clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Player Grades and Man of the Match

New, 4 comments

The Lions defeated new nemesis Columbus Crew 2-0 in the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to move on to the tournament quarterfinals against the Chicago Fire. Here are The Mane Land's player grades and man of the match.

Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

Columbus Crew SC didn't bring its A-team to the Citrus Bowl on Tuesday night for the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup, and Orlando City made them pay with a commanding 2-0 home win.

Kaká opened up the scoring for the Lions early, slotting home a sitter via midfielder Darwin Ceren in the 21st minute. It was his ninth goal in all competitions this year for Orlando, and yet another from the run of play.

Just over a dozen minutes later, it was Carlos Rivas who laid the hammer down on Columbus. Pedro Ribeiro fought off three defenders at the top of the box, and the ball eventually bounced out to an open Rivas, who launched an absolute scorcher into the top of the goal from 25 yards.

Ceren rebounded from a tough night last week to put together one of his best performances of the year, and midfield partner Cristian Higuita pestered the Crew throughout the evening. Here are our player grades for Orlando's Open Cup win.

Player Grades

G, Tally Hall, 7 -- Was asked to do very little for the most part. Only made two saves on the night, but did come up big on Romain Gall's point-blank chance in the 51st minute.

D, Luke Boden, 5.5 -- Bodz has been perhaps Orlando City's most important player in the month of June, but today was an off-night for the English fullback. His crosses weren't quite right all night, and he was bailed out by Seb Hines on defense in the 39th minute.

D, Sean St. Ledger, 8 -- For the second time this season, Orlando City may have a non-goalkeeper candidate for Save of the Week. With Tally Hall totally beaten, Kristinn Steindórsson looked set to curl the ball in and bring the Crew back within one just before the half. St. Ledger was having none of it though, and backtracked to head the ball off the line as he careened at full speed into his own net. He also made a nice sliding block in the 41st minute, to save two potential Crew goals on the night.

D, Seb Hines, 7.5 -- Another quietly solid night for Hines, who's established himself as the Lions' rock in defense. Few, if any, errors, and he flawlessly stamped out a 2-on-1 Columbus break in the 51st minute.

D, Rafael Ramos, 5.5 -- An oddly quiet night for both of Orlando City's fullbacks. Did set Pedro Ribeiro up with a nice cross in at 70', but was mostly quiet other than that. As usual, was still hustling and playing defense through the final whistle.

MF, Darwin Ceren, 8 (MOTM) -- After an off-game this weekend, Ceren rebounded in a big way against the Crew. Earned the assist on Kaká's goal, and it was his steal off the goal kick that set it up in the first place. Relentless effort on defense all night, and was more involved on offense against a weaker Crew side.

MF, Cristian Higuita, 6.5 -- Another relentless, high-energy performance from the young Colombian. He badgered the Crew midfielders all night, and clearly got under their skin early in the match. Still tends to spend a frustrating amount of time on the  ground, and he wasn't often involved in the Orlando attack.

MF, Carlos Rivas, 7 -- Didn't quite have the same massive impact he had as a substitute against Colorado over the weekend, but still played a good game and earned his first goal for Orlando City from open play. It's good the youngster has finally found his form, as the Lions will be relying on him heavily over the next month with Brek Shea out.

MF, Kaká, 7.5 -- Another good, if not great, match from Kaká, who looked pretty comfortable against the Columbus B-squad. His goal was pretty comfortable, though he finished it nicely. The real story here is the intensity level he showed throughout the U.S. Open Cup match. While Higuain and Kamara rested for Columbus, Kaká put in a solid, aggressive 86 minutes.

MF, Eric Avila, 5 -- In his return to the starting lineup, Avila was largely ineffective. He and Ramos failed to combine often on the right, and Avila's main contribution was blasting a shot a mile over the bar in the 66th. He's a calming influence at times, but City are still looking for a more dynamic option on the right wing.

F, Pedro Ribeiro, 6 -- UPDATE: Pedro Ribeiro is still not a striker. Gave it his all tonight, but simply doesn't have the speed or sixth sense to make the runs that Head Coach Adrian Heath really needs from the forward in his 4-2-3-1 formation. Hustled all night and held up the ball on occasion, but tonight tells me that Orlando City may miss Cyle Larin this month.


F, Amobi Okugo (67'), 6.5 -- Deserves full credit for giving his all, even after losing his starting role. He entered again as a defensive sub with the Lions up 2-0, and his energy and defensive grit in the midfield made it nearly impossible for the Crew to build any sort of attack up the middle. He certainly can't be pleased about his new role off the bench, but, for the time being, he's a great option to have off the bench for the Lions.

MF, Danny Mwanga (85'), 6 -- Provided a burst of speed up top and helped the Lions run down the clock with a 2-0 lead. Will be kicking himself for failing to finish a breakaway chance in the 87th, though.

MF, Harrison Heath (86'), 6.5 -- Looked confident in his brief appearance at the end of the match, and cycled the ball around the midfield well to run out the final few minutes.

* * *

Thoughts on our grades after the Lions' big win over Columbus in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup? Hit up the comment section and let us know.