Lost in the middle of Cyle Larin's red card and the mass attention drawn to the Major League Soccer referees, the recently acquired Corey Ashe made his Orlando City debut on Saturday night just a handful of days after being picked up in a trade with the Houston Dynamo.
The 29-year-old fullback hasn't seen much time on field this season playing behind DeMarcus Beasley in Houston, but got an opportunity to start against the New York Red Bulls in place of the suspended Luke Boden.
Orlando City lost the game, 2-0 -- don't make me get into the specifics of the match -- but saw good performances all across the field, especially from Ashe at left back.
Some nerves and the need to impress his new teammates were a little easy to spot early in the match, but he settled in as the game went on, looking more and more comfortable throughout the night. He defended well, and pushed forward in the right spots.
"Thought he did smashing, even though he has not played a lot of football of late." head coach Adrian Heath said after the match. "I really feel that he will fit in well with us moving forward."
Even down a man for most of the match after Larin's red card, Ashe was effective in helping Orlando City move the ball forward. His 97.1 percent passing accuracy was the highest of any player on the field during the match. Here's a visual to prove it:
His lack of finishing passes into the penalty area don't look so bad when you see that Orlando City only completed three of 22 crosses as a team on the night.
Aside from his play, one thing really stuck out about Ashe: he's incredibly small! I know, I know, what should I have expected from a guy listed at 5-foot-5. But, he actually made Rafael Ramos look kinda big.
This one performance certainly wasn't enough to make Adrian Heath think about benching Boden or Ramos next week against New York City FC, but it proves Orlando City made a good moving in grabbing Ashe when they could. The team needed a quality fullback to play behind the starters and challenge them for minutes, and he'll play an important role in the team this summer, even if he's not always starting.