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Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire: Player Grades

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The Lions showed their guts on the road yet again, coming back to beat the Fire 3-2 in Chicago. Here are our player grades for the match.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City's unbeaten streak has been extended to four matches, granted the Lions needed some good luck and two own-goals from defender Adaílton.

In a game that the Lions controlled for long stretches, the visitors were rewarded in the end with two crushing own-goals from the Chicago Fire defender. The Fire's David Accam was a force throughout the night, but he wasn't able to create enough goals earn the Fire a home win.

Orlando started the match with what many saw as a possession and defensive-minded lineup, but Head Coach Adrian Heath played his substitutes right, and put the Lions in position to win the match. It was perhaps the most complete performance many have seen from the Lions this season, and it was a hugely important win against a mid-table Eastern Conference  rival.

Player Grades

G, Tally Hall, 6 -- Hall made a couple good saves, but he struggled on occasion as well. His distribution was poor at times, and he could have done more to prevent a corner on the first Chicago goal.

D, Luke Boden, 6.5 -- There will be lots of criticism of Boden after this one, and to be fair, his defense was often lacking. Still, he played a huge role in the offensive movement, and deserves credit for confidently getting forward in attack. Made an effort to step up when City needed a contributor rather than a place filler.

D, Sean St. Ledger, 5.5 -- Did good work in the air throughout the night, including the header that led to Orlando City's first goal. Was also all over the place defensively though, and looked totally lost on Chicago's first goal.

D, Aurelien Collin, 8 -- Welcome back, Aurelien! Communication with St. Ledger was definitely an issue after nearly a month off the pitch, but he adjusted quickly. More importantly, Collin was at times the main distributor out of the back, dribbling the ball to midfield on multiple occasions. He may have saved goals in the 36th minute, as well as just before the half.

D, Rafael Ramos, 5.5-- If you're going to venture as far forward as Ramos did, you need to make more happen. While it looked threatening at times, too often, the final pass was off for the Portuguese youth.

MF, Darwin Ceren, 5 - It's hard to not like the attacking sense that the El Salvadoran brings to the Orlando City central midfield. That said, he had one too many senseless giveaways today to earn a good grade. His shots from distance were often well off, and his control and passing also left plenty to be desired.

MF, Cristian Higuita, 6.5 -- I felt this was one of the best performances of the Colombian's young career. He was everywhere on the pitch, and commanded the midfield in a match where Orlando had over 60% of the possession.

MF, Lewis Neal, 5 -- Neal is in the unenviable position of being Orlando City's go-to boring player. He won't get any credit for tonight, but he kept things under control for the first 75 minutes. Still, it must be said that while he was all over the pitch, he was totally unable to create any significant offense.

MF, Kaká, 8 -- Are we finally closer to the kind of game plan that Heath and Kaká want to play? There was possession, build-up play, and in the end, some quality finishing. Kaká looked more comfortable than ever tonight, and deserves credit for his aggressive play.

MF, Eric Avila, 5.5 -- Another typical Avila performance. Was it what we needed on the road against a solid Chicago team? Probably. Will fans be excited for Avila's next match in the starting XI? Probably not. Still, 90-minute after 90-minute performance deserves just a bit of credit.

F, Pedro Ribeiro, 6 -- Pedro Ribeiro is really good at creating own goals. Seriously. Is that something you can put on your resume? His hold-up play showed a good deal of improvement, but there wasn't much he could do with so little attacking creativity in the Orlando midfield.

Substitutes

F, Cyle Larin (66'), 7.5 -- Why was the MLS rookie of the month from May benched to start this match? Who knows. What we do know is that Larin's 82nd minute equalizer was nasty, and technically the only goal actually scored by Orlando City on the day. How does Heath get Ribeiro and Larin on the field at the same time?

F, Carlos RIvas (76'), 7 -- As obvious substitutes go, this one may take the cake. While it appears he may not be ready to start quite yet, Rivas' speed still makes him an elite threat off the bench. While the game-winner will go down as an own-goal, it was Rivas' pass that forced the Adaílton own-goal.

F, Amobi Okugo (89'), N/A -- Came on late to spell Kaká and wasn't on long enough to leave much of an impression on the game.