Orlando City

Orlando City vs. FC Cincinnati: Player Grades and Man of the Match

Here’s how your favorite Orlando City players individually performed in a great 1-0 win on the road against FC Cincinnati.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City went on the road and did what no other team in the league has done this season by beating league-leading FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium. Orlando won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Facundo Torres in the first half and stellar defense from start to finish. It wasn’t all perfect for Orlando though, as Duncan McGuire exited due to an injury and Wilder Cartagena was shown a red card late in the match.

Here’s how each Lion individually performed in Orlando’s seventh road win this season, the most in MLS.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — El Pulpo came up with four saves for his eighth clean sheet of the season, with his biggest stop being against Luciano Acosta in the 58th minute to keep the Lions in front. Gallese also did well in terms of his positioning and was off his line when he needed to snuff out some of Cincinnati’s long balls and through balls. His distribution could have been a bit cleaner, as he was successful on four of his 15 long balls and completed just 57.7% of his 26 passes, but there were hardly any gaffes from the Peruvian.

D, Rafael Santos, 6.5 — We didn’t see any of Santos’ venomous crosses in this one, as his only cross was unsuccessful. Instead, Santos played a bit more conservatively and the Lions leaned on Angulo when attacking through the left wing. McGuire’s exit and Orlando’s lead also removed the need for Santos to drive forward and put the ball into the box. He was accurate on three of his five long balls and had 51 passes at an 84.3% success rate. The Brazilian had two clearances, an interception, and a tackle to help stop Cincinnati from getting on the board. Both of his shots were from distance and blocked. Santos was subbed out in the 82nd minute, with Kyle Smith taking over at left back.

D, Robin Jansson, 7 — The Beefy Swede picked up a knock earlier this week against Charlotte, but got the start and did very well. Jansson had two clearances, an interception, and blocked a shot, but the stat sheet won’t show just how vital some of his interventions were, such as his denial of a tricky cross to Brandon Vazquez in the 51st minute. The center back had two key passes, was accurate on two of his five long balls, and completed 85.5% of his team-high 55 passes. Jansson kept Orlando’s defense organized and disciplined in one of its best performances this year.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 7 — Schlegel had another busy night and was up to the task, finishing the match with eight clearances, three tackles, and an interception. He won both of his aerial duels and, alongside Jansson served as a brick wall of sorts that Cincy had a hard time breaking down. Of his 29 passes, 86.2% found their mark, while one of his three long balls was accurate. It was another strong shift from Schlegel with Antonio Carlos out due to injury.

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6.5 — Thorhallsson got the start at right back once more and is settling into the role. There were a few shaky moments when he was tasked with dealing with Acosta and Alvaro Barreal linking up on his side of the pitch, but Schlegel was there to back him up and he did enough to stop them from running rampant. In his 81 minutes on the field, he had an interception and a clearance. He also had two key passes and took care of the ball, completing all but two of his 29 passes for an excellent 93.1% success rate. His only cross was inaccurate, and one of his two long balls found their target. His versatility was useful once again for the Lions.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 6 — After serving a suspension for yellow card accumulation earlier this week, Cartagena picked up a red card as emotions ran high in stoppage time. It was a blemish on a pretty solid performance from the Peruvian. He led the Lions with six tackles and had a pair of clearances, doing some of the dirty work to prevent Cincinnati’s potent offense from picking up steam in the midfield. Although neither of his two long balls were accurate, he had a key pass and 38 passes at an 81.6% success rate. He’ll miss Orlando’s next match, but the Lions didn’t pay the price of his dismissal in this victory.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — The 22-year-old did what he does best, helping out in little ways all over the pitch. While Cartagena served as an enforcer of sorts, Araujo moved well off the ball to help his teammates play out of trouble. Araujo had 45 passes at a strong 86.7% success rate, connected on two of his three long balls, and chipped in defensively with a tackle, an interception, a clearance, and a blocked shot. He also attempted a shot within the first few minutes of the match, but it was blocked. Araujo had a golden opportunity to score in the first half when a corner kick found him nearly all alone at the far post, but he couldn’t get a true shot off. All in all, it was the kind of strong outing we’ve grown to expect from the Uruguayan.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 6 — Angulo returned to the starting lineup and was lively, taking on defenders and giving the Lions an attacking option when looking to heave the ball forward. Although none of his four crosses found their man, they were decent efforts and he completed his lone long ball of the match. Angulo played every minute of the match and his speed was helpful when covering ground to defend or get open, especially once the Lions were reduced to 10 men. Of his two shots, the first was sent wide of goal and the second was blocked by Matt Miazga. Angulo had three unstable touches and completed 76.2% of his 21 passes. While he could’ve been a bit more clinical with the ball at his feet, it was a decent performance from the winger.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6 — The captain had a fairly rough game (for him), with some heavy touches and poorly weighted passes costing the Lions some good opportunities. He completed 76.5% of his 51 passes, while completing one of his three crosses and two of his four long balls. Pereyra still contributed towards a goal though, sending Ramiro Enrique forward with tons of room to run in front of him in what ended up earning him his ninth assist of the season .Although he didn’t take a shot himself, he was credited with a key pass for teeing up a shot from distance for Araujo. Pereyra helped out defensively with a tackle and an interception as well.

MF, Facundo Torres, 7.5 (MotM) — The Uruguayan scored his 11th goal of the season to put the Lions in front before halftime. Torres was both patient and clinical when the ball found him in a perfect position in front of goal, slotting it between Ian Murphy’s legs and past Roman Celentano. He only had one other shot in his 81 minutes of action, sending it off target, but his movement off the ball opened up Orlando’s offense. Torres completed an impressive 90.3% of his passes, though only one of his four crosses was accurate and his lone long ball was unsuccessful. He did have a key pass as well, along with winning a team-high three fouls. Defensively, he helped out with two interceptions and a clearance. In a match where Pereyra wasn’t at his best and McGuire exited early, Torres came through to give Orlando a winner on the road.

F, Duncan McGuire, 5.5 — The rookie’s night was cut short in the first half, when a battle with Miazga for a ball left him with an injured shoulder. He made a few dangerous runs, but finished with just four touches, while completing three of his four passes. The forward did not receive much service while on the field, as the Lions didn’t cross too often and had a few miscues while building possession early on. Hopefully the injury isn’t too serious, as Orlando transferred Ercan Kara to Samsunspor this weekend.


F, Ramiro Enrique (33′), 6.5 — Enrique had to come on in the first half after McGuire’s injury and stepped up with a nice run and his first assist as a Lion. Pereyra freed him forward on a counter attack and he made a great cutback pass while sliding to keep the ball in play to find Torres open in the box. Of his three shots, two came in quick succession during corner kicks soon after he came on. His size made things difficult for him in the box, as he struggled to get enough on either shot from tough positions. Enrique’s other shot was an effort from outside the box that went wide of goal. He completed all but one of his 12 passes for a great 91.7% success rate and both of his long balls were successful. With Kara gone, Enrique will need to provide more moments like his assist moving forward.

MF, Martin Ojeda (67′), 5.5 — The Designated Player came on in the second half and helped Orlando close out the game. Although he didn’t have any defensive stats or give the Lions an insurance goal, Ojeda played a part in containing Cincinnati’s attacks on the right side of the defense by applying pressure. He had eight passes, completing five of them for a 62.5% rate, and finished with 14 touches. Although his three unstable touches were something that could’ve gotten better in his performance, Orlando was doing whatever it could to clear the danger rather than build attacks.

D, Kyle Smith (82′), N/A — Smith made another brief appearance off the bench, coming on for Santos at left back. He had two tackles and a clearance, doing his part in securing all three points on the road. Smith ended the game with seven touches and two passes, completing one. His only long ball of the game didn’t end up connecting with a teammate.

D, Michael Halliday (82′), N/A — Coming on for Thorhallsson, Halliday helped shore up the right back position before the game reached its conclusion. While he looked a bit nervy and needed backup at times, Halliday was fairly reliable when defending and had two tackles and three clearances. Only one of his four passes was accurate and none of his three long balls were successful, but it’s not worth looking too harshly at that considering the Lions were defending a lead and not sending players forward.

MF, Junior Urso (82′), N/A — The Bear came on for Torres to give Orlando some fresher legs and a little more bite in the midfield. He completed his only pass, had a clearance, and received a yellow card for a foul a fair distance from goal. With Cartagena set to miss the next game, we’ll see if Urso gets the start.

That’s how I saw each player’s performance in the huge road victory. It was a real team effort from Orlando, but be sure to vote for who you think deserves the title of Man of the Match. Let us know what you think in the comments below as well.


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