Orlando City

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

How did Orlando City’s players do individually in their 2-0 win over Toronto FC?



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City ended the 2023 MLS regular season with a 2-0 win away to Toronto FC. Oscar Pareja made several changes to the team, providing rest for some regular starters. But the Lions took over when he brought on Duncan McGuire, who netted a brace in his 29 minutes on the field. The team ends the season with a club-record 63 points, just six behind FC Cincinnati for the Supporters Shield.

Here’s how I saw the individual performances for the Lions in this win.


GK, Mason Stajduhar, 7 — With Pedro Gallese returning from international duty, Stajduhar got his first start since June 21. There wasn’t a lot to do for the backup goalkeeper, but he did well to earn a clean sheet. His most memorable moment was in the 59th minute, when he jumped off his line to beat Cristian Gutierrez to the ball, keeping the game scoreless. He faced three shots, saving all of them, punched one shot away, and assisted on McGuire’s opening goal.

D, Luca Petrasso, 5.5 — Petrasso got the start over Rafael Santos and recorded two tackles, one interception, and one block defensively. In the attack, the left back completed 74.4% of his 39 passes, none of his three long balls, and had one incomplete cross. His 52 touches were far more than Michael Halliday on the other side, and he was dispossessed once in 70 minutes before being replaced by Kyle Smith.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6 — Schlegel started his 11th consecutive game and was sturdy for most of it. He had a scary moment in the 28th minute when he whiffed on a cross, but wasn’t punished. His 57 touches on the night tied for second on the team. He had one tackle, two interceptions, two clearances, and one blocked shot defensively, completed 91.5% of his 47 passes, and completed one of his four long balls before being replaced by Robin Jansson in the 78th minute.

D, Antonio Carlos, 7 — If not for McGuire’s second-half brace, Carlos would’ve been Man of the Match. The center back was excellent in his first start since Aug. 2, with three interceptions, one clearance, and one block, and he was often involved with 57 touches. In the 52nd minute, his quick movement caught Prince Osei Owusu offside and his sliding block in the 62nd minute kept Toronto from scoring. Going forward, Carlos completed 87.8% of his 49 passes and five of his eight long balls. He also recorded a shot on a header, but it was right to Sean Johnson.

D, Mikey Halliday, 5.5 — Halliday started at right back and had only 37 touches, 15 fewer than Petrasso. He completed 70.8% of his 24 passes and didn’t connect on his two crosses, but found teammates on two of his three long balls. Defensively, Halliday recorded one tackle and four clearances in 90 minutes.

MF, Felipe, 6 — Felipe got the start in place of Wilder Cartagena, who was away with Peru on international duty this week. The Brazilian recorded 46 touches, completed 92.1% of his 38 passes, and connected on four of his five long balls. He won two tackles on defense and took one shot that was blocked in front. It was a solid night for the midfielder before he was replaced by Mauricio Pereyra in the 61st minute.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6 — It was a typical solid night for Araujo, who was active with a team-high 60 touches. Defensively, he recorded three tackles, two interceptions, and a clearance. His passing wasn’t as accurate as Orlando City fans have become accustomed to, completing 80.4% of his 46 attempts and three of his eight long balls. But he wasn’t dispossessed in the game, maintaining possession in the center of the field.

MF, Gaston Gonzalez, 5 — Gonzalez started the game instead of Ivan Angulo, playing 61 minutes before being replaced by the regular starter. However, while Angulo is often involved in play, Gonzalez only had 26 touches. He completed 77.8% of only nine passes, one of two crosses, and neither of his two long balls. He also contributed defensively, recording one tackle, two interceptions, and a clearance.

MF, Martin Ojeda, 6 — In a Designated Player swap, Ojeda started in place of Facundo Torres for this game. He did well in his 90 minutes, completing 73.9% of his 23 passes, and a team-high two key passes. He connected on his lone cross and on three of his six long balls. He took one shot, but it was blocked. Defensively, Ojeda added one tackle and a team-high four interceptions.

MF, Junior Urso, 5.5 — Junior Urso got his second start since rejoining Orlando City earlier this season. He had 41 touches, completed 80% of his 30 passes, and was 0-for-2 on long balls. He had one tackle defensively and won an aerial duel, but did little else in his 90 minutes.

F, Ramiro Enrique, 5.5 — Enrique got the start up top as McGuire returned from competing with the U.S. U-23 National Team. The Argentine attacker wasn’t very involved in play, only recording 14 touches in 61 minutes. He completed 57.1% of his seven passes and his only long ball. However, he didn’t take any shots in just over half an hour on the field. Probably his most surprising statistic was winning a team-high four aerial duels despite being one of the smallest players on the field.


MF, Ivan Angulo (61’), 5.5 — Angulo was one of the three subs Pareja made in the 61st minute that changed the game. However, he didn’t make much of an impact in this one, only touching the ball 12 times. He completed all of his seven passes, but didn’t connect on his one cross attempt.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra (61’), 6 — While Pereyra’s 19 touches weren’t much more than Angulo’s, he was more involved in play. He completed 82.4% of his 17 passes, but didn’t connect on his one long ball. He also won one aerial duel on the night.

F, Duncan McGuire (61’), 8 (MotM) — McGuire entered the game for Enrique in the 61st minute and completely took over. He used two excellent touches in the 63rd minute to turn Michael Bradley and sent a rocket past Johnson to open the scoring. He then put the game away in the 74th minute when Kyle Smith sent him behind the Toronto back line. The striker only had eight touches, but did about as much as you possibly could with them. He converted 75% of his four passes and scored a brace on his only two shots. It was a remarkable performance in only 29 minutes.

D, Kyle Smith (70’), 6.5 — Smith replaced Petrasso in the 70th minute and, like McGuire, made the most of his time on the field. The defender recorded two tackles and an interception, but it was the attack where he was most effective. He completed 86.7% of his 15 passes and sent a beautiful ball behind the back line in the 74th minute, putting McGuire on goal and sealing the game.

D, Robin Jansson (78’), 6 — Coming on for Schlegel in the 78th minute to help see out the game, Jansson did his job well. The center back recorded two clearances, completed seven of his 10 passes, and connected on one of his two long balls.

That’s how I saw the Orlando City players in a great way to end the 2023 regular season. They’ll now take this momentum into the playoffs, where they’ll face Nashville SC. Let me know how you saw this game and don’t forget to vote for your Man of the Match.


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