbed off due to concussion protocols. It’s a good example of why the protocols are in place.
  • Israel shocked Brazil, defeating the favorites 3-2 in the quarterfinal of the U-20 World Cup. This is Israel’s first appearance at the competition and the team will now face Uruguay in the semifinals.
  • There were much bigger names in the $1 million, 7v7 The Soccer Tournament, but in the end it was Newtown Pride that captured the prize, outlasting teams like Wrexham AFC and a team made up of former USWNT players (which lost to Wrexham, 12-0). The club, which beat SLC FC in the final, will donate a portion of their winnings to Sandy Hook Elementary School charities.
  • Folarin Balogun scored in his final match for Reims in Ligue 1 and is now looking forward to a call-up to the USMNT at the Nations League competition.

That will do it for today. If you make it either the Orlando City or Orlando Pride match this weekend, I hope to see you. Please say hello.

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Orlando City

Orlando City at New York Red Bulls: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions perform in Orlando City’s 3-0 victory over the Red Bulls?

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City went back on the road with a trip to Harrison, NJ, to take on the New York Red Bulls. The Lions were able to take advantage of their chances to secure all three points on the road with a 3-0 win over their Eastern Conference foes. Here is how each Lion performed as Orlando City swept the Red Bulls in the regular season.

Starters

GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5  — Despite some sketchy moments, Gallese was able to keep his fourth clean sheet of the season, and his second against the Red Bulls. The scary moments started early, when Gallese came out for a 50/50 ball in the 12th minute but was beaten to it and caught out of goal. Fortunately, his defense was able to help him recover. He also nearly gave away the ball in the 85th minute, when he was slow to pass and was closed down by Elias Manoel. The New York forward blocked the pass, but it went out for a goal kick. Gallese took an awkward foul from Dylan Nealis in the 82nd minute, but was able to carry on. His distribution wasn’t as good as usual, with a 68.8 % passing rate on 32 passes. He was accurate on seven of his 16 long balls. He also won one aerial and made one clearance. It wasn’t a bad night for El Pulpo, but I hold him to a higher standard, despite the clean sheet.

D, Rafael Santos, 6 — With Halliday on international duty and Kyle Smith starting on the right, Santos got his third straight start of the season. I don’t know that he’s had enough time to properly settle in, but he didn’t play poorly. Santos passed at a 59.5% on 42 passes, which isn’t good enough, but it was his first real taste of the Red Bulls’ pressure. He was only successful on two of his eight long balls. Defensively, he was a bit better, with three tackles, three interceptions, and two clearances. He committed two fouls, one of which earned him a yellow card.

D, Robin Jansson, 7  — Jansson was good if not perfect on defense. The bad was a foul on Luquinhas just inches outside of the box in the 32nd minute, resulting in a dangerous free kick. Fortunately, the resulting free kick went into the wall and was recycled until it went out for a goal kick. It was one of two fouls committed by the Beefy Swede, with the other being unnecessary contact with the goalkeeper on a set piece, for which he was booked. Defensively, he made one interception, two clearances, and blocked three shots, including one from Lewis Morgan that probably would have gone in without his intervention. He had an 80% passing rate on 50 passes, but only completed one of his seven long balls. Offensively, he had one dribble, and suffered three fouls, including one in which he was pulled down by Sean Nealis in the 49th minute, earning the penalty for Orlando City that Facundo Torres buried in the back of the net.

D, Antonio Carlos, 6.5 — Carlos seemed slightly off on the night, though it never came back to hurt Orlando City. He was beaten in the 14th minute trying to play out of the back, resulting in a corner for the Red Bulls. However, he cleared the ensuing corner kick. He made a bad pass in the 26th minute that simply went out of bounds rather than to a teammate, and he had a poorly taken free kick in the 37th minute to the opposition. However, defensively he had one interception, two clearances, and one blocked shot. Fortunately, he did not commit any fouls or receive a yellow card, because if he had, he would miss the next match due to accumulation. Offensively, he had one dribble, and suffered one foul. He passed at an 84.6% rate on 52 passes and was successful on six of 12 long balls.

D, Kyle Smith, 6 — Smith had a difficult assignment in dealing with John Tolkin on his side of the field. He managed one tackle, two clearances, and one blocked shot, while committing two fouls. Unlike last week, he wasn’t able to score on a goal from the right despite being put in a good position by Facundo Torres in the 42nd minute. He should have done better with a shot that went wide left. He had an 84.2% passing rate on 38 passes and was successful on three of his four long balls before coming off for Dagur Dan Thorhallsson in the 83rd minute.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 5.5 — Like Carlos, Pereyra wasn’t his usual sharp self, passing at just a 57.1% rate on 21 passes and completing no long balls. His pass to Kara in the box in the 16th minute could have sent the striker in on goal, but it was behind the Austrian. His free kick at the end of first-half stoppage time was too long and led to Jansson’s yellow as the defender tripped the keeper. Offensively, the captain completed one dribble, suffered one foul, and was dispossessed once. He was subbed off in the 62nd minute for Martin Ojeda.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — Araujo seemed to have gotten the message that he won’t get the foul if he drops at the slightest touch. He did successfully earn one foul, but it was deserved. Defensively, he made one tackle, one clearance, and had one blocked shot. He passed at an 82.8% rate on 29 passes and completed five of his six long balls. Unfortunately he was subbed off in the 56th minute due to an injury for Felipe Martins.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 7.5 — The Peruvian midfielder had himself a night, earning an assist on Ivan Angulo’s goal to open the scoring for the Lions. His perfectly weighted through ball put Angulo in on goal in the 18th minute. He passed at an 84.1% rate on 44 passes, was successful on four of seven long balls, and had the key pass mentioned above. He committed three fouls, including one on Cory Burke in the 20th minute to give New York a free kick, but it didn’t matter. He also made nine tackles and one clearance. Overall, a very good night from Cartagena, who does a lot of the unsung work to break up the opposition’s attack.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 8 (MotM) — There have been times when Angulo tries to do too much when taking on an opposing player. That wasn’t the case in the 18th minute, when he took the through ball from Cartagena, juked Dylan Nealis and sent the ball past Carlos Coronel to give Orlando City the early leave. That was one of his two shots — both of which were on target. The other shot was deflected for a corner in the 65th minute. It was his breakaway run up the left side of the pitch in the 73rd minute that gave him his assist on Facundo Torres’ second goal. Out-running Frankie Amaya, the speedy Angulo drew defenders to him before passing the ball over to Torres for the third goal of the match. It was a good finish by Torres, but Angulo did most of the work to make it happen. He passed at an 85.7% rate on 21 passes with the obvious key pass and completed three successful dribbles. He also suffered two fouls, committed three fouls, made two tackles, and recorded one interception. With a goal and an assist, Angulo gets Man of the Match.

MF, Facundo Torres, 7.5 — Might this be the match that lights Torres up for the remainder of the season? I’m certain that is what was going through the minds of many as he stepped up to take the penalty kick in the 52nd minute. Torres converted the penalty kick with a perfectly placed shot into the upper right corner past Coronel, despite the keeper guessing correctly. He then made the run with Angulo in the 72nd minute and was perfectly positioned to get his second goal of the match, giving the Lions a certain victory. He wasn’t done yet, as he had another chance in the 77th minute, but it was blocked out for a corner. Torres passed at an 84.6% rate on 26 passes. He had three crosses, one key pass, and was successful on his only long ball. One of his underrated contributions was a nice move to push the ball past Andres Reyes in first-half stoppage time. Torres would have been in position to start a dangerous counter but Reyes fouled him hard. The play was reviewed as a possible red card, and even though Victor Rivas did not change the initial ruling of a yellow card, the play contributed to Reyes being sent off just after halftime.

F, Ercan Kara, 5.5 — The Austrian wasn’t able to have as much impact on this game as he has in recent weeks against one of the league’s best defenses, but his positioning was good. His best scoring chance went wanting when Pereyra played the final pass behind him. His biggest contribution was when he showed a good combination of skill and strength to bring down an aerial ball and fend off Reyes, who committed a tactical foul for a second yellow card and was sent off. Reyes has been New York’s biggest surprise this season with his aerial presence on both ends of the pitch and the Red Bulls missed him for the final 43 minutes, plus stoppage time. Kara didn’t record a shot or a key pass, passing at a 64.3% rate. He led all Lions with three aerials won and drew two fouls. However, he was dispossessed once and had four unstable touches trying to hold up play against New York’s swarming defense. On the defensive end, Kara contributed one clearance. He also committed one foul. He came off for Duncan McGuire in the 63rd minute.

Substitutes

MF, Felipe (57’), 6.5 — The Brazilian came on for the injured Araujo against his former team and proceeded to be his usual disruptive self, making one interception, blocking a shot, and committing one foul. He was impressive in the passing game, with a 95.7% rate on 23 passes, including a successful long ball. He committed one foul that earned him a yellow card.

MF, Martin Ojeda (62′), 6 — Ojeda came on for Pereyra to bring some more energy to the midfield. He did that. He attempted one shot, but hit it into the ground and it bounced high. To be fair, it was a difficult attempt as the ball was bouncing when he took the shot. He also put in two crosses (one successful) and passed at a 90.9% rate on his 11 passes, including one key pass, playing a ball into space for Angulo to run onto, leading to the third Orlando goal. As a result, he got a secondary assist on the play. Defensively, he contributed one tackle, one interception, and one clearance.

F, Duncan McGuire (63′), 6 — McGuire wasn’t able to get a goal contribution, though it wasn’t from lack of effort. The rookie took one shot, which was on target, had a key pass, and completed two dribbles, and his hold-up play was good. He did all of that while only touching the ball nine times. He passed at a 50% rate on four passes. It might not seem like much, but he helped Orlando see out the win.

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson (84′), N/A — Dagur Dan came on for Smith to play right back since he is the other Swiss Army Knife for Oscar Pareja. He wasn’t in long enough for a grade, but did manage six touches, and won an aerial.

MF, Ramiro Enrique  (84′), N/A  — Enrique came on for Cartegena but only managed 12 touches, committed one foul, and suffered one foul. Like McGuire, Enrique wasn’t in long enough to earn a grade.


That’s how I saw each performance from the Lions in their 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. This match was an example of what can happen when the Lions take advantage of limited chances. Who was your Man of the Match? Make sure to vote in our poll and let us know what you think in the comments.

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