Orlando City's season is over, as is the five-game winning streak the club took to Philadelphia with them. They return empty-handed and it's no consolation that the Lions didn't get the result they needed from New York City FC game either.
The Lions turned in a rather tame performance, weathering the typical early storm but never responding with any biting attack of their own. A frustrating evening of officiating couldn't have helped, but the fact is Orlando City wasn't good enough on this night and somehow failed to register a single goal in two meetings with one of the league's worst defensive teams. No one else has had any trouble scoring against the Philadelphia Union but for some reason Orlando could not find the net.
Chris Penso's officiating was, well, interesting at times. For example, who gives two minutes of stoppage in a second half that saw Fabinho lay on the pitch injured for about four minutes in the final 10 minutes of the match? Penso came in with a reputation for being quick to go to the pocket, and was giving a red card every three matches. But I don't think anyone saw eight yellows, a sending off and a penalty all being piled on Orlando's dinner plate of woes.
"I was disappointed with the sending off, disappointed at some of the things we did, some of it was a bit silly," said Head Coach Adrian Heath after the match. "I'm at a loss about the referee's performance. I really am. I'm at a loss with it. I don't want to say anymore, I don't want to say anything about him."
That's probably smart because Don Garber is quick to issue those fines if you dare criticize those beyond-reproach PRO referees.
Here are my player grades from a really stupid game that should never be spoken of again:
GK, Josh Ford, 8.5 (MOTM) - Making his first MLS start, Ford was outstanding. He came up with several big stops early, including a pair of early back-to-back saves and a tap to push a shot off the right post. He did a nice job cutting off crosses and with his general positioning all night. He couldn't do much about the penalty in the 41st minute and deserved a better fate than a 1-0 loss in his first league start.
D, Luke Boden, 7 - A good, solid outing for Bodz, but nothing too spectacular. Got forward when he could and his crosses were decent but nothing really stood out as exceptional. His corner in first-half stoppage time was plenty dangerous, but the deflection it took went straight to Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake.
D, Aurelien Collin, 8 - Solid night for the big Frenchman, who did well in the air, per usual. Just about had a goal in the 37th minute off a corner kick but the whistle blew as the ball went in due to Seb Hines colliding with Blake. Made a few vital challenges in the box and was his usual stalwart self.
D, Seb Hines, 8 - Good night for Seb, who worked his tail off. Did bump the keeper which may have cost the team a goal, but it wasn't intentional, as he was attacking the ball in the air. Got a bit out of position a few times but always seemed able to make up for it. Along with Collin, Hines did a good job of defending crosses and corners. Won a game-high six aerials. The team didn't play well as a whole, but the center backs had a good night overall.
D, Brek Shea, 6 - Shoehorned into the right back slot once too often, apparently. Shea never looked comfortable crossing the ball with his weaker foot and was eventually replaced by Rafael Ramos, moving forward to take Adrian Winter's spot at midfield for awhile. He got caught forward a few times and was forced into a jersey tug that earned him a yellow card. Just generally never affected the game from right back or midfield and was subbed off in the 75th minute.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 5.5 - Higuita drew five Philadelphia fouls. Unfortunately, he committed six of his own, two of which drew yellow cards. He was also responsible for the foul in the box that resulted in Sebastien Le Toux's penalty, and, therefore, the only goal of the game. It was just a little nudge, but it was also unnecessary. All the breakup play and solid passing in the world means nothing if you can't stay on the pitch or allow the other team scoring opportunities.
MF, Darwin Ceren, 6.5 - Wasn't quite as sharp as his normal self on this night. Completed 87.5% of his passes and provided two accurate crosses and six of eight accurate long balls, with a team-high 62 passes. That part was fine, but he seemed a bit off with his positioning or a step slow on this night and that led to six fouls committed and one of Orlando City's eight yellow cards. Didn't draw a single foul or take any shots.
MF, Carlos Rivas, 6 - The Colombian didn't have one of his best nights. Only one of his seven crosses was accurate and he continually was careless in his passing, knocking the ball off opponents' shins time after time. Completed just 69% of his passes. Only one of his four shots was on target and that one went straight at the goalkeeper on a chance he really should have buried. Did have two key passes but wasn't his usual dangerous self, drawing only one foul.
MF, Kaká, 6.5 - The captain didn't get a lot of help on this night. He was sometimes playing chess while his teammates played checkers, not giving him the right movement he either expected or wanted. Hit 84% of his passes and a shot on target, but had trouble getting the ball in dangerous areas.
MF, Adrian Winter, 5.5 - Had one shot on target, one cross and one key pass. The Swiss had a low passing rate (66.7%) and stayed behind Kaká on a counter attack, earning a scolding from the Brazilian for not using his movement to open up space. Ironically, he did end up getting his shot on goal out of that sequence. Disappeared for stretches and was subbed off in the 61st when Ramos came in at right back, bumping Shea up to the midfield.
F, Cyle Larin, 6 - A quiet night for the Canadian international, who tallied one shot, but it wasn't on frame. He made only 19 passes on the evening, his first touch was a tad heavy at times, and he had trouble in hold-up play. While it's true he didn't get a lot of help and was often isolated, and that he didn't get the service off the wings that he's gotten in recent weeks, this is one of those matches where you remember that for all the good Kid Fantastic did this season, he was still playing in his rookie season. I can't say why Bryan Rochez wasn't in the 18, but his absence (muscle strain) was missed, as there was no clear like-for-like substitute available.
D, Rafael Ramos (61'), 6 - Rafa's insertion into the game changed the dynamic immediately but the Lions couldn't take an advantage. Made two key passes and completed 88.2% of his passes, but also earned a yellow card with his petulance after being called for a foul. It was a frustrating night for everyone and it wasn't the only challenge Orlando City got whistled for that didn't appear to be a foul, but by now he should know by now to keep his anger in check.
F, Pedro Ribeiroz (75'), 7.5 - Came on for Shea and did some good things. Completed all eight of his passes and did well with the ball in tight spaces. Got two shots off, with one forcing a good save from Blake. Generally made the most of his 15 minutes, plus the two paltry minutes of stoppage time that Chris Penso allowed.
Those are my player ratings. Vote below for your Orlando City Man of the Match.