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Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions perform in the 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew on the road?



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City’s road trip continued with a visit to Eastern Conference foe Columbus Crew. Unlike the last two matches, the Lions were able to earn a point on the road, thanks to a two-goal second half comeback with goals from Ercan Kara and Duncan McGuire.  Let’s look at how each individual Lion did in the come-from-behind 2-2 draw.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — Orlando City once again conceded two goals, but neither was Gallese’s fault. Gallese came up with some good saves — five to be exact. He knocked the ball down in the 55th minute and secured it before anyone could cause trouble. He got a little cheeky with the ball at his feet in the 58th minute with a defender in his face. Gallese made a huge instinctive save in the 94th minute, slapping the ball with his right hand and salvaging the point for Orlando City.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 5.5 — With Oscar Pareja returning to the three-man back line, Schlegel got the start. He had some good plays, like his great interception in the 17th minute, however he wasn’t able to close down Alexandru Matan on the first goal, and got beat by Mohamed Farsi on the second goal. He passed at an 87.5% rate on 16 passes, with two tackles, four clearances, and one foul. He came off in the 57th minute for Kyle Smith.

D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — Jansson put in an excellent shift on the back line. While he didn’t make much noise on offense, defensively he was solid. He showed his deceptive speed tracking back in the 38th minute to take the ball off the foot of an attacker. He completed just 62.9% of his 35 passes, and wasn’t his normal accurate self on his long balls either, completing only two of 11. On defense, Jansson made two tackles, two interceptions, three clearances, four blocked shots, and committed one foul. Still, he was the best of the center backs.

D, Antonio Carlos, 6 — Carlos earned a yellow card in the 14th minute fouling Cucho Hernandez from behind. Getting the card so early meant he had to be careful He got beat by Jacen Russell-Rowe on the Crew’s second goal. Carlos wasn’t all bad, as he completed 76.9% of his 26 passes, with one successful long ball on two attempts. Carlos did take one shot but it was not on target. Defensively, he blocked two shots, had one interception, and made six clearances. He only committed one foul but it resulted in the yellow card.

WB, Gaston Gonzalez, 5.5 — Gonzalez played a different role for Orlando City sliding back into the left wingback position. He finished with two tackles, one interception, and two clearances in his deeper position. He did commit one foul along Orlando’s touchline, that fortunately amounted to nothing on the resulting free kick. He made one key pass and completed 65.4% of his 26 passes, but he struggled on crosses, with only one accurate cross on his five attempts. 

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6 — It was a typical night for Araujo as he quietly went about the business of being Orlando City’s first line of defense. He did have a bad giveaway in the 95th minute but the Crew weren’t able to capitalize on it. Even though I think he’s been a little quick to look for a foul lately, Araujo did draw four fouls on the night. Defensively, he made two tackles, one interception, and two clearances. He passed at an 81.6% rate on 38 passes. Araujo was excellent on his long balls, completing six of seven.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 5.5 — Cartagena attempted to chip the keeper in the third minute but it went wide of goal as so many of the Lions’ shots did. He disappeared at times while Orlando City absorbed the Crew’s attack. He did, however, commit two fouls, one of which earned him a yellow card in the 73rd minute. He contributed two tackles and one clearance and completed 81.8% of 22 passes, with one of three long balls finding his target. He subbed off for Dagur Dan Thorhallsson in the 75th minute.

WB, Ivan Angulo, 5.5 — Angulo slotted in as the right wingback to start the match. As such, he played a deeper defensive position and on the right rather than his usual position on the left. He didn’t do poorly, making three tackles, one clearance, and one interception. He should have been covering the back post on the Crew’s first goal, but then he wasn’t the only one. After a personnel change, he was back on the left wimg, where he was more comfortable. Angulo was quiet compared to normal, taking no shots, and none of his three crosses found the target. He completed 72.2% of his 18 passes, including one successful long ball on three attempts. 

MF, Facundo Torres, 7 (MOTM) — Torres looked much sharper this match. His excellent pass to Kara earned him an assist on Orlando City’s first goal. It was his free kick (which he won) in the 92nd minute that dropped for McGuire to get the equalizer. He made four key passes on the night, passing at an 84.9% rate on 33 attempts and was successful on four of his five long balls. He was effective in making space for himself in the opponent’s half with four dribbles, and drawing five fouls. He even contributed two tackles on defense. It was a good night for the Young Designated Player, and his involvement in both goals earns him our Man of the Match.

MF, Martin Ojeda, 5.5 — Ojeda was a bit sloppy on the night with bad giveaways in the 11th and 54th minutes. He almost made something of his corner in the third minute, but the shot curved outside the near post. Ojeda made one key pass in the match, completing 61.9% of his 21 passes. He completed one of his three long balls, and put in two crosses — one of them accurate. 

F, Ercan Kara, 6.5 — Kara made good runs all night, getting behind the Crew’s defense time and time again while only being called offside twice. He took four shots, but only managed to get one on target. His header in the fourth minute and his shot in the 21st minute both went high, but Kara finally broke through in the 49th minute on a give-and-go with Torres. The striker continued his run, sliding past the defense as Torres’ pass found his feet. Kara did well to get control of the ball, pick up his head and calmly put it past Patrick Schulte into the right hand side of the goal. He almost got a second goal just minutes later but the shot went just wide right of the far post. Kara only made 10 passes on the night, but completed nine (90%) of them. Defensively, he made one tackle, one interception, and one clearance. Kara came off in the 75th minute for McGuire.


D, Kyle Smith (57′), 6 — Smith came on for Schlegel, assuming the left center back role. He put in his typical reliable performance off the bench. He was steady in defense as the Lions pushed for the result. He made two tackles, two interceptions, and one clearance, while committing one foul. He connected on one of his four long balls, completing 66.7% of his 15 passes.

WB, Michael Halliday (57′), 5.5 — Halliday came on for Ojeda to shore up the defense and he only managed nine touches. He completed 80% of his five passes and made one tackle. It was a quiet night for the youngster, but he didn’t give the ball away which was an improvement from the last match. He had a chance to score his first goal on a great opportunity but missed the target.

MF, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson (75′), 5.5 — Thorhallsson came on for Cartegena following his yellow card in the 73rd minute. He managed to do nearly as much as Halliday despite fewer minutes. Thorhallsson had seven touches, completing 80% of his five passes, adding a clearance on defense. 

F, Duncan McGuire (75′), 6.5 — Orlando City’s leading scorer added to his total in typical McGuire fashion. His fortunate positioning and nose for goal gave the Lions the point on the road thanks to his 92nd-minute goal. He was his typical energetic self, harassing the defense and looking for opportunities. He only made three passes but completed them all. It was another good performance from the rookie.

MF, Ramiro Enrique (85′), N/A — Enrique came on for Angulo as Orlando City was looking for the equalizer. He took one shot, and it was on target, but he wasn’t able to put it in the back of the net. He only attempted four passes, completing one. Enrique didn’t have much time to impact the match.

That’s how I saw each performance from the Lions in their 2-2 draw at Field against the Columbus Crew. The Lions got (partially) back on track following two losses with this result. Who was your Man of the Match? Make sure to vote in our poll and let us know what you think in the comments!

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

Orlando City will try again to find all three points at home as the Rapids come to town.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday night matchup between Orlando City (6-4-5, 23 points) and the Colorado Rapids (2-8-7, 13 points) at Exploria Stadium (7:30 p.m., Apple TV (free)). It’s the one and only scheduled meeting between the two sides this season.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.


Orlando City is 4-1-2 in the all-time series (3-0-0 at home). The most recent meeting took place last year in Colorado, with the teams playing to a 1-1 draw on July 13, 2022. Facundo Torres gave the Lions the lead in the first half but Gyasi Zardes equalized in the second half.

Before last year, the previous meeting also took place in Colorado, just prior to MLS shutting down for the pandemic. The Lions fell 2-1 to the Rapids on a 90th-minute goal by Drew Moor off a Colorado corner kick. It spoiled a good road effort by the Lions, who were playing without suspended captain Nani at the time. The winning goal came just eight minutes after Chris Mueller’s goal had leveled things and canceled out a Younes Namli strike.

The last time the teams played in Exploria Stadium, it was a wild match won 4-3 by the Lions. Orlando came from behind twice in the game — from deficits of 1-0 and 3-2 — to claim all three points. Kei Kamara opened the scoring early, because of course he did. Nani tied things up just past the half-hour mark, and Tesho Akindele gave Orlando the lead two minutes later. But Nicolas Mezquida (61st) and Cole Bassett (71st) scored 10 minutes apart to put the Rapids back in front. Mueller knotted the game up at 3-3 as the game approached its end, and Nani scored on a penalty in the just before stoppage time to bring the Lions back.

The Lions came from behind to win 2-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on April 29 of 2018. Cristian Higuita and Yoshimar Yotún (pen.) provided the offense in the victory.

Orlando City won 2-0 at home as part of a four-game winning streak in 2017, which was also the fifth consecutive victory to open Orlando City Stadium. Carlos Rivas and Kaká provided all the offense in that 2017 game. The 2016 meeting ended in a 0-0 draw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The 2015 meeting at the Citrus Bowl saw the Lions defeat the Rapids, 2-0. Rivas came on for an injured Brek Shea in that match and turned the game around. Kaká and Cyle Larin scored for Orlando City.


The Lions enter this game still searching for the magic formula to get results at home the way they do on the road. Orlando City played quite well in its last home game against Atlanta United but could only put one goal on the board and that opened the door for a second late equalizer in as many home matches. The Lions want the ball, but they seem to be better without it, hitting opponents on the counter, than they are with extended passages of possession. Orlando is 2-3-3 at home and has drawn two straight at Exploria Stadium, riding a modest three-game home unbeaten streak (1-0-2) and an overall stretch of five matches without a loss (2-0-3).

The Rapids are similar to Orlando in that they’ve been better on the road than at home this season, capturing both of their victories away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park — at Sporting Kansas City and the LA Galaxy — and gave the Columbus Crew a good run in a 3-2 loss in their most recent road match on May 31. Colorado is 2-4-3 away from home and 0-4-4 in its own stadium in 2023. The Rapids are coming off a 0-0 home draw against the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday and they are on a six-match winless skid (0-5-1).

I don’t have to tell you how much teams on winless or losing streaks love playing Orlando City. In fact, the last time these teams met, the Pids were on a 0-3-2 streak and came from behind to claim a point.

Robin Fraser’s side is not to be taken lightly and a great deal of Colorado’s struggles this season can be attributed to key injuries. Diego Rubio has been limited to eight matches this year, and he’s listed as questionable for tonight with an upper body injury, but he’s got a goal and three assists. Midfielder Connor Ronan has become a key setup man for the Rapids, with a goal and six assists on the season. Michael Barrios, Lalas Abubakar, Cole Bassett, and former Galaxy winger Kevin Cabral have two goals apiece. Abubakar is a dangerous aerial threat on set pieces.

“The Colorado [Rapids] are a team that are finding their way,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said ahead of the match. “We know the [Head] coach [Robin Fraser], and they have good players. We have to be very cautious about thinking that it is going to be an easy [match]. Colorado is a good [team] and have very good players. They have been playing well, regardless of their scoring. We are respecting the rival, trying to get better, and not thinking that we are already there. We’re not, we’re far from it. We need to keep going and if we keep this consistency of performing well, we are closer to getting better results.”

Orlando City will be without goalkeeper Adam Grinwis (concussion protocol), Gaston Gonzalez (thigh), and Abdi Salim (knee), while Luca Petrasso (thigh) is questionable. Michael Halliday is back from international duty, but Pareja typically gives most guys a bit of time off after they return from international tournaments. Additionally, OCB’s Alejandro Granados signed a short-term agreement on Friday and is available for selection in this match.

Colorado will be without Jack Price (achilles), Max Alves (removed from team activities), and Moïse Bombito (red card suspension), with Rubio (upper body) questionable.

Match Content

Projected Lineups:

Orlando City (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.

Defenders: Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Kyle Smith.

Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Wilder Cartagena.

Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres.

Forward: Ercan Kara.

Colorado (3-5-2)

Goalkeeper: Marko Ilic.

Defenders: Danny Wilson, Andreas Maxsø, Lalas Abubakar.

Wingbacks/Midfielders: Sam Nicholson, Connor Ronan, Bryan Acosta, Cole Bassett, Keegan Rosenberry;

Forwards: Jonathan Lewis, Darren Yapi.


REF: Rosendo Mendoza.
AR1: Kevin Lock.
AR2: Brian Poeschel.
4TH: Sergii Demianchuk.
VAR: Luis Guardia.
AVAR: Tom Supple.

How to Watch

Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.

Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.

TV/Live Stream: Apple TV (free, no MLS Season Pass necessary).

Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Accion 97.9 FM and 810 AM (Spanish).

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City’s official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).

Enjoy the game. Go City!

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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids: Three Players to Watch Out For

These three Rapids players could make or break the game for the visitors from out west.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

As Orlando City looks to extend their streak to six unbeaten matches in a row, the Lions take on the boys in burgundy from Colorado for the first time at Exploria Stadium since 2019. In this article we will do a bit of a deeper dive on three players from Colorado that City fans should be on the lookout for throughout the match tonight.

Connor Ronan

One of the bright spots for Colorado in a season which has seen its share of struggles has been the play of Irish midfielder Connor Ronan. Throughout his first 17 games with the Rapids, Ronan has recorded one goal and six assists and is the minutes leader on the season thus far. Ronan has been the straw that has stirred the drink since captain Jack Price suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury back near the beginning of the season. Not only has Ronan recorded two multi-assist efforts on the season, he also became the first Colorado player since Price to record a three-assist match, doing so against the LA Galaxy on May 6. Ronan’s efforts were recognized by wrier Jonathan Slgal, who named Ronan as on of the top 12 under-the-radar signings of the past off-season. Logging 1,446 minutes for the Rapids so far this season, Ronan has been tidy in possession, passing at an 85.9% success rate. If Colorado is to find success at Exploria Stadium, Ronan’s ability to find his teammates in positions of strength will surely be an important part of the match storyline.

Marko Ilic

Last week, in just his second start for the Rapids, goalkeeper Marko Ilic — on loan through July from the Belgian Pro League side KV Kortrijk — recorded his first clean sheet. Prior to arriving stateside for the Rapids, Ilic recorded 16 clean sheets in 71 appearances for Kortrijk and he recorded one appearance on the Serbian national squad during a friendly in June of 2021 against Jamaica. Despite limited first-team time to start the season, Ilic has stayed prepared and has drawn compliments from his coaching staff. Ilic is known to be an athletic shot stopper and strong passer, and if Colorado has visions of controlling possession and building out of the back, he will be central to that plan, while being responsible for keeping the hungry Lions at bay.

Cole Bassett

Homegrown youngster Cole Bassett returned to his home club from a 10-month loan prior to the start of the 2023 Major League Soccer season. On the year thus far, the 21-year-old has started in seven of the nine matches that he has appeared in. Bassett has scored two goals on the season, including a absolutely beautiful curling shot from outside the 18 in the 95th minute against the Columbus Crew on May 31.

With a reputation as a ruthless attacker with the ability to finish from anywhere and create opportunities for himself, Bassett possesses the quality and stamina to put the Rapids on his back and turn the tide of a match. He will surely be one of the key focuses for defensive midfielders Cesar Araujo and Wilder Cartagena. Shutting him down in the Central Florida humidity may be the most important aspect of the match for Orlando City on the night.

If Orlando is to make it two victories in a row, those are the three pieces of the Colorado puzzle that I think the team will have to combat to achieve their goal. Let us know in the comments below if there are any other major pieces that you are concerned about heading into the match. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/10/23

Lions want consistency, Alejandro Granados earns short-term contract, Pride welcome Thorns, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City B

Welcome to the weekend, Mane Landers. It’s a great Saturday to wake up because the Lions are back home tonight at 7:30 p.m. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing the team continue to build attacking momentum as the pieces have started to gel together. The pace of Ivan Angulo has been electric, and I’m hopeful Facundo Torres has finally turned the page he needed to this season. Aside from Orlando City today, we also have soccer in town on Sunday, with OCB taking on Cincinnati 2 and the Orlando Pride hosting the Portland Thorns. So, let’s dig right into it all in the links!

Orlando City’s Momentum and Consistency

Orlando City returns home tonight to take on the Colorado Rapids after a decisive 3-0 victory at Red Bull Arena. With the latest victory, the Lions are now unbeaten in their previous five league matches. Orlando City aims to keep up the consistency in its performances as the Lions gear up for the 13th-ranked team in the Western Conference, and the Rapids are desperate for points. 

“They’re gonna come in to try and leave the position that they’re in right now,” Lions goalkeeper Pedro Gallese said. “They’re going to try and come in and take points from us in our home. We know that they’re going to come in strong, but we have to do the same and we’ve got to continue the form that we’ve had during this run that we’re on right now.”

Alejandro Granados Earns First-Team Deal

Orlando City has called up the services of midfielder Alejandro Granados from Orlando City B on a short-term agreement and will be available for selection today as the Lions take on the Colorado Rapids. The 17-year-old has six appearances for Orlando City B this season in MLS NEXT Pro. On the global stage, Granados recently featured for Spain at the U-17 European Championship. He appeared five times in the tournament as La Roja reached the semifinals. He even scored a goal in the quarterfinal round against Ireland that also qualified the side for the U-17 World Cup later this year.

Orlando Pride Host Portland Thorns

The Pride are back in town following a midweek Challenge Cup postponement against NJ/NY Gotham FC due to measures taken to prioritize player health and safety in the face of terrible air quality as a result of the Canadian wildfires. Sunday’s match is set to begin at 7 p.m. against the Portland Thorns. It will be the Pride’s first home match in 22 days, however, the team won the last two matches played at Exploria Stadium. One thing to watch for in the match will be set pieces. Four of Orlando’s last six goals in regular season play have been scored from a set piece, with three being corners. For the Pride, it will be a chance to begin to shift the history between the two clubs, as the Thorns have won 13 of their 17 all-time meetings with Orlando, including the last three in a row by a combined score of 12-0.

Orlando City Academy Boasts Nine D-1 Athletes

The Young Lions of the Orlando City Development Academy have wrapped up their studies for the year and are on their way to penning the next chapter in their lives. Nine graduates have committed to Division 1 programs across the United States. Five of the graduates were products of the 2021 U-17 MLS NEXT Cup champion team. Another notable mention is Orlando City B forward Chase Vazquez, who came off the bench in this year’s preseason matchup against Stetson University to score a hat trick.

Free Kicks

That’s all I have for you today. Have a safe two days at Exploria Stadium. Remember to hydrate and look out for your friends. It is starting to feel a lot like summer out here. Vamos Orlando!

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