Orlando City vs. New York Red Bulls: Player Grades and Man of the Match
Orlando City went on the road and won 1-0 against the New York Red Bulls Saturday night at Red Bull Arena. Facundo Torres scored the game’s only goal and Orlando’s defense held on for all three points. Each team only had one shot on target as neither goalkeeper saw much action.
Let’s take a look at how each Lion performed individually in the win on the road.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 6 — The Peruvian goalkeeper likely won’t complain about only having one save in this match as the Red Bulls only put one of their 15 shots on target. That one save was easy as well, catching a long-range effort from Frankie Amaya that was fired right at him. His distribution could have been a bit better in this one though, only completing 57.5% of his 40 passes and connecting on just nine of 26 long balls. He also sent the ball out of bounds a couple of times late in the match. That being said, he started the play that ended up with Orlando scoring as his long ball found Alexandre Pato. It was Gallese’s eighth clean sheet this season and a nice result after conceding three goals last week.
D, João Moutinho, 7 — Moutinho made crucial defensive plays in this one, including a fantastic sliding challenge to snuff out a counter in the 68th minute and clearing New York’s free kick from the goal line in the dying moments of the match. He played every minute and finished with four tackles, an interception, three clearances, and a blocked shot. The left back was unsuccessful on his two crosses and one of his two long balls found its mark. Moutinho’s 40 passes were the third most on the team and he completed them at a decent 72.5% rate. He received a yellow card for halting a counter attack in the first half and will miss Orlando’s game next Sunday against Charlotte FC.
D, Robin Jansson, 7 — It was another strong outing from the Beefy Swede as he had two tackles, two interceptions, and five clearances. Jansson also had to turn on the jets at times to chase down Patryk Klimala and did well when putting out those fires. He was successful on 71.4% of his 28 passes and connected on two of six long balls. Jansson was great when making sliding challenges and also won all three of his aerial duels.
D, Antônio Carlos, 7.5 (MotM) — The Brazilian center back led the Lions with a whopping 10 clearances, putting an end to many of New York’s attacks before they could pick up steam. Carlos also had three tackles, two interceptions, and a blocked shot as he bounced back from a rough game last week. When the Red Bulls sent balls past Kyle Smith into dangerous areas, Carlos was there with long strides to see out the danger. Like Jansson, Carlos was a force in the air and won all five of his aerial duels. He had 36 passes at a 75% success rate and two of his six long balls were accurate.
D, Kyle Smith, 6 — Playing at right back, Smith led the Lions with 75 touches and 49 passes, but needed to take much better care of the ball. Only 57.1% of his passes were accurate, neither of his two crosses were successful, and just two of his nine long balls connected. Smith had four tackles and four clearances, but gave the ball away in his own defensive third at times and conceded a pair of free kicks in dangerous areas.
MF, César Araújo, 7 — Araujo offered plenty of support to the back line in this match and had two tackles, an interception, and two clearances. The 21-year-old also used his body to stop a worrying cross late in the match and then earned a throw-in. His 45 passes were the second most by a Lion and 93.3% of them were successful. Four of his six long balls found their mark as well. It was a solid outing from the defensive midfielder and he won three fouls without committing any.
MF, Júnior Urso, 6 — The Bear did a great job on Orlando’s goal, holding up play to wait for runners and finding Torres in on goal to notch his fifth assist of the season. While he often found open spaces in the midfield, he was a bit sloppy with the ball and was dispossessed five times. Both of Urso’s long-ball attempts were accurate and he had 30 passes at a 76.7% success rate. He didn’t have any defensive stats and won four of his eight aerial duels in this win. He struggled physically at times with New York youngster John Tolkin, who got the best of him in 1-v-1 match-ups.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 — Pereyra played the first half fairly deep in the midfield but in the second half he had to fill the playmaking role left by Pato’s exit just before halftime. His passing helped Orlando work its way past New York’s press and he completed 79.5% of his 39 passes. Four of his six long balls were accurate, but only one of his seven crosses found their mark. While the statistics only show an interception and a blocked shot from the captain, his hustle on defense in this match deserves some recognition. Pereyra may not have led Orlando’s offense to a blowout win, but he did the little things to help secure all three points on the road.
MF, Alexandre Pato, 6 — Pato’s night was cut short late in the first half when Dru Yearwood collided into him while he was taking his first shot of the match. Pato couldn’t get much of anything behind the shot as a result and went to the ground in pain. It didn’t look good and he had to be taken off on a stretcher. His time on the field was a mixed bag of brilliant passing and frustrating turnovers. He didn’t record a key pass, but made great through balls into dangerous areas and did well to win the ball up field and find Urso in the buildup of Orlando’s goal. Although he dribbled into trouble and gave the ball away on occasion, Pato completed all but one of his 15 passes for a strong 93.3% success rate and was accurate on his single long ball as well. He didn’t have any defensive stats, but helped apply pressure.
MF, Facundo Torres, 7.5 — Torres’ goal was from a tough angle, but he put enough behind it that Carlos Coronel couldn’t cleanly handle it as the ball got past the goalkeeper and then bounced off the far post and into the net. He also had a key pass with a cutback cross that served the ball to Pato on a silver platter in the box. The Uruguayan’s quickness helped stretch New York’s defense, but it was his superb passing and control of the ball in tight areas that was crucial for Orlando to beat New York’s pressure. Torres was accurate on 84.2% of his 38 passes, although neither his one cross nor his one long ball were successful. He brought plenty of pressure on defense and had three tackles as well.
F, Benji Michel, 5.5 — His first touch has left plenty to be desired this season and that was an issue again in this game as he had three unstable touches. Michel made a good run to draw a defender to open space for Torres to score, but he didn’t have much more of an impact on offense than that. In 66 minutes of action, Michel only had 16 touches and seven passes at a 71.4% success rate. The Homegrown Player’s speed was certainly an asset at times for the Lions on offense, but a lack of control and strength made it hard for him to influence the match.
MF, Jake Mulraney (45’), 5.5 — .Mulraney came on for Pato right before halftime and played out wide. It took some time for him to find his footing, but he did well when Torres joined him on the left wing. The two did well maintaining possession with quick passing, but not much came from Mulraney on offense. Neither of his crosses were accurate, but one of his attempted crosses did earn the team a corner after a deflection. He had 15 touches and completed seven of his 10 passes. Although he didn’t record any defensive statistics, Mulraney helped break up a few plays late in the match.
F, Tesho Akindele (66’), 5 — Bringing Akindele on for Michel makes sense on paper in order to give the Lions a taller player to win possession and hold up play. But the Canadian lost his two aerial duels and had two unstable touches. He also committed a foul right outside of the box that nearly cost the Lions. Akindele had a tackle, completed five of his seven passes, and finished with 11 touches.
MF, Wilder Cartagena (90’), N/A — The Peruvian midfielder made his debut for Orlando in a brief cameo to help see out the match. He had five touches, most notably when chasing down the ball after Moutinho’s goal-line clearance to end the danger. None of his three passes nor his lone long ball were successful, but it was a very small sample size from which to garner much information.
MF, Andres Perea (90’), N/A — Perea had one touch and one unsuccessful pass in a short stint. He mostly just helped give the Lions some fresh legs late in the match.
That’s how I saw the individual performances in Orlando’s 1-0 win on the road. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and be sure to vote for your Man of the Match below.
|Other (Let us know who in the comments)||1|
Intelligence Report: Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids
Familiarize yourself with the Colorado Rapids, courtesy of someone who knows them best.
Another Orlando City game is almost upon us, as the Lions look to both extend their five-match unbeaten run and pick up two wins in a row. This week sees the Colorado Rapids come to town for the first home game of June.
A match with the Rapids means I spoke to Matt Pollard, of Burgundy Wave. That’s another site that has gone independent and the folks over there are continuing to provide great coverage of the Rapids, so make sure to check them out!
What were some of the big incoming and outgoing transfers for the Rapids ahead of this season?
Matt Pollard: The three biggest incoming players in terms of expectations were Kévin Cabral, Connor Ronan, and Andreas Maxsø.
Cabral is probably the highest-risk, highest-reward signing when it comes to the Rapids going after distressed assets. So far, it hasn’t panned out. He presses well, but that’s about it. The same issues he had at LA Galaxy (getting called offside, not finishing) are present here in Colorado. The difference is, he’s the focal point instead of the third player opposing defenses worry about.
Ronan and Maxsø have been great. Ronan was brought in to play alongside Jack Price. When Price went down for the season, Ronan stepped into the No. 6 role and adjusted well. He’s tidy at the back, works hard off the ball, and is one of the better assist providers on the team. Maxsø has been good defensively in the air and good at emergency defending. The Rapids typically give up goals by making a series of small errors. Rarely is the Great Dane one of those players who makes a mistake on a goal.
It’s hard to say if there were any significant departures from last year’s team. Most fans weren’t surprised or bummed out when Gyasi Zardes signed for Austin FC. The left back position has been an issue, so maybe Lucas Esteves. But he had some attitude issues and was hot headed. Robin Fraser’s such a culture guy, he wasn’t worth the headache.
It’s been a difficult start to the season for Colorado, what has been the biggest reason for the team’s struggles?
MP: Injuries. Injuries. Injuries. Price went down for the season in his second appearance. Diego Rubio has had three separate injuries. Maxsø was under concussion protocol for two games. I’ve lost count of how many players have had hamstring issues. As I’ve written about previously for Burgundy Wave, the infrastructure at Dick’s (Sporting Goods Park) is showing its age. The team had a really bad stretch in March and April with practice fields and winter sticking around. They’ve missed key players. They’ve had limited depth. All while playing eight games in May. Hopefully a full week of training has them healthy and refocused for Saturday.
With plenty of games left to play and only sitting six points out of the play-in spots, the Rapids are far from dead and buried. What needs to happen for Colorado to turn the season around?
MP: Get healthy and get going offensively. Rubio is still their only reliable chance creator. All their goal scorers have been streaky. If Rubio comes back healthy and can give the Rapids the production he had last year (a club-record 16 goals and seven assists), that would be fantastic. Add in Cabral, Jonathan Lewis, and Braian Galván having a good finishing streak, and they could be ok. Orlando fans should be wary of Michael Barrios coming off the bench tomorrow. All 12 of his goals for the Rapids have come in the second half.
Are there any players who will be unavailable for selection due to call-ups, injuries, suspensions, etc? What is your projected starting lineup and score prediction?
MP: The injury report just came out and there are only four players on it. That’s tied for the lowest of the season! Rubio is questionable, and Fraser’s been really cautious with his key players coming back from injury. I can’t see him getting more than 20 minutes Saturday. Moïse Bombito is suspended for a harsh second yellow against San Jose, so expect Lalas Abubakar to start at center back. Price is out, as mentioned previously. Max Alves is still removed from team activities as he’s under investigation for participation in a sports gambling scheme in his native Brazil.
Marko Ilic; Danny Wilson, Andreas Maxsø, Lalas Abubakar; Sam Nicholson, Keegan Rosenberry; Connor Ronan, Bryan Acosta, Cole Bassett; Jonathan Lewis, Darren Yapi.
I think Orlando wins a tight, ugly game. Oscar Pareja knows how to poop-house the Rapids. 1-0, Facundo Torres scores. I do think we’ll see one of the better performances from the Rapids of this winless stretch for what that’s worth.
Thank you to Matt for the excellent info and helping get us up to speed on the Rapids. Vamos Orlando!
Lion Links: 6/9/23
Orlando City gets ready for the Colorado Rapids, OCB faces FC Cincinnati 2 on Sunday, U-20 World Cup final is set, and more.
How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope this Friday finds you well as we gear up for a weekend filled to the brim with Orlando soccer. My friends are taking me out for teppanyaki and scorpion bowls tonight, so it should be a pretty nice day on my end. Hopefully your Friday goes smoothly as well. Now, let’s dive into today’s links from around the soccer world.
Orlando City Prepares for the Colorado Rapids
The Lions are on a five-game unbeaten run as they get ready for a home match tomorrow night against the Colorado Rapids. Facundo Torres scored twice in the team’s 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls last weekend. Hopefully he can keep the momentum rolling against a Colorado team that’s allowed 25 goals this season and sits last in the league in points per game, with just two wins in 17 matches. Pedro Gallese also recorded his 26th clean sheet for Orlando in last week’s win, and could make his 100th appearance as a Lion tomorrow night. The Lions will have to keep an eye on Irish midfielder Connor Ronan, who has six assists in his first season with the Rapids.
Orlando City B Aims to Bounce Back at Home
After a 3-0 defeat to Toronto FC II in Canada this past weekend, Orlando City B will look to right the ship on Sunday at home against FC Cincinnati 2. The Young Lions are unbeaten at home this season, winning four of their six games at Osceola Heritage Park. The last time these two teams played was in August of last year, with Cincy winning in the penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw. Although he didn’t score in that match, OCB forward Jack Lynn scored three goals against Cincinnati last year and currently leads OCB with six goals this season. Sunday’s match should be a good opportunity for OCB’s offense to bounce back against a leaky Cincy defense.
USMNT Players Focused Despite Coaching Search
With European seasons over, American players who have been plying their trade abroad are back in the U.S. to prepare for the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup this month. The team will be coached by B.J. Callaghan in an interim capacity while the search for a head coach continues. Although not having a permanent head coach for these tournaments isn’t ideal, Nashville SC center back Walker Zimmerman spoke on how the team still knows how to get the job done.
“We’re a team that has a very strong team chemistry, strong culture within our group. And we know that for us, not much has changed right now,” said Zimmerman. “We know the same principles, style of play, expectations, accountability – all those things are the same. So I think that’s player-driven, to hold each other accountable to the standards that we’ve set over the past four years. BJ, he’s on top of it. He’s knowledgeable about what we want to do, how we’re going to go about these games.”
The roster includes many of the players who featured in the World Cup last year, but the striker position is one to watch due to the new faces involved. Folarin Balogun is with the team for the first time and it will be interesting to see how he measures up against Ricardo Pepi, Alex Zendejas, and Jesus Ferreira. We will get to see who spearheads the USMNT’s attack next Thursday, when the Yanks take on Mexico in Las Vegas.
Italy and Uruguay Reach U-20 World Cup Final
Only two teams remain in the U-20 World Cup after Italy and Uruguay each won their semifinals. Uruguay, which beat the U.S. in the quarterfinals, beat Israel 1-0, thanks to a goal in the second half from Anderson Duarte. In Italy’s semifinal against South Korea, Cesare Casadei’s terrific tournament continued as he gave Italy the lead in the 14th minute. South Korea equalized soon after with a penalty kick, but 17-year-old forward Simone Pafundi scored a nice free kick to send Italy into the final.
The final will take place on Sunday at 5 p.m., with the third-place match set for 1:30 p.m. It will be Italy’s first time playing in a U-20 World Cup final, while it will be Uruguay’s third time after losing in 1997 and 2013.
- American defender Josh Wynder is headed to Benfica. The Portuguese club signed the 18-year-old from USL Championship club Louisville City for a reported $1.2 million transfer fee, which would be a record amount for a USL player.
- FC Cincinnati and the Houston Dynamo will host in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. Both matches will be on Aug. 23, with the Dynamo playing Real Salt Lake and Cincinnati facing Inter Miami.
- Speaking of FC Cincinnati, the club is reportedly close to signing Gabonese forward Aaron Boupendza as a Designated Player for a $7 million transfer fee. Boupendza had 11 goals in 17 appearances for Al-Shabab in the Saudi Pro League this past season.
- Brooklyn will be home to a USL League One team, which will begin playing in the 2025 season.
- Liverpool agreed to buy back its Melwood training ground with the intention of turning it into a training facility for its women’s team.
- Czech police stated that 23 West Ham and Fiorentina fans were arrested for their actions while in Prague for the Europa Conference League.
- Liverpool signed midfielder Alexis Mac Allister to a contract through 2028. The 24-year-old had 12 goals and three assists last season for Brighton.
That’s all I have for you today. Have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!
Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids: Three Keys to Victory
What does Orlando City need to do to earn all three points at home against the Rapids this Saturday night?
Orlando City is back home in Exploria Stadium and hosting the Colorado Rapids this Saturday night. The Lions are coming off a big road win over the New York Red Bulls, and will want to extend the five-match unbeaten streak. What does Orlando City need to do to secure all three points at home this weekend?
Survive the First Half
Colorado has been better in the first half of matches this season than in the second half. The Lions can expect the Rapids to come out strong, looking for an early goal. If Orlando City can play smart on defense, maintain possession, and limit Colorado’s chances for the first 45 minutes, plus stoppage time, the odds of winning at home go up.
I’m most worried about the first 15 minutes and the last five minutes of this half. It’s going to be contingent upon the effective midfield pairing of Cesar Araujo and Wilder Cartagena to break down the Rapids’ attack. Araujo was in training this week despite going off injured in the last match, indicating it wasn’t that serious and he may be available. Cartagena has quietly been fantastic the last few matches, and there’s no reason to think that won’t continue.
Behind that pair is another line of defense, including Robin Jansson and Antonio Carlos, that can clean up anything else that gets through. Carlos has mostly been great, although he’s had a few less-than-stellar matches, and Jansson has been excellent. If Orlando City weathers the first half in good shape, I’ll feel better about the Lions getting three points.
Ride the Hot Feet
Oscar Pareja has trotted out the same starting lineup the last couple of matches, and I don’t expect he will mess with the success. After the last match, Ivan Angulo and Facundo Torres will be feeling pretty good, and we don’t want those confidence-boosting performances to be wasted. There will be plenty of time to let them rest if they can help provide the team with a two-goal lead after the 60 minute mark.
The same goes for Ercan Kara. No he didn’t have a goal last match, but that had more to do with dealing with the New York Red Bulls press than anything else. His last goal was three matches ago against Inter Miami, but he is putting the work in regardless, and I think he’s primed to find the back of the net against Colorado.
Regardless of the scoreline, look for Pareja to bring on Martin Ojeda and Duncan McGuire to either put the match away or look for a positive result. Duncan can be a terror against a team that doesn’t play well in the second half, and Ojeda seems due for a goal. He certainly isn’t shy about taking chances, and eventually one of them is going to result in a goal.
Too many times in Orlando City history, the Lions have played a team on a winless streak — the Rapids haven’t won in their last six matches — and been the team to let the opposition get back on track. The Lions are also riding a five-match undefeated streak heading into Saturday’s match. It’s the type of match that tends to worry scarred Orlando City supporters, and I have those bad thoughts and feelings as well. As Michael Scott said on The Office, “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.” If Orlando City could not feed into that phenomenon, it would be great.
I think that sometimes the Lions want to give the home crowd a win so badly that they get nervous and end up pressing too hard, or trying to slip a pass into too tight of a window. When that happens, the natural flow of an offense that is looking better, passing better, and scoring goals will give the ball away cheaply. My suggestion is for the players is to just relax. Pretend it’s a road match if necessary, but just keep calm and let the match develop naturally.
That’s what I’ll be looking for this Saturday night from my seat in Exploria Stadium. Since I’ll be down for this one, please make sure to say hello if you see me.
Intelligence Report: Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids
PawedCast Episode 351: Colorado Rapids Preview, the Miami Messi Mess, and More
Lion Links: 6/9/23
Orlando City B vs. Toronto FC II: Final Score 3-0 as OCB Falls in Shortened Game
My First Orlando City Road Match: New York Red Bulls
Lion Links: 6/6/23
Orlando Pride2 weeks ago
Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More
Orlando City2 weeks ago
Orlando City vs. Atlanta United: Final Score 1-1 as Lions Concede Late Equalizer Again
Orlando City2 weeks ago
Orlando City vs. Atlanta United: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More
Orlando City2 weeks ago
Orlando City vs. Atlanta United: Player Grades and Man of the Match
Orlando City2 weeks ago
Intelligence Report: Orlando City vs. Atlanta United
Orlando City B2 weeks ago
Orlando City B vs. New York Red Bulls II: Final Score 3-2 as OCB Comes From Behind to Win
Orlando City6 days ago
Orlando City vs. New York Red Bulls: Five Takeaways
Orlando City1 week ago
Orlando City at New York Red Bulls: Three Keys to Victory