Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Nashville SC: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions rate in Orlando City’s 1-0 win over Nashville SC up in the Music City?



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City is on to the Eastern Conference semifinals! Another 1-0 win over Nashville SC was enough to get the job done, as Ivan Angulo scored early and the Lions controlled the game the rest of the way. The game won’t win any awards for being high octane, but no one will be complaining about a professional performance against a very difficult team. What follows are my player ratings for OCSC’s Game 2 win up in Tennessee.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — It was a relatively calm night for El Pulpo, as he recorded his third shutout against Nashville in his last three tries. He made four saves, controlled his box well, and drew a couple of fouls that helped slow the game down, preventing Nashville from getting into a good rhythm. He completed nine of his 27 long balls, and while his 50% overall passing accuracy wasn’t great, for much of the game he was just lumping the ball down the field to help the defense clear its lines.

D, Rafael Santos, 5.5 — The left back didn’t find himself as involved offensively as he’s been at times this year, but that’s not altogether surprising, given that the Lions took an early lead and didn’t necessarily need to bomb forward. Still, he completed the one dribble that he attempted, although his 65% passing accuracy left a lot to be desired, and then some. Defensively, he chipped in a whopping six clearances, which were the second most on the team, and did a very good job of containing Fafa Picault down the left hand side. He picked up a yellow card which was a blemish on his night, but it was a solid outing overall.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 7.5 (MotM) Rodrigo was immense in this game, as he has been for much of the year when deputizing for Antonio Carlos. His 41% passing accuracy was downright ugly but that just wasn’t what he was on the field to do. He is there to be a rock defensively and that’s exactly what happened. He had a tackle, an interception, won a team-high five aerials, and had an absurd 11 clearances. He seemed to find his way to every ball and even won two fouls, although he also picked up a yellow card, which was basically the only thing he did wrong all night. He also got under several Nashville players’ skin, making them think about him rather than the game.

D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 Jansson was his typically steady self during this one. He had one shaky moment in the first half when he and Gallese had a mixup that resulted in Hany Mukhtar putting the ball in the back of the net, but the offside flag saved any potential blushes. He won two aerial duels, had three clearances, and drew two fouls while passing with 78% accuracy and connecting on four long balls. He and the rest of the defense will be very satisfied with yet another clean sheet.

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6 Thorhallsson found himself getting forward a little more than Santos on the other side of the back line. He completed a dribble, put one shot on target that was blocked, and had an 83% passing rate. He did the work defensively too, as he won two aerial duels, made one tackle, and had two clearances. He did commit two fouls, but kept his nose clean and avoided picking up any bookings for them.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 6.5 Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Cartagena had a very good game. He was a constant and reliably tough presence in the midfield, something that we’ve long since become accustomed to seeing. The stats back that up, as he won an aerial duel, had a team-high six tackles, one clearance, and one interception. He passed with 78% accuracy, and took one shot from the top of the box on the volley, which he missed, but not by a lot. He also committed two fouls and picked up a yellow card. Still, it was a night that he should be plenty proud of.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 7 Araujo and Cartagena are just plain formidable. As good of a game as Cartagena had, Araujo’s may have been a touch above. He also played a great defensive game with four tackles, a clearance, a block, and two won aerial duels. He carried more of a threat going forward than we’re often used to seeing, and that’s what gets him a slightly higher rating. Cesar passed the ball with 90% accuracy, and played two key passes and four successful long balls on four attempts. He also drew three fouls while not committing any of his own, something that was very good to see from a player who’s struggled with bookings at times.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 7.5 Aside from the obvious point of scoring a goal, Angulo had a very good game. He took four shots, putting three on target and having the remaining one blocked, and it took a strong save from Joe Willis to deny him a brace in the first half. Aside from that, he passed with 91% accuracy, provided two key passes and completed a dribble when it came to attacking contributions. He also popped up on defense several times, and had an interception and a tackle.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6 The captain was involved in a lot of Orlando’s play during the time that he was on the field. He did a particularly good job of finding the spaces of the Nashville defense and getting onto the ball to orchestrate things in the attacking half. He took two shots, one of which was blocked and the other off target. He passed the ball with 86% accuracy, contributed two key passes, and completed a successful dribble. He wasn’t quite able to find the pass to fully break open the home side, but that’s been the case for more than one player against Nashville over the years. If there was a knock on his evening it was that he was caught from behind in possession a couple of times when he had plenty of time and space to release the ball to an open teammate.

MF, Facundo Torres, 6 Facu didn’t have his best game in an Orlando shirt, but it wasn’t a horrible night from him. The good things include 90% passing accuracy, a completed cross, a completed long ball (on two attempts), four key passes, and three shots. He only put one of those three on target though, and his reluctance to use his right foot remains a sticky wicket in his game offensively — although he did take one of his shots with his right. Still, had Angulo’s finishing been better, he likely would have picked up an assist and he still found ways to be involved when he wasn’t at his best.

F, Duncan McGuire, 6 Like Facu, Duncan didn’t have his most potent offensive game. He only took one shot on the night and had it blocked, and also committed one foul. That being said, he made two tackles, drew two fouls, and played three key passes, while passing with 83% accuracy and winning one aerial duel. He hasn’t been as offensively involved as he’s capable of in the playoffs to this point, but that just means that he’s due for a big game.


MF, Junior Urso (68’), 6 Urso entered the fray to replace Angulo with just over 20 minutes left in the game. He didn’t record any defensive stats but was pretty active on offense during his short time on the field. He passed with 95% accuracy, took two shots, both of which were off target, and completed a pair of dribbles. One of those dribbles was a fantastic run through the Nashville defense, and only a last-gasp challenge by Sean Davis prevented what almost certainly would have been a goal for The Bear. Overall, it was a nice body of work in a brief appearance.

MF, Martin Ojeda (68’), 6 Ojeda subbed on for Mauricio Pereyra and helped to close the game out while still giving Orlando some threat going forward. He took two shots, one of which was a positively wicked drive from distance that Joe Willis was able to fight off, but he didn’t record any other stats besides his 84% passing accuracy.

D, Kyle Smith (72′), 6 — Smith is so often Mr. Reliable for this team, and that’s what he was in a brief substitute appearance. He passed at an 80% clip and chipped in with one tackle, but a lot of the work that he did to help close the game down and run out the clock won’t show up on the box score, and he didn’t put a foot wrong.

D, Antonio Carlos (80′), N/A Carlos was brought on with 10 minutes left to play as Oscar Pareja moved to a back five to shut up shop and secure the result. He won two aerial duels but didn’t record any other stats as he helped provide a steady presence at the back to see out the game. His presence also allowed Schlegel to range out and provide help in the defensive midfield or out wide to the left, preventing Nashville from creating much in the dying minutes.

F, Ramiro Enrique (80′), N/A Ramiro came on for Duncan McGuire to provide a speedy release valve up front as the Lions went more defensive to end the game. He connected on two of his three passes for 66% accuracy, provided a key pass, won an aerial duel, and drew a foul while committing one of his own.

That’s how I saw the individual performances in this game. It might not have been the flashiest win either statistically or on the scoreboard, but it was a game that Orlando was in pretty comfortable control of from start to finish. How did you see the performances in this one? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and to vote for your Man of the Match. Vamos Orlando!


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