It was a tough outing for Orlando City at Yankee Stadium, as the Lions fell to Man City Light -- also known as New York City FC -- by a score of 5-3. Be sure to check out Kevin Mercer's Five Takeaways and Gavin Ewbank's Player Grades, but first, see how the Stock Watch responds to another loss for OCSC.
Cyle Larin - In what was a superb second half effort from Kid Fantastic, the rookie rebounded from what can only be described as an atrocious first half to put in just the third hat trick from a rookie in the history of MLS.
While struggling to impact the game in any discernible positive fashion in the first half, seeing the (finally) fit (again) Martin Paterson warming up behind the bench seemed to be the kick in the ass Cyle needed, and he responded by immediately firing on net before smoothly scoring two more, including what might be the most beautiful open play goal by a purple clad lad on the year.
Martin Paterson - We were treated to a rare Marty Pato sighting at Yankee Stadium, as the veteran forward came on in the 74th minute and was positively impactful in the final 15 of the match. Played a sweet cross late into Sean St. Ledger, and his motor (or hamstring) didn't give in while sprinting the length of the field to help Corey Ashe as he stared into the eyes of a 3-on-1 MC Light attack.
Little glimpses like this remind us what we were anticipating from Marty when he was signed, and we're all excited to see what more he can do as he continues to get acclimated to MLS game action.
Servando Carrasco - You may not have noticed Orlando City traded Amobi Okugo, as Carrasco came out with both Okugo's old number and his recent form. While credited with an assist, his most memorable play was definitively earning himself a yellow card. We'll credit this to new surroundings and a new system, and look forward to Carrasco making a positive impact moving forward.
Eric Avila - As our own Gavin Ewbank pointed out in his player grades, Avila has experience at both fullback and winger, but as a wing back he looked relatively lost. Completely ineffective on defense and with just 30 touches on the ball, the search for an effective weapon on the right side continues.
The 3-4-3 Formation - This was, to be kind, an unmitigated disaster. From Avila looking out of place to nobody seeming to know their assignment as the star-studded attack approached, OCSC never seemed on the same page defensively, which is a surefire recipe for disaster when playing against David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and Mix Diskerud. Tally Hall, who had been a rock for much of the year, became little more than a sieve behind the back line.
Yankee Stadium - Maybe this is by design. Maybe NYCFC wants to play on this junior-sized pitch to confine the opposition's space and attack. Every time Kaká touched the ball, three defenders, a beer vendor and the front three rows were crowding him out of being as effective as we've grown accustomed to seeing.
Or, maybe, it's an embarrassment to the league, and should be an embarrassment to the fans.