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Orlando City vs. New York Red Bulls: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions rate in Orlando City’s 1-1 draw at home against the New York Red Bulls?

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Orlando City salvaged a point at home against the New York Red Bulls, drawing them 1-1 in a match that Orlando may feel it should have done more in. A penalty in the first half gave New York the lead and the Lions had a majority of the possession to try to claw their way back into the match. 

Let’s take a look at how each Lion individually performed in this draw.

Starters

GK, Pedro Gallese, 6 — It was a decent, albeit mostly uneventful, game from the Peruvian goalkeeper. He guessed correctly on Lewis Morgan’s penalty kick, but it was well taken and beat him to the bottom right corner. He wasn’t called into action again until the second half, making his only save of the match by catching a header from Elias Manoel that had some pace on it. Manoel nearly scored again later in the match on a breakaway with only Gallese to beat, but Gallese came off his line and made himself wide, with Manoel’s shot going inches wide of the post. El Pulpo had 22 passes at a 77.3% success rate and completed four of his nine long balls, including a key pass out wide right after his save to create a chance for Duncan McGuire. 

D, Rafael Santos, 4 — After a better outing last weekend, the left back’s rough start to the season continued in this match. He was outright beaten by Dylan Nealis in the leadup to the penalty, and had a horrific turnover later in the first half that nearly led to another goal if not for Dennis Gjengaar sending his shot wide. He had no tackles, interceptions, or clearances and was a defensive liability for most of his time on the field. Offensively, he had a key pass, was successful on one of his two crosses, and completed one of his four long balls. Santos completed 84.2% of his 57 passes, but had multiple mistakes in this one before being subbed off in the 66th minute.

D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — The Lions may not have had a clean sheet, but they didn’t allow a goal in the run of play and Jansson was a major reason why. Orlando’s captain put out fires throughout the night and came up with a crucial blocked shot on an effort from Gjengaar that would’ve likely wound up in the net had Jansson not intervened. Of his team-high 14 long balls, nine found their target, and he completed a whopping 91% of his 89 passes. He may have only ended up with that blocked shot and a clearance, but he was patient and composed while anchoring Orlando’s defense. 

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6 — Schlegel’s performance was a bit overshadowed by his fellow center back, but it was a solid night from him regardless. He had two tackles, a clearance, and blocked a shot by getting in the way of Andres Reyes’s try from the top of the box. He did plenty of the defensive dirty work we’ve learned to expect from him, committing two fouls along the way, but he wasn’t booked and didn’t give the Red Bulls much room to work with. That being said, a heavy touch nearly led to disaster in the second half and he wasn’t able to clean up his own mess. Schlegel was accurate on all but two of his 61 passes for an excellent 96.7% rate, and his lone long ball was successful as well. The center back was subbed off in stoppage time for David Brekalo’s fresher legs. 

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6 — There were flashes of the electric player seen last week, although he didn’t have any key passes and neither of his two shots wound up on target. His first was blocked and the second bounced off the ground and into a dangerous area, but ultimately out of play. Still, Thorhallsson did well pushing the ball forward, whether that be through dribbling, making overlapping runs, or becoming an option to switch the run of play. He was successful on one of his two crosses, two of his four long balls, and 83% of his 47 passes. Defensively, he had two clearances and a tackle. While there were a few miscues, it was a solid outing as he continues to learn the right back position.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 7 (MotM) — Angulo gave the team needed energy from start to finish and played a key role in Orlando getting a result. Although he won’t be credited with an assist, Angulo whipped in a nice ball towards the near post that wound up with the ball in the net due to an own goal. He had two shots, with the first getting deflected before it could test Carlos Coronel and the second sailing into the stands near the end of the first half. The winger had 52 passes at an 88.5% success rate, although neither of his two crosses nor his single long ball was accurate. He earns Man of the Match honors due to his presence on the defensive side of things as well. He had two tackles and was relentless in chasing down New York players to win the ball back, doing just that multiple times. It wasn’t perfect, but Angulo did well on both sides of the ball and helped provide an answer on offense for Orlando to get a point.

MF, Nico Lodeiro, 6.5 — Lodeiro’s 121 touches led the Lions by a wide margin, as he played a deep role in the midfield and did well cycling the ball to Orlando’s other skill players. He had a team-high 98 passes, completing 88.8% of them, and connected on six of his seven long balls. The Uruguayan had a tough task breaking lines due to New York flooding the midfield and forcing the Lions wide, but he still had three key passes and provided good service from set pieces when not taking short corners. His three tackles were also the most on the team, and he contributed an interception as well. Despite his size, he also won three aerial duels. Only one of his six crosses was accurate and his only shot was blocked, but it was still a strong game from Lodeiro as he found ways to make an impact.

MF, Kyle Smith, 5.5 — Smith started as a defensive midfielder once again, filling in along the back line whenever Santos or Thorhallsson would surge forward. He conceded a penalty in the first half, fouling Lewis Morgan while challenging for a loose ball in the box. He was a bit inconsistent overall, but completed 92.6% of his 54 passes and all three of his long balls were accurate. He also won a foul in a great spot at the top of the box late in the match. However, he didn’t have any defensive stats, his only cross was inaccurate, and he just wasn’t as sharp as he could have been.

MF, Facundo Torres, 6 — The Designated Player didn’t have a shot, but did have three key passes and was fairly active on the left wing. The final ball was just never quite there for him, as the Red Bulls played more and more defensively as the game wore on and made an effort to limit Torres. He had 59 passes at an 86.4% success rate and connected on two of his four long balls, but just one of his six crosses was accurate. Torres also chipped in defensively with a tackle and an interception.

F, Luis Muriel, 6 — Muriel’s quality is obvious, especially when he is on the ball. In his 66 minutes on the field, he had 44 touches, was successful on three of his five dribbles, and made some nice runs. Neither of his two shots were on target, but his low shot from range didn’t miss by much. He had a key pass, completed 82.6% of his 23 passes, and his lone long ball was accurate. His single cross missed the mark though, and he had six unstable touches. Muriel also had a clearance for dealing with a corner kick. The 32-year-old is still adjusting to Oscar Pareja’s game plan and the habits of his teammates, and it showed at times when he was isolated or trying to pick out the right pass. But there was an overall feeling in this match that his breakout MLS game will happen sooner rather than later.

F, Duncan McGuire, 6.5 — Playing up top as Orlando’s target man, McGuire led the Lions with four shots and put two of them on target. Of the two that Coronel didn’t save, one was more of a flicked on header from a corner kick that earned another corner, and the other was blocked. The American’s best opportunity came in the second half, knocking the ball past Sean Nealis and winning the race to it. Unfortunately, his shot was no issue for Coronel to gather. He made some nice runs to try to get behind New York’s defense, but the Lions had a hard time providing him service. He completed 78.6% of his 14 passes, was fouled four times, and provided a pair of clearances in the defensive end. It was a physical match as McGuire dueled with New York’s tough defense, but he was up to the task and won two of his aerial duels.

Substitutes

MF, Wilder Cartagena (66’), 6 — The midfielder came on for Santos, but played centrally and rotated as needed to fill gaps in Orlando’s formation. Cartagena had 41 touches and 38 passes at an 86.8% success rate to stabilize things while Orlando raced for a result. Although he didn’t have any shots or key passes, Cartagena was accurate on two of his three long balls. It was a solid outing from the Peruvian after international duty.

MF, Martin Ojeda (66′), 6 — Ojeda may have only had 19 touches, but he was active in trying to create scoring chances for Orlando. His two shots were great chances, as the first was a free kick that forced a save from Coronel and the second was a volleyed effort in the box that went into the night sky. He completed all but one of his 10 passes and was accurate on his one long ball. All five of his crosses were unsuccessful and he didn’t have a key pass, but he was right in the thick of things to get Orlando back into the match. 

F, Jack Lynn (82’), 6 — A week after scoring his first MLS goal, Lynn came off the bench and played a part in Orlando’s goal this time as well. It’s up for debate how much his attempted backheel led to the own goal, but it’s clear that his run to the near post was a great one to sneak between New York’s defenders. It was the kind of constructive chaos you want from a late substitute and he’s continuing to impress with the minutes he’s been given at this level.

MF, Cesar Araujo (82’), 6 — The Uruguayan made his return from injury and was fairly active in his short time on the field. Araujo wasn’t officially credited with a key pass, but his pass into space to spring Angulo forward in the lead-up to Orlando’s goal deserves recognition. He had 25 touches and only one of his 25 passes missed the mark for an excellent 95.5% success rate. Both of his long balls were accurate as well. His only shot came from outside the box and went over the crossbar. All in all, it was a great game from Araujo as he works his way back.


That’s how I saw things in Orlando City’s 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls. Many Lions had strong showings, so let us know what you thought of their performances and make sure to vote on your Man of the Match below.

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Three Keys to Victory

What does Orlando City need to do to earn all three points at home against the Crew?

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City earned seven points during a three-match stretch over eight days. Now the Lions will look to keep things rolling against the Columbus Crew this Saturday night at Inter&Co Stadium. The Crew are currently sitting in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 21 points compared to Orlando City in 10th with 16 points.

What do the Lions need to do to get a victory at home against the Crew?

Switch Focus

Orlando City has lucked out because Columbus striker Cucho Hernández will not play, as he is nursing a back injury. Hernández has often been a thorn in Orlando’s side when the clubs play, so his absence is definitely good news. However, that doesn’t mean that the defense can relax. The Crew still have a potent attack with players like Diego Rossi, Jacen Russell-Rowe, Aidan Morris, and others. Columbus has scored 19 goals so far this season, which is four more than Orlando’s 15. I think it is likely that Oscar Pareja will stick with the 3-5-2 formation, meaning the pressure will be on the back three of David Brekalo, Wilder Cartagena, and Rodrigo Schlegel.

Goals Needed

Orlando City left it late against San Jose before Jack Lynn scored in the 89th minute to give the Lions a victory. That’s not to say there weren’t wasted chances — because there were — but it was enough that night. It likely won’t be enough against Columbus. We don’t know the status of Duncan McGuire’s injury as of this writing, but I would be surprised to see him in the lineup, let alone getting the start. That means we will likely see Jack Lynn alongside Luis Muriel up top. Lynn is no McGuire, but he is able to get into good spaces in the box and has a nose for goal. Another goal from him or Muriel could make a big difference.

Scheduling Factors

I’m not saying that Wilfried Nancy will be looking ahead to the Concacaf Champions Cup final against Pachuca the following week, but a trophy is a trophy, and it could impact who he plays and for how long. He might be keeping Hernández out for precautionary reasons to allow him time to be ready for the final. It’s possible that he risks points against Orlando City in pursuit of hardware. Pareja doesn’t have it any easier with Orlando City playing a midweek match at the Chicago Fire next Wednesday before heading to New Jersey for a match against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, June 1. May has been brutal for the Lions, and though the team has made the most of it so far, it doesn’t get any easier. How much will rotation affect Orlando’s ability to get all three points?


That is what I will be looking for Saturday night. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/23/24

Orlando Pride prepare for the Portland Thorns, Pride Brazilian trio called up, Atalanta wins Europa League, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope this Thursday finds you well as we all get ready for a busy next few days of Orlando soccer to enjoy. It’s been a fairly busy couple of days for me, and I plan on knocking out a few errands before enjoying the upcoming matches. Until then, let’s enjoy today’s links!

Pride Prepare to Host the Portland Thorns

The Orlando Pride have a huge home game against the Portland Thorns tomorrow night. It will be a clash of win streaks, as the Pride have won their past seven games and the Thorns have won their last six. Pride Head Coach Seb Hines is well aware that Portland is a formidable foe with talented players such as Sophia Smith, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Sam Coffey. He spoke on how tomorrow will be a challenge, as well as how playing at home will give the Pride a boost during the game.

Pride Trio Called Up by Brazil

The Pride’s Marta, Rafaelle, and Adriana were all called up for Brazil’s pair of friendlies against Jamaica in Brazil on June 1 and June 4.

These matches will help Brazil prepare for a tough group in the Olympics against Spain, Japan, and Nigeria. Angelina, who featured for Brazil during the SheBelieves Cup, was not called up due to an injury sustained while with the Pride. Although these games will take place during an international break, the Pride do have a road game against the San Diego Wave on June 7, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Hines gives them some rest for that match.

Assessing Emma Hayes’ Time With Chelsea

It felt like forever ago that it was announced Chelsea’s Emma Hayes would leave the club to replace Vlatko Andonovski and coach the USWNT. A great article by ESPN broke down what USWNT fans can learn from her time with Chelsea, including how she’s dealt with the adversity she’s faced both on and off the field. Her impending exit put a spotlight on Chelsea’s season, and she still managed to secure the league title despite the pressure. Chelsea also announced that five members of the coaching staff will leave the club to join Hayes at the USWNT. It’s a new era for the USWNT, and Hayes brings plenty of experience and leadership to the position.

Atalanta Crushes Leverkusen to Win Europa League

Italian club Atalanta lifted the Europa League trophy after a 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in Dublin. The day belonged to Nigerian winger Ademola Lookman, who scored a hat trick that included this stunner that doubled Atalanta’s lead in the first half.

It’s Atalanta’s second trophy in club history, and first in 61 years. It’s also the first trophy for manager Gian Piero Gasperini after coaching in Italy for 30 years. This result snapped Leverkusen’s remarkable unbeaten streak at 51 games, and ended the club’s bid at a treble. Bayer Leverkusen will aim to bounce back Saturday when it plays FC Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City President of Business Operations Jarrod Dillon has issued a challenge to Orlando City fans for the upcoming trio of Orlando soccer home games, so it may be worth your while to get tickets for the Lions, Pride, and OCB this weekend.
  • Pride forward Amanda Allen placed 16th in ESPN‘s rankings of the 17 teenagers currently playing in the National Women’s Soccer League (the author deemed it unfair to assess Milly Clegg without seeing her on the field more). Allen mostly just hasn’t had much playing time, but that could change over the summer.
  • Former Pride player Camille Ashton (known as Cami Levin when she played in the Pride midfield in 2016 and 2017) has resigned as the general manager of the Kansas City Current.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and rest of your week.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/22/24

Lions and Pride reflect on victories, Christian Pulisic’s Serie A recognition, the USWNT roster drops, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. I know that a lot of you are Orlando Pride supporters as well as Orlando City supporters, but for those of you who aren’t, you are really missing out. Superstar players, undefeated, top of the table, and this team hasn’t even played up to its potential yet. Seriously, you need to get out to a match if you can. For now, let’s get to the links.

Talking About Orlando City

You can tell Oscar Pareja loves his players. He is the type of coach that nearly always has only good things to say regardless of the result. Of course, when the club gets a win on the road in the third match in eight days, thanks to the fourth striker on the depth chart. Jack Lynn takes a professional approach to being the backup and prepares to play in every match. It’s also nice when he scores a match-winning goal.

So how did the MLSsoccer.com power rankings treat the Lions for the road victory? Orlando City moved up three spots to 19, thanks to earning seven points in the last three matches. That’s better than the ESPN rankings we shared yesterday. ESPN also had the Lions at 19 but dropped them a spot in doing so.

Seb and Sams Speak

The Orlando Pride have a chance this Friday to set an NWSL win streak record in the match against the Portland Thorns, but first Seb Hines, Rafaelle, and Emily Sams reflected on the win against the Seattle Reign. Hines was rightly happy with the result but said he still feels his team has room to improve. I agree with him, despite the Pride being on top of the table and undefeated.

Rafaelle felt the victory showed the team how much mental fortitude the Pride have to be able to secure the road win. She also thinks that being at home with a chance to break the win streak record will make the team work that much harder. Sams reflected on her first NWSL goal but said she just wants to focus on getting three points each match.

Pulisic and Wright Shine

Christian Pulisic’s year keeps getting better. He had such a a good season for AC Milan that he has been named a finalist for Serie A Midfielder of the Year. The other finalists are Inter Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu and Atalanta’s Teun Koopmeiners. Pulisic has 19 goal contributions in 35 appearances for AC Milan.

The USMNT’s pre-Copa America roster dropped Monday, and it looks like Haji Wright will potentially see some action at winger for Gregg Berhalter. The move provides some needed depth at the position and may give Wright more playing time. Of course, Wright and Pulisic aren’t the only players of interest. You can check out a breakdown of the players called up here.

Hayes’ First USWNT Roster Announced

The Olympics are rapidly approaching and new USWNT Head Coach Emma Hayes has announced the 23-player roster for the final two matches against South Korea before the final Olympic roster is named. There are a mix of veteran and younger players in the group. Notably, there are 19 players who won the SheBelieves Cup back in April. It also sees the return of Rose Lavelle, who missed the SheBelieves Cup due to injury. While not altogether surprising, it is still disappointing on one level for Pride fans that Emily Sams didn’t get a call-up.

Free Kicks

  • Congratulations to Orlando Pride midfielder Ally Lemos on her call-up to the USWNT U-20s for the matches against the Korea Republic.
  • Philadelphia Union keeper Andre Blake has reportedly signed a new longterm contract with the club.
  • The USMNT U-15 squad defeated Japan to take first place in the Vlatko Markovic Tournament. Congratulations to the young Yanks.
  • Bayer Leverkusen will play in two cup finals in four days, starting with today’s Europa League championship against Atalanta. The second final is for the German Cup this Saturday against Kaiserslautern.
  • Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea have parted ways after only one season. Potchettino’s departure was mutually agreed upon. The coaching carousel continues.
  • Emanuel Reynoso from Minnesota United is reportedly headed to Liga MX side Club Tijuana.

That will do it for today. Check back as we get you ready for the matches this weekend. Vamos Orlando!

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