Orlando City was missing seven international players, but in the end, it was two Brazilians who earned the Lions a point on the road.
Orlando City came out in an unusual 5-2-2-1 formation, and the unfamiliarity showed in the opening half hour. The Impact got on the board early in the 13th minute when Orlando conceded a penalty kick, and they doubled their lead in the 27th on a Jack McInerney chip.
The rough start seemed to wake up the Lions though, who scored two in quick succession to draw even with the Impact before the half. Pedro Ribeiro's 29th-minute strike opened the Lions' account, and Kaká followed it up a minute later with a goal of his own. The game slowed down in the second 45 minutes, and Orlando wisely seemed content to hold on for the point on the road.
Kaká and Pedro Ribeiro were the goal scorers for Orlando, but it was the younger of the two Brazilians who truly excelled in the match. Read on to see how we rated the team's performance.
G, Donovan Ricketts, 5.0 -- Easily Ricketts' worst performance of the season. He was at least partially culpable on both Montreal goals. He guessed correctly on the PK but failed to get a solid hand on the ball to push it wide. On the second, he was caught in no-man's land, and McInerney was able to chip the Jamaican to turn a one-on-four break into a goal.
D, Luke Boden, 6.0 -- A fairly quiet night for the veteran USL defender, though his crossing did provide a significant improvement over Brek Shea. If we can't find a place for him in the starting XI, can he at least give Shea some crossing lessons in practice?
D, Seb Hines, 6.5 -- Hines was solid again on the night, though he did occasionally find himself out of position defensively. He got forward well though, and his distribution was the best of the three center backs.
D, Sean St. Ledger, 4.5 -- The five-man back line was a tough ask for all involved, but St. Ledger in particular seemed to struggle. The penalty kick was certainly an accident, but there's no reason for his arms to be up in the air like that in the box. He was more culpable on the second goal however, as his lack of hustle was inexplicable.
D, Aurelien Collin, 7.5 -- The Frenchman looked to have finally regained his form tonight! He found himself as the last defender on multiple occasions, but his well-timed tackles were enough to halt the Impact attack. The veteran adjusted well to the five defender formation.
D, Tyler Turner, 6.0 -- A solid debut for the Lions' rookie fullback. He was a bit out of control at times, but he also got forward well on occasion and played hard for a full 90 minutes in an unfamiliar position. Most importantly, he didn't do anything to make me feel uncomfortable about him starting another match for Orlando.
M, Amobi Okugo, 5.0 -- This was Okugo's worst match of the season for Orlando, though he did get things under control in the second half. The Lions have come to rely on Amobi's communication and coolness in the midfield, and the first 30 minutes of this one made it clear just how important his role is.
M, Eric Avila, 5.0 -- It was a big ask for Avila to step into an unfamiliar role in the central midfield, so all things considered it was a solid performance. The lack of familiarity with Okugo clearly showed at times on the defensive end, though Avila was able to get involved offensively on occasion.
M, Kaká, 7.5 -- The captain didn't quite exert his will on the game, and Montreal looked to rough him up at every opportunity. Still, how do you argue with a goal and an assist? Given the poor turf and unfamiliar lineup, I'll gladly settle for a couple moments of brilliance from the Brazilian.
M, Pedro Ribeiro, 8.0 (Man of the Match) -- The only question now is how do we get this guy in the starting lineup when everyone comes back? He looked incredibly comfortable in the attacking midfield role today next to Kaká, but there's only one central spot in Heath's standard 4-2-3-1. Is a formation change in order? Regardless, this was a man of the match-level performance for Ribeiro.
F, Danny Mwanga, 4.5 -- A fairly invisible 66 minutes for Mwanga, which is no huge surprise given his position on the Orlando City depth chart. He only earned the start due to the absence of Rivas, Larin, Molino, and Neal. To be fair, his intelligent run did draw the defense to open up Kaká on the first Orlando goal.
F, Bryan Rochez, 5.0 -- Different forward, same result. It seems that no matter the formation or the player, Coach Heath has yet to be able to get much out of his strikers so far. Rochez pressured well, and did force Nigel Reo-Coker into a yellow card challenge in the 74th.
Thoughts on the match? Do you agree with our grades? As always, let us know in the comment section!