For the third consecutive game, Orlando City scored in second-half injury time to claim all three points, in a 3-2 win over the Seattle Sounders. However, this time the Lions came back from a two-goal deficit and it wasn’t Tesho Akindele scoring the winner. It’s the Lions’ fourth straight win, keeping them in fifth in the Eastern Conference.
Let’s take a look at the individual performances in this big win.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 5.5 — Gallese didn’t have a lot to do in this game, only facing three shots on target. He conceded two goals in the game, but came up with a huge one-handed save late in the second half that would’ve given the Sounders the lead. Gallese couldn’t do much about Albert Rusnak’s free kick, which went through the wall and was perfectly placed in the top corner, but he could have done better on Raul Ruidiaz’s near-post effort.
D, Joao Moutinho, 6.5 — Moutinho was the better of the two starting fullbacks in this game. The left back had two tackles and one clearance defensively, but his biggest impact was going forward. He completed 84.2% of his 38 passes, including four key passes, and an assist on Facundo Torres’ goal. Moutinho completed three of his seven crosses and one of his two long balls. Additionally, he took one shot on the rebound of Mauricio Pereyra’s poor penalty but what was a likely goal was blocked at the last second by Seattle’s Jackson Ragen.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 5.5 — Schlegel was good for most of the game. He ended the game with one tackle, two interceptions, and one clearance, but Jordan Morris blew by him on the second Seattle goal. Going forward, Schlegel completed 81.4% of his 43 passes, completed one of his two long balls, and took one off-target shot. His grade would be higher but his poor defending on Morris on the second goal was his biggest contribution.
D, Antonio Carlos, 6 — As expected, Carlos was the better of the two center backs for most of the game. The Brazilian had two tackles and three clearances defensively. He completed 88.9% of his 36 shots and five of his seven long balls. He also took one shot, which was on target. However, Carlos had a role in both Seattle goals. He committed the foul that led to the first goal and was at the near post on the second, although Ruan was the man covering Ruidiaz. Carlos also took an unnecessary yellow card arguing a foul call that went against him.
D, Ruan, 5 — Ruan was at fault for one of the Seattle goals but unlike Carlos, didn’t put up a strong display to overcome that mistake. He didn’t have any defensive statistics in this game. He completed 83.3% of his 24 passes and had two key passes, but he only had one cross attempt and it was incomplete. Ruan was at the near post on Seattle’s second goal but was unable to clear it. It’s fair to say that in a transition situation with three defenders back against two attackers, it’s probably not the best idea to leave the other team’s Designated Player striker 1-v-1 with the Brazilian right back. The inability to clear the ball allowed Rusnak to score the game’s opening goal.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6 — Pereyra had a strong game on both sides. Offensively, he completed 94.6% of his 37 passes, including one key pass. He completed two of his four crosses and five of his six long balls. He took two shots and one of those was on target. Defensively, Pereyra had one tackle, one interceptions, and one blocked shot. Pereyra would’ve had a higher score, but he took a very poor penalty in the first half that was at the perfect position and height for Stefan Frei. Had the Lions not scored at the end, it could’ve cost the team two points.
MF, Cesar Araujo, 7 — Araujo has been one of Orlando City’s most consistent players and had another great performance in this game. Defensively, the central midfielder had four tackles and was instrumental when Oscar Pareja brought on Benji Michel for Ruan, going with three defenders. When in possession, he completed 90.2% of his 51 passes, had a key pass, and completed all five of his long balls. He also had one off-target shot but was fantastic in his role.
MF, Niko Gioacchini, 5 — This was Gioacchini’s first start for the senior team and a little rust was showing. Gioacchini’s had an early unlucky touch as he seemed about to break free for a scoring chance but lost the handle on the ball. He completed just 70.6% of his 17 passes, had one key pass, and one off-target shot. His biggest contributions of the game were drawing the penalty that Pereyra sent at the goalkeeper and nearly assisting a goal for Ivan Angulo had Frei not made a terrific save.
MF, Junior Urso, 5.5 — After arguably his best performance of the season, Urso saw a bit of a drop-off in this one. He completed 82.4% of his 34 passes and completed four of his six long balls. He didn’t get any shots off but did play Gioacchini into the box that resulted in the first penalty. Defensively, Urso had one tackle and two interceptions. It wasn’t one of Urso’s more impactful games, but it wasn’t a bad performance either.
MF, Ivan Angulo, 6 — Angulo was in the starting lineup for the first time in this game and had another strong performance. He completed 88.2% of his 17 passes, had one incomplete cross, and completed his only long ball. He took two shots in the game, both of which were on target and chipped in two tackles on defense. While he wasn’t as good as the game against New York City FC Sunday night, he’s been better than Jake Mulraney and Gioacchini and has probably cemented his spot in the starting lineup for the upcoming games.
F, Tesho Akindele, 5.5 — After scoring game-winning goals in the two most recent games, Akindele earned himself a spot in the starting lineup against Seattle. In 63 minutes, the forward completed 53.3% of his 15 passes, completed one long ball, won four aerials, and took two off-target shots, one of which was blocked by a defender from point-blank range in his last action before being subbed off.
MF, Facundo Torres (46’), 7 (MotM) — After starting 14 of the last 15 games, Torres was given a rest for the first half against Seattle. However, Pareja said after the game that he wanted the star midfielder’s left-footed option in the second half, and he came on at halftime for Gioacchini. He made an immediate impact, scoring Orlando City’s first goal in the 53rd minute and assisting the winning goal in injury time. He completed 90% of his 20 passes with two key passes, one of his two crosses, and his one long ball. He had two shots in the game, with one going in.
F, Ercan Kara (64’), 6 — Similar to Torres, Kara came on in the second half and made an immediate impact. The striker replaced Akindele with Orlando City down a goal. In the 68th minute, he stepped up for the team’s second penalty of the night after a handball in the box. Unlike the first, Kara put his attempt into the corner, evening the game at 2-2. In addition to the goal, Kara completed one of his three passes and took two other shots, but both were officially recorded as off target — although one was a header that Frei made an excellent save to keep out, so there’s no telling what the official scorer saw on that play. The actual off-target shot was a header that missed by about a foot or less on a good corner kick cross from Torres. He was brought on to bring the Lions back even and did his job.
MF, Benji Michel (64’), 5.5 — Pareja made an aggressive move by bringing Michel on for Ruan in the 64th minute. He played in the midfield in this game, spending most of his time out wide in a bit of a wingback role to start before moving to the attacking midfield when Kyle Smith came on. He completed eight of his 10 passes, had one incomplete cross, and one incomplete long ball. He took one shot, which was on target, but didn’t make a big impact on the game.
D, Kyle Smith (76’), 7 — Smith came on for Pereyra in the 76th minute as the Lions went back to a traditional back four. It looked as though he wouldn’t have a big impact, but he did late. In the 89th minute, he nearly assisted the winner on a fantastic ball that landed on the head of Andres Perea, but Frei made a great save. A minute into injury time, Smith scored the game-winning goal. It took a deflection off Ragen’s body, but Smith was awarded the goal due to the original effort being judged on target, lifting the Lions to a 3-2 win. In the end, Smith completed all five of his passes, his lone cross, both of his long balls, and scored on his only shot. Can’t do much better than that.
MF, Andres Perea (76’), 6 — Perea came on in the 76th minute with Smith, replacing Angulo. He completed four of his five passes and nearly scored the winner in the 89th minute. Perea attacked the ball, beating the defenders to the ball on Smith’s cross but hit his shot right at Frei.
That’s how I saw the individual performances in this game. Let us know how you saw it and vote on the Man of the Match below.
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